laplumeDear Ms. Plume,
I went to the orchestra last night and the only thing that detracted from the concert was “the scent of a woman” several aisles away. I’ve noticed that as I’ve lost some of my range of smell, even fragrances I used to like often bother me, or have taken on properties that aggravate my sensibilities.

Anyway, it crossed wires with my hearing & vision. Thankfully the cellist was such an amazing performer – I tried to keep my focus on him. When in doubt, people really should wear lightly scented herbal bath powders in lieu of strong designer fragrances in public, shouldn’t they?

Dear Barbee,
Can we also tell people who smoke that they need to quit, or at least sit in the back of the theater, because their clothes smell like a dirty ashtray? Or admonish that friend at a cocktail party who had the bad sense to stuff deviled eggs in his mouth and smells like a sulfur spring? Or suggest a lavender substitute to our neighbor who keeps her winter sweaters in a mess of mothballs?
I agree that it can be a bit over the top when someone has applied their fragrance like they are watering a dry parched lawn, but fragrance is one of my few true indulgences (if we aren’t counting wine and bread). I try to spray it lightly in the air and walk under it so that it mostly lands in my hair, but I’m sure I may have applied a bit too much pressure to that silly little spray thingy once or twice. I have also been known to follow people around a room trying to inhale a memory that a whiff of their scent evokes. However, I haven’t been to the orchestra this season.
L. A. Plume

Dear L. A. Plume,
I have been “introduced” to a particular woman on several occasions. She never seems to remember me even though we have served on committees together, belong to the same club, and know quite a few of the same people. Her attitude suggests that I am not worth remembering. Do you think she’s being intentionally rude? Can you help?

Dear Debs,
People who seem to be intentionally rude, generally are, and they –
a. Don’t read this column
b. Don’t think it is about them
c. Don’t care
A similar thing happened to a friend of mine years ago, and after enough repeat introductions she patiently told the woman how many times they had met, that they had, in fact, played tennis against each other in many recent club tournaments, and that their daughters were friends. After she recited her list, my friend sweetly asked, “So I’d just like to know: Are you rude, or just stupid?” I think that was the last time they spoke. I hope that helps.
L. A. Plume

Dear L. A. Plume,
Is there any way I can go out in public without risking that some unfortunate photo of me will appear, in all its horrible glory, on Facebook? I’m not even on Facebook because I don’t want anyone to have a view of my private life that isn’t supplied by me. Yet I’m forever hearing about, or being sent, photos of me in bars, on the street, or anywhere where I might be stuffing a bite of food into my face, looking like I have fired my hairdresser, or sometimes just plain bewildered because I don’t want a camera blinking in my face. Is there anything I can do??

Dear Eeeekkks,
Not a single thing. If you go out in public these days, it seems that you are fair game. There is an interesting correlation between narcissism and Facebook -– and actually, it is more about those who post than those about whom things are posted. Rarely do people ask if they can take your photo, or if they can post it. And, of course, they can alter it in any way they wish in the process. Stay home or wear a mask; that’s about all I can think of.
L. A. Plume