We recently received an email alert from our Sunday school class that a couple of members are allergic to perfume.
The note did not suggest that all the women in the class forgo wearing their favorite scent while at Sunday school. But such an interpretation was possible. I suppose the decision to wear or not to wear perfume is up to the spiritual inclination of individual class members.
Nor do I know if the aromatic alert is also directed at male class members who might be wearing aftershave.
Personally, as far as I know, I am not allergic to anything other than poison ivy. Some people are allergic to peanut butter, others to turnip greens and some are even allergic to other people’s dispositions.
One day I reminded my lawn man to avoid a patch of poison ivy growing near a flower bed. To my astonishment, he reached down, pulled a handful of poison ivy leaves, thrust them into his mouth and chewed on them as if they were his favorite food.
But back to perfume.
Some years ago, my wife and I were touring the Art Gallery at Morehead City when a woman approached me and said, “I know this sounds crazy. But do you mind if my husband smells your wife?”
“Say again!” I responded in amazement.
“Well, you see,” she continued, “I walked by her a few moments ago, and she’s wearing the most alluring perfume. If my husband likes it, I’d like to purchase some. “
“Honey,” I teased when I walked back to my wife, “there’s a man over there who wants to smell you.”
To make a too long story short, the couple introduced themselves. My wife told them she was wearing Estee Lauder’s “Beautiful” perfume.” After a friendly chat, we parted.
As the last person chosen by the team captains in my kidhood cow pasture baseball games, I can imagine the rejection Alexander Semin must feel.
Semin, in effect, has been told by the Carolina Hurricanes to go away; you aren’t good enough.
Why the brush off? Semin scored only six goals for the Hurricanes this year, whereas at one time he was slamming home 40 or more while playing on other teams. Can’t a guy have an off season now and then?
The fact that his former bosses will hand him $16 million as he goes should keep him out of the food stamp line but might not compensate for the sense of rejection and failure a fellow in his circumstances must feel. Money isn’t everything, especially if you have buckets full of it.
When I mentioned the matter to my wife, she said, “When I left N.C. State after more than 30 years, they gave me me a little clock.”
“Why not?” I scoffed. “You’re only a schoolteacher. You should have majored in ice hockey or basketball in college. Our culture has its professional priorities, you know.”
So you’ve spotted what looks like a poem just below and are putting down the column. Don’t. It has a message for you. I share your disdain for those highfalutin poets who write so esoterically you can’t comprehend what they’re trying to say.
But not Robert Frost. He speaks your language. And here’s a sample from a little volume my wife left on my desk just now.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I —
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
Now, think back over your years of the choices of roads you’ve made. You may regret the roads not taken, or rejoice in the roads you chose, including the ones that made all the difference. Right?