Fish face
Monday June 08th 2020, 10:41 pm
Filed under: Life

I thought it was pretty, and I could always use more fish inspiration so I ordered one.

It came smelling of Fabreze, not strongly so but when I put it right up to my face I knew there was no way.

I said to the seller, who confirmed that that’s what it was, that I’d never gotten that smell out of anything: not with detergents, not with sun exposure, and it’s a shame because I liked her mask so much.

She said she sprayed each one with a bit of it before sending it off and she’d never thought of how it might affect asthmatics; she offered to send me a second one free. I told her thank you.

This is someone who was only allowing herself a few hours’ sleep in order to sew as many as possible because people need them, they need good ones that fit comfortably and cover well and they need ones that cheer them up.

Meantime, I washed the sweet little mask a second time, letting it soak a goodly while in my unscented detergent–and that time it actually came out very nearly free of it. Close enough that I had it on when the kid putting my Milk Pail groceries in my car chose to stop a moment to compliment it.

And then the second one arrived that afternoon. No Fabreze, as promised. There was the faintest whiff of tobacco to it, which I had assumed all along was the reason why, especially given the deep-South return address, and I immediately soaked it in a soapy sink as I had the first. And it was fine.

It felt grossly unfair to her. She’d been trying to get it right and she’d chosen to do right by me.

I found my Etsy order and sent her a note: I said a little about the Fabreze one to jog her memory as to who I was with all the orders she’s been filling, said I was going to be able to use both after all and what was the best way to pay her for the second?

She, it turns out, was in a mad dash with a major storm bearing down right her way in Louisiana and misread me and apologized again for the Fabreze.

I clarified: You made this, you earned this, it’s perfect, I love it, I want to pay for it.

The response I got left me feeling like that right then was just what she’d needed: to be told how much I appreciated what she’d done well, to be noticed at this time when we’re all so cut off from each other, to feel she mattered. She in turn made me feel like I mattered to her.

Just a tiny spritz of unwanted Fabreze: who knew that that of all things could make such a difference?

3 Comments so far
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That’s adorable! I love how so many home crafters are able to sell their work these days. And they’re providing a wonderful service at the same time! We just bought 4 masks from a former youth group “kid” of mine on Cape Cod who is now married with a daughter, and is making the most adorable masks. They have flags or stars, and even one with kitty paw prints! Just adorable.

Comment by Pegi F 06.09.20 @ 3:29 am

That sounds like a good exchange all the way around.
Most people do not realize how “smells” of many kinds can be so hard on people. I have a terrible time with smells triggering migraines. I can barely make it through the detergent aisle at the grocery store without feeling a migraine start. My sweetie usually picks up that stuff for us bless him. And don’t even think about scented candles or other “smelly” stuff.
Enjoy your now scent free masks – those fish are so sweet.
Chris S

Comment by Chris S in Canada 06.09.20 @ 10:10 am

It’s funny, the things that end up bringing people together.

Comment by ccr in MA 06.09.20 @ 5:44 pm

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