Hi, Mom and Dad! I'm blogging again.
For those of you that aren't my parents, I started blogging in 2012 to document everything I was eating while I was studying abroad in Florence, Italy and beyond. (Is is telling of my personality that I just accidentally typed "beyonce" instead of "beyond?") I named it The Fifth Sense because, as much as I love food, I can't smell a bit of it. Not even the cheesecake I'm eating on the steps of the Duomo in the photo above.
I'm not cooking tonight because I'm tired and have big plans to eat easy mac in my bed and watch House of Cards, but I'll leave you with the first blog post I ever wrote on Tumblr about my missing sense of smell.
The One That Got Away.
In the ice breaker game “Two Truths and a Lie,” I always have a go-to set of descriptions about myself to present to the group:
1. I’m an only child.
2. I have two fake teeth.
3. I don’t have my sense of smell.
…and I always win. Deepest apologies to my bother Chris, but people always pick number three as the lie.
When we’re young, one of the first things we learn in basic science classes is that we’re given 5 senses: sight, taste, touch, hearing and smell. I can remember sitting in Mrs. Hanisek’s third grade science class wondering when the latter would kick in for me. My parents had no reason to suspect anything because I never told them. I quickly learned in elementary school that if you can’t smell the bad smell in the classroom then it’s quickly blamed on you. Twelve years later, after countless moments of “I’m so sorry I burnt those cookies,” “I’m sorry I didn’t notice the dog went on the carpet again,” and never buying perfume, I’ve come clean to my family and friends. I’ve never bothered visiting the doctor over it; like the common cold, there’s no cure— only a diagnosis (Congenital Anosmia, for those of you who are wondering) and clearly that’s findable with a simple Google search or trip down WebMD.
To answer a few questions off the bat: I’ve never been able to. It doesn’t bother me too much. Smoke is still annoying. I’m not sure how much my taste is affected. Unlike for people who suddenly lose their sense of smell, there’s no conclusive evidence on how much it dulls the taste for those who never had it. (Some even claim their taste is sharpened because of it.. I guess like a bat with hearing?) Regardless of the situation, I can assure you that neither facts number 2 nor 3 have stopped me from developing a deep love for all things food related. I plan my meals in the morning, miss foods when I’m away from them, and get legitimately upset when I’m out ordered at restaurants. Most people associate memories with smell, I guess I’ve learned to associate mine with taste. So maybe it’s because I want to push myself to cook better meals, or maybe it’s because I think every meal deserves a discussion, but regardless this will be a place to come hear about it, bite by bite.
It feels good to be back!