The Indian Smell

My high school friends used to tell me that my house smelled “Indian.” True, Indians do live here, I’d remark, having not the slightest clue what they were referring to. Yes, you might say this is a home of Indians.

When I visited my parents last month, the first words out of my mouth upon crossing the threshold of their apartment was, “Wow it smells Indian here.”

Now I know.

It’s the pungent kick of Indian cooking spices pleasantly knocking around your olfactory senses. Cumin, cardamom, perhaps a hint of chili powder.

Yep, smells Indian. I guess you don’t notice when you’re living in it.

Last week Oliver was an unhappy amalgam of irritated moodiness and I went nearly nuts trying to identify a cause. We were eventually able to figure out (with help) that Oliver absolutely cannot stand any negativity on my part.

My first thought was relief that a solution existed– a solution I could immediately implement. My second thought was, “What negativity?” From where I was standing, life was good. I was infinitely more loving that I’d ever been in my entire life and infinitely happier as well. I couldn’t identify any recent negativity I’d felt or expressed.

“Oliver is WAY more sensitive to this than you,” a friend carefully explained. “He can’t stand any negativity– NONE.”

This began to elucidate the issue in my main. I vaguely recalled complaining about mounting housework the previous night. I remembered describing in great detail the abject agony of Zoe’s teething. Because neither of those remarks had been directed toward Oliver I had filed them under the Not Negative section of my head.

“Nope. His whole life he’s been absolutely craving coming home to a loving environment and so he can’t stand anything less than completely supportive.”

We don’t recognize the smell of our own home nor the unproductive behaviors that we operate with 24/7.

Trust the people that do notice. Be eternally grateful for them.

After all, my parent’s home really does smell Indian. And boy, can I complain.

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