At the start of a 40 minute train ride, you find an open seat in an increasingly crowded train, only to realize that the slight, but pungent, body odor is emitting from the man sitting next to you.
Do you (a) stand up, and endure the 40 minutes on your feet, (b) sit on the edge of your seat and lean away from the source as far as possible, (c) tell man he stinks, to take a bath, then stand up and leave the train, or (d) turn to him and tell him that you wished the offensive odor ban in California would apply to NYC subways. Read more [+/-]
If I were smart, I would have chosen (a). If I weren't already running late, (c) is what I would have done. And if I were feeling a little passive-aggressive bitchy, definitely (d).
But I'm sick, so I toughened it out with (b).
Isn't it funny how you can get used to a smell so that, after a while, you don't smell it anymore? Like when you put on too much cologne, you're all fine and dandy, but when people pass by, they grimace as if they're about to be pimp slapped? Same goes for body odor (BO). But with BO, no matter how much you get used to it, when you get a whiff of fresh air, it resets your sense of smell, and the offending smell is as strong and offending as ever.
Doors open, fresh air. Doors close, BO. I even covered my face with my scarf and adopted a shallow breathing technique through my mouth. The only effect that had was it made my mouth dry, my scarf damp, and me feel even more light-headed; and ultimately I'd have to inhale deep through my nose to keep from passing out.
After 50 minutes (damn delays), I pushed my way off the train, bent over and inhaled the deepest breath I could muster. It was such a relief to be rid of the horrid attack of BO in exchange for subway air with its stale, mildewy, urine goodness.