anne mikolay 2018Today, I’m throwing my usual non-judgmental efforts to the wind and sounding off.

Let’s talk about perfume. Ladies, what’s wrong with you? To put it bluntly, many of you just plain stink!

Last week, while in the grocery store, I encountered a woman who reeked of heavy perfume; I gagged. Unfortunately, there was no getting away from her. We must have had identical shopping lists because she was in every aisle I visited. I couldn’t breathe whenever she was around. Surely, the woman didn’t mean to offend, but she most definitely did. This morning, in the bank, I encountered yet another perfume aficionado. She politely held the door for me; I politely held my breath. She smelled like rancid 1960s perfume. Again, I’m certain she did not intend to be distasteful, but I could not stand to be near her.

Ladies, your signature fragrance should not invade my personal space and pollute my air. I’m not being overly sensitive or dramatic; I’m being practical. I am a migraine sufferer. One whiff of a strong odor can trigger a migraine for me that might last hours, days, or weeks. A migraine is not a headache, folks. It’s a painful neurological event, often resistant to medication. Ladies, your penchant for perfume can be someone else’s nightmare. If wearing perfume enhances your self-esteem, makes you feel elegant, attractive, by all means go for it, but there’s a right way to wear a scent and there’s a wrong way. Saturating yourself with perfume so others can smell you approaching is the wrong way! You’re not supposed to douse yourself with fragrance, and unless you wish to be regarded as Charlie Brown’s buddy, Pig Pen, there’s no reason to have an offensive cloud hovering over you. With perfume, the more you apply, the more you stink. You may think using a lot of perfume makes you smell delightfully enticing, but trust me, it doesn’t. It offends. With perfume, less is more!  Simply apply your favorite scent to your inner wrists or behind your ears, or lightly spritz the air and walk through the mist. Ladies, a little dab’ll do ya!

Now let’s talk about manners, specifically Facebook manners. In today’s volatile political environment, Facebook has emerged a playground where bullies abound. The internet, of course, is a double-edged sword, and some people think it’s perfectly okay to capitalize on the anonymity the internet grants and use that sword to poke others. Facebook is rife with internet trolls, and these days, political trolls are everywhere. I don’t care what side of the political fence you stand on; you do not have the right to insult another individual or to be purposefully confrontational. A respectful discussion of opposing views would be beneficial, but this rarely occurs on the internet. On Facebook, I have been called a “Biden bot”, a “dumb Liberal”, and a “stupid Democrat”. I am none of these things, but I do not engage Facebook posters who are so obviously and desperately itching for a fight. Anyone who insults another Facebook user is working to divide our society and contributes to the current political tension. Do not engage! Do not add to the division! Just walk away, or in this case, scroll on by.

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Bottom line: Ladies, don’t wear a lot of perfume. Facebook users, don’t be jerks.

And that’s that.

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Anne Mikolay

Anne M. Mikolay joined The Atlantic Highlands Herald as a columnist in 2008. Prior to penning “The Armchair Critic,” Anne wrote feature articles for The Monmouth Journal. Her work has appeared in national...