By Buffy Lawson, Relationship Veteran


While working for my dear friend Keith Yarber several years ago, this brilliant, insightful man welcomed us all to a seemingly typical Tuesday morning staff meeting. However, on this chilly October day after our first cup of coffee, Keith immediately launched into the meeting pleading an incredibly interesting piece of advice that I will never forget. I should preface this by saying that his eyes were red and he had a nasty little cough. 

He looked up painfully at his staff through unfairly aggravated eyes and stated with a sense of humor to mask his seriousness: “A wise woman once told me… perfume is to be discovered, not announced.” Nobody spoke a word, wondering which perfume in the room was causing the allergic reaction in progress. 

It was clear to us all that this was not a judgmental or rudely intended comment. Because after all, our job was sales, therefore this was a fair and practical lesson. It was a sincere plea to those who impose nearly violent reactions in an effort to smell more fragrant than anybody in the county.

No matter how fabulous our product was, if an individual is choking, they will probably be considering emergency exit options versus contract options. 

I just knew that he could not be possibly speaking about me because my scent of choice for over twenty years happens to be pure vanilla. This, in my opinion smells like a cake! And who ever walked into a room with a cake baking screeching, “TURN OFF THE DAMN STOVE! THAT CAKE SMELLS STINKIN’ AWFUL!”

Nevertheless, the point was well taken and from that day forward, I only squirted two sprays rather than twelve. Okay, maybe three rather than thirteen. Regardless, since his well-stated comment, I have been keenly aware when someone is wearing too much cologne. 
Many moons later, it occurred to me that this advice applies perfectly to relationships as well. And perhaps why first dates between two amazing people are often disastrous. 

Simply put, I am speaking about trying too hard in all of the wrong areas upon initially meeting. Many of us have been on both sides of cupid’s wacky arrow.  Making efforts to set a dear friend up with a dear friend, or being set up by a dear friend to a dear friend. Unfortunately, the report card is often a seemingly strange puzzle. Two fabulous people with much in common according to cupid, yet unfortunate results prevail. We just try too hard. 

When cupid learns from each perspective friend of how the date unfolded, cupid is simply baffled. “Cupid, your friend talked about her ex-husband the entire evening and informed me that if I wasn’t prepared to fill out a form with detailed previous relationship references, we wouldn’t be having a second date!” OR…“SO…. uh, Cupid? Does he always wear that much hairspray to cover up the cowlick?”

Seems to me the point is obvious. Remain mysterious.  Just be you. Let a little time tell the story and trust your instincts. Because the LAST thing you want to hear… or maybe what I don’t want to hear is… “OMG… she had soooo much vanilla perfume on I will NEVER eat a cake again.”  If you make their eyes bloodshot or they are choking with a cough, this is not good. You, like perfume, will be better cherished if discovered and not announced.