Thursday, October 09, 2003

Good morning all.

I had a rather unpleasant experience last night and I thought I’d share it here. On most Wednesday nights, we take my father-in-law for his groceries. After shopping, we usually go out for dinner. Last night was no exception; we went to Loblaws, picked up his groceries and headed out to dinner. We ordinarily go to one of four different places but Mark had a gleam in his eye and said that he was taking us somewhere new and that it was a surprise. About halfway to the restaurant, I realized that he was taking us to a new Chinese buffet place. We had noticed that an old abandoned restaurant in a west end strip mall had been under renovations under the summer. A few weeks ago, a sign went up announcing that it would be a buffet so Mark’s been keeping an eye on it. Yesterday was opening day.

He figured that they would open quietly, that it wouldn’t be all that busy and that we’d be able to quickly slip in and out for a meal. It was a mad house. We got inside the door and discovered a huge line-up. Looking around, we could see that they had done major renovations, the place was really ornately (but really really tacky) decorated and it was packed. In the small foyer all I could smell was paint and it was making me feel ill. We were told that we’d have a 15-20 minute wait. I wasn’t thrilled about this (I generally don’t do line ups) but Mark and his dad seemed really into it so I figured I’d suck it up and see how it went. We found a seat by the hostess station for his dad and I decided to slip outside for some air. It was unseasonably hot yesterday, this place smelled of fresh paint and there was NO air inside. I walked outside into a cloud of cigarette smoke. Mmm… paint plus smoke, my stomach was just in knots by now. I went back inside and stood by Joe and Mark. Fortunately, the line up seemed to be moving pretty quickly and I thought, “okay, this won’t be so bad.”

I was so wrong. It actually got worse. This large party came in and someone in the group was doused in a horrible, cheap perfume. Over the past few years I’ve become really sensitive to scent and perfume can trigger really violent coughing fits, my eyes water, it’s basically really unpleasant. I looked at Mark and said, quietly, “oh shit, can you smell that? Someone is wearing some really disgusting perfume, I think I’m going to be sick.” A woman turned to me, smiled and said, “It’s Christian Dior’s ‘Poison’ and it’s very expensive and it’s very beautiful.”

Now, bear in mind that this woman had badly hennaed bar-hair and an ill-fitting knit dress that did nothing for her enormous butt. I could NOT believe that she would so quickly identify herself as being the smelly one. You could tell that this woman had sprayed her hair and clothing too. She obviously gets negative comments all the time. It was just rancid smelling and it was not actually the real deal, it was one of those dollar store imitation brands. I just looked at her and said, “you may think it is beautiful but it’s not very nice for people who have environmental allergies.” She said, “well I think it’s beautiful.” I looked at Mark, rolled my eyes and said, “Oh Jesus.” Quite unintentionally, I got a huge reaction from her because of this. She scowled at me, “Don’t you take the name of our lord in vain! How dare you?” I just smiled at her and said, “I can say what I like, he’s not my lord, I don’t even believe in him.” Eyes wide, she looked at me with this disgusted look on her face and said, “well I feel sorry for you, you’re going to end up in hell, saying things like that,” and walked away, toward the rest of her party. After a couple of minutes, they left the restaurant.

I was so shocked. Needless to say, we didn’t wait in the line up any more. 3 more stinky people came in and I was coughing my head off. We left and ended up at Montana’s for dinner.

I was so happy when the no smoking bylaw was passed here. I really hope that city council passes a no-scent bylaw too. Mark heard something about Halifax having one in place now. It’s a great idea. They have signs posted all over the hospitals here about scent sensitivities. I’d almost rather smell smoke than some of these cheap perfumes that folks pour all over themselves. Thinking about it later on in the evening, I really had to laugh that she “felt sorry” for me because I don’t believe in Jesus. She probably doesn’t “believe” in Darwin but I don’t feel sorry for her.

As far as the buffet goes, we may try to go again but I think it’ll be in a couple of weeks and it’ll be for lunch. They must have been doing some heavy-duty advertising on the local radio stations (we don’t listen to commercial radio – we’re a CBC only family) over the past couple of weeks. Hopefully, if we go back, we won’t get bombed with bad perfume. That was just nasty and completely offensive.

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