TIFU by telling me zookeeper girlfriend (22f) not to worry so much about her hygiene...

  1. Am zookeeper. My office mate does not have a sense of smell. We ask her to deal with the REALLY bad stuff.

  2. Huh, so COVID does actually influence selective pressure, but differently from how we had expected. Besides the obvious impact on life expectancy, COVID-mediated anosmia increases the reproductive fitness of those in social circles that include hot zookeepers.

  3. My husband lost his sense of smell after one of his deployments. I better let him know to go find a hot zookeeper if I die. 🤣

  4. As a zookeeper myself, I think this will be something you want to think about when it comes to the long-term future of your relationship?

  5. Can confirm. I have a friend who works at a Zoo. You date within the profession, because no amount of cleaning, odor neutralizer, or scent product will remove that stench.

  6. Do you guys like got so used and conditioned to the smell that it is normal to you guys? And does nice smell smells 100x better after getting a good scrub down?

  7. I recently got laid off at my job as a vet tech, and my partners have already commented separately on how I "seem to be taking care of myself better" even though bathing rituals have not changed. It's very easy to get nose blind to strong animal smell, and I can't imagine how much worse a zoo must be from a small animal practice. I've come home with every single liquid and solid you can imagine caked on my scrubs and boots, and there's no way that's as bad as it gets. True hats off to people in large animal care.

  8. I got covid very early on and over a year later sense of smell is not the same. Took almost a year for sense of taste to come back sense of smell isn't what it used to be. Moderate amount of humidity, nose fully clogs then I'm forced to breathe through my mouth.

  9. I used to work in a dump. The smell of burning garbage (literally) is disgusting and will attach to your hair like no tomorrow. This is going to sound ridiculous, but Avon bubble bath saved me. It stripped the crap out of my hair and didn’t get everything, but it definitely stripped 95% of the smell.

  10. every thread about zoo animal stank, a zookeeper confirms it. We have bred a lot of stinkiness out of our pets, and people are not ready for the real world of animal odor.

  11. Man.. you can only have 2 options here:try to understand her work better and learn about it in the days that she is really "hard working" as you stated you simple avoid dates-meeting! but this not gonna work moving forward in the future if you are really serious about it you will need to face it since you can not expect she to "Leave" or live in a different house once you guys marry for example right?

  12. I wish I could give her some advice. I worked as an industrial painter for nearly a decade, I understand her pain entirely. The smell, the ick of all the everything that gets everywhere, your clothes basically needing to be lit on fire just to clean them. I get it.

  13. My husband and I have a smell safe word for when the other is smelly! If the other utters the word “wombat” out of context, it’s time to take a shower or brush teeth, and the stinky one can’t take it too hard. Granted, we don’t work with animals, and our cats and chickens aren’t particularly stinky, but I recommend it as a way to let your partner know they’re not particularly fresh.

  14. Volunteered at a raptor rehab. We got the call that vulture had been hit by a drone. I had to scrub down every night to stay in the house. My mom could handle hawk/kestrels, but that vulture really did her nose in even though she was nowhere near him.

  15. As someone that had said nose wrecked, nah not good. My smell came back all at once when I got a nasty cold this month and had to blow more snot out of my nose than I knew a human was capable of producing. I went from a year of 10-20% smell and some things absolutely nothing to everything back in one snotty day. You'd be committed, moved in, settled... and just one bad cold away from the smelly truth.

  16. My dad got a brain injury resulting in anosmia and he’s single. Might have to suggest he makes a visit to the zoo.

  17. I once had to help out at a zoo on a hot August day, building a fence for a new animal enclosure. I happened to be working about 30 feet from the perimeter of the tiger exhibit.

  18. Well, congrats! But do get to it sooner rather than later... she won't feel better knowing you thought she stank for a long time than a short time.

  19. This post made me immediately think of the Chappelle sketch when he works at Wack-Arnold’s and comes home and his girl breaks up with him and says bitch you smell like French fries lol

  20. This isn't a bad idea. In fact I'd bet she'd appreciate a vibe check for when she going out and it may be particularly bad.

  21. But also honestly, don’t expect her career to change. Even if she wants to work with animals that smell less, which would still be stinky either way, she might not have the opportunity, or she might be able to work with them for a little bit and then move onto another animal. You can’t predict what animal she’s going to be able to work with.

  22. The first day I worked in forensics the air condition was broken, I showered eight times and my hair still stunk like long dead people. Some smells are just pungent and persistent. I did three weeks working in a zoo as well, but with the birds of prey and pigs, and the smell was not so bad. I never really checked out how bad the otters were, but I know the cat house is not very nice to work in.

  23. I agree. If you really like this girl just tell her when she reeks. She KNOWS it’s an issue. So if you let her keep a change of clothes at your place and stick up on good smelling bath soap, i don’t think she will be offended at all. On the other hand if you’re not into her enough to deal with it then let her know now.

  24. So…I work in aviation so my clothing is just saturated with jet fuel. I can say that at the start I could smell it, now I definitely can’t and now after two years my spouse can only smell it if it is particularly concentrated. This isn’t a good thing because jet fuel is terrible for you. However take some confidence in understanding that you will get more used to it if you keep dating. Still take efforts to be as clean as possible.

  25. .. Uh, are you supposed to be bathing in jet fuel? Why do your clothes get saturated? Shouldn't it just be going from whatever container into the jet?

  26. My gf works in aviation too, sometimes really greasy but we’re not living together yet. Hopefully will next year

  27. I can relate, I work with gutting fish. When i first started working, the smell was terrible. But now im used to it, so is my wife. Cant do much except change clothes and shower.

  28. I worked on generators when I was in the military. Every day coming home from work we had the smell of diesel AKA "Power Pro(duction) Perfume"

  29. Really have no clue if this would work, but I live in country and used to live in the country in a place that had a rather descent sized skunk population (or pole cats as we call them in the south, really have no idea where that term came from) I also have a number of dogs.... you can see where I'm going with this.

  30. Right? With all the actual zoo keeper stories/experiences commenting in this thread, you'd think zoo keepers would have found some solution that almost completely gets rid of most odors. Hell I found a odor neutralize for $10 that completely got rid of the mouse pee/feces smell from a car that sat parked for a year. Obviously it's not meant for skin/human use but still.

  31. I was wondering if scrubbing with baking soda help myself. I had a mild body odor problem for a short period of time during one of my pregnancies and no amount of soap made my armpits smell good. I started using a little baking soda before the soap and it was like magic. I've also used a similar mixture to yours for dog and cat pee and it worked similar magic.

  32. Surely the answer is to say something like “you know how I’m not usually so bothered by your post work smells? Well, that’s very usually true, however today is not that day. Today is strong. Would you mind…?”

  33. My ex used to work at an animal sanctuary and sometimes nearby farms or the DNR would bring fresh dead animals to feed to the carnivores there. Whatever wasn't eaten or wasn't able to be fed would go to a far off corner called the "bone pile" and once it got full enough they would load up a dump truck and haul it off. That smell... I will never forget it. Sometimes if she was processing carcasses or getting rid of bad stuff, no matter how she washed she would smell like it for days... when she became a vet tech, the job wasn't as fulfilling, but the smell was so much better.

  34. Drop of peppermint extract under each nostril is how many morgue workers deal with the smell of decomposing bodies. If it works on 2 week old corpses, it'll work on cat shit.

  35. Aw, this is sweet. Come on, she already knows that the zoo smells awful and that some days are worse than others. Lying for her benefit isn’t actually gonna help anyone because it’s changing the way you feel and behave around her.

  36. OP should offer to put on a nose plug, jump in the shower, and scrub her down with baking soda paste on the rough days! Really highlight that there's nothing wrong with her and he has no problem with her job, he even wants to share the workload of getting her back to smelling socially acceptable.

  37. Unfortunately you underestimate how bad zoo work smells lol, even rotting meat is better. Hell, rotting meat is part of the smell at zoos lol, you’d have to get a job in raw sewage and never shower to even compete

  38. Tell her to wash with Dawn dish soap and a wash cloth. then do it again with a new wash cloth. Head to toe. It will help a lot. It really helps with any oil based scents. It also is a great spot remover on laundry. Any time i cook and oil gets on my clothes, I pre-treat it with dawn and let it soak a little, sometimes give it a little scrub with an old toothbrush. it comes out every time, even old stains. It's way cheaper than laundry spot treater and works better.

  39. I've smoked way longer than I'll admit. But have a super sensitive schnoz. I smelled a sewage issue in our old basement. The boys at home thought I was literally losing it. Until the basement backed up. Better believe if Mum smells something off, I am believed now. Jesus. If I quit I could probably smell what someone had for breakfast. I'm not into it.

  40. I smoked for seven years and it dampened my sense of smell, but it never went away. And it came back pretty much entirely after about 4 or 5 months once I quit. I think a Vick's vaporub mustache might be the better plan. Or just wear an old school plague doctor mask stuffed with herbs and such

  41. I would reassure her you’re into her, you know she does a lot to manage it, but some days she might not smell it but you still do. I was a keeper and we all told each other all the time, like you were a bad coworker if you didn’t let someone know when they were especially potent. Then ask her if you can hop in the shower with her if she needs a hand- her biggest fear will be that you don’t want her anymore. So if you make sure you reassure her you’re still into her anytime you have to tell her, it will be better for both of you.

  42. Depending on where you are at in this relationship, sounds like an excellent excuse to bathe together...

  43. Idk how much you like her but this is a long term issue so either get out while you can or understand that you’re gonna have to deal with the smell

  44. Be honest. Sounds like you're still very understanding. Sometimes you make out until you don't taste the morning breath, sometimes you very politely and lovingly tell your person to brush their teeth for the most extreme cases. Many don't tolerate anything but cologne and perfume, and you're polite/open minded.

  45. there's got to be a quicker solution for her to remove the odor after work. there's gotta be a chemistry related solution to this problem.

  46. I would just make it a nice routine that you provide everything she needs to grab a shower or bath at your place when she’s visiting straight from work. She could leave a change of clothes there and you could get some bubble bath and a nice towel for her.

  47. Is it possible she is also not the cleanest person- outside of work? My Aunt hoards and smells just like you’ve described. My house, car and furniture absolutely stink when she leaves (I’ve developed a system to stink proof over the years) but she’s been retired for decades and the only animals she is around are her cat and Yorkie that pee freely on whatever surface they wish- hence her smell. My stepmom was a zookeeper and she only slightly smelled of manure on occasion if she wore her boots around you. I’m not understanding this overwhelming smell unless her job involves swimming in waste. Makes more sense she isn’t the cleanest.

  48. I have a solution. You agree a certain phrase......like "you fucking stink". Upon hearin the phrase the GF shows you her boobies. You, obviously, start grinning like a fool whilst all the blood starts to leave your brain to head south, congratulations, you've forgotten about the smell.

  49. Communicate more. There's a happy middle. She needs to accept that sometimes she's gross and will need a shower, but you need to accept sometimes it's just not feasible and you'll have to get used to it. Like anyone working a dirty job or with a partner that does. Especially if it's only bad sometimes.

  50. I used to work at a zoo and never found it that horribly smelly. Although I now realize my terrible year round allergies probably saved my nose from hell… and I fucking loved my animals so there’s a lot you get used to.

  51. My husband is a zookeeper, as soon as he gets home he hops in the shower. I tell him when he’s stinky and if I say nothing he assumes (correctly) he smells fine. Sometimes he really stinks. I don’t want him to feel bad so I offer to run him a bath or shower with him which he loves. He’s pretty nose blind and I have allergies to strong scents so we don’t have anything in the house that smells. It all works out.

  52. Years ago when I worked on a hog farm there was specific cleaners for removing the animal smell that worked pretty well. I can't figure out how to post a link but if you Google (Hog Slat body wash) you should find it. Hog Slat is the company name.

  53. Third option. Red hot metal rod into each nostril. Sacrifice a sense for love. Do it. You can fashion that rod into a ring and marry the zookeeper girl.

  54. I have worked in animal farming in my distant past, I ended up covered in alsorts of nasty-smelling stuff. We got to the point where we just didn't care, turn up smelling like shit to eat at the same table as people that worked in different areas of the business and just laughed at their reactions, it was part of our bonding process.

  55. Former zookeeper here, why doesn’t she just shower after work? It’s a dirty job but a shower will take care of the stench.

  56. If there is one thing I learned from the Swamps of Dagobah is that peppermint oil can be your friend in these types of situations. Also, if you haven't read the Reddit post swamps of Dagobah I recommend and also don't recommend it.

  57. Break it to her gently and offer to help her out. Let her keep some spare clothes at your house, get her a fluffy robe and a cute towel or loofah.

  58. tell her you dont mind most of it. but that sometimes she gets a bit TOO sour. and you hope she wont take it too personal if some days you may need to ask for some specific attention to it.

  59. As a zookeeper myself I can't relate. Like do the other keepers commenting not shower or do laundry??? I stink right after work while still wearing my work clothes and shoes/socks but have never had an issue after showering and changing into clean clothes.

  60. This shouldn't be a TIFU except the fact OP feels stuck with no line of communication in a relationship. You can backpedal without being insulting or offensive. Some days are going to be super bad, just tell her she is stinky without having to be rude about it. Offer support, the horrible labor of scrubbing & showering it away can be something you alleviate by getting her remedies like the suggested dish soap but also nice smelling soaps/bath bombs/scented things that humanize her after her day in the wild. Don't be like "You stank, here is some soap." But more like "Some days are pretty smelly, but if you wanna try some other stuff for it, I started reading up on solutions/products to help." (imperfect theoretical statement here, just broach the subject best you can.)

  61. Nah, you have an opportunity here. If it's bad, tell her. At this point, she should trust that you aren't dogging her about it, you only let her know when it's BAD. Something as simple as, "Honey...." then look at her and more a couple times and she knows she needs a little more attention devoted. If you have the time, go help her. I've been married five years and my wife and I both can tell the other, "Honey, you need a shower," without it being perjorative. It's a simple supportive statement.

  62. You need to gently tell her the truth. My husband normally breaks the ice first by telling me something vulnerable with him and he asks for my take on things and then he opens up in return about me.

  63. I don’t get it, a shower really doesn’t do anything? So if you hang out with certain animals you’ll just stink for the rest of your life? Who would agree to do that?

  64. Wait how bad can it actually be? Wont a proper 10 minute shower with bodywash and shampoo solve the problem? She must be raw deep in animal poop/fluids for it to stain like that even after a proper shower...

  65. Just tell her the truth when it's real bad but don't be a dick about it. Just be "woah, okay most times it doesn't bug me but this is a special stink." This is like the most basic shit to fix in relationships.

  66. You could always make a joke on a day it’s really bad and see how it lands “I know I said i didn’t mind but what stinky animals were you with today” in a loving/light way. If that doesn’t fix the issue… unfortunately you have to have an adult conversation or deal with it. I’m not good at adult conversations so sarcasm and jokes are usually my go to.

  67. make sexy shower time a recurring thing in the relationship. be honest and say hey my love you kinda smell like aminals let's both get clean and then act like aminals.

  68. Im confused how it takes a certain amount of time to cleanse your skin. Thats bs, she needs to stop cheaping out on body wash and or change her cleaning routine.

  69. If you ever stayed in shithole countries where people have have poor hygiene or do not believe in deodorants, you'll know that in a few months your nose starts to tune it out.

  70. I work in marine mammal care and the fish/salt water/sweat smell is pungent. I understand that I can't go anywhere or do anything until I've had a shower and even then it might still linger especially on my hands. I take great care to smell clean, but my husband also takes great care to understand that this comes with dating a keeper. It's something that comes with that person, and it may not be for everyone. It's ok if it bothers you, but just be honest with her! Even if she's become nose blind to it, she is hyper aware that the smell can be bothersome. I have made my own choice that when I get home I immediately remove my clothes and place them in the washing machine, and hit the shower. My husband may make a comment, but it's always in jest because the important thing is, I know he still supports my passion, so it's ok for me to have to make that concession.

  71. Man i worked at a grain elevator for almost 14 years and had to deal with some of the most god awful stank you could imagine. Between dead rodents, their poop, and rotting grain… it was pretty horrible. I lost my sense of smell for the majority of time i was there and it took a few weeks to get it back after i got a new gig.

  72. I worked as a keeper for 3 years. Is never go to a restaurant right from work without showering first.

  73. Get her the peppermint Dr Bronners. It's a life changer if you work with animals. Gets the stank out of clothing as well.

  74. On the bad days be honest and tell her. You can be funny about it but if its that bad she will probably thank you for telling her. She probably can't smell it herself sometimes. I'd bet she would appreciate a heads up when it's too much. Be gentle but honest about it.

  75. I worked for a person who was born with no sense of smell! One day I walked in and it smelled like death! He didn’t smell it at all I was gagging, turns out a raccoon got in the attic and had died. It was like 80 outside for 3 days. (So the attic was like 120 in the beating hot sun.) The thing had been cooking and simmering away in his own juices! This man couldn’t smell it at all… I was actually almost jealous….it was so bad my eyes burned I smelled it for hours after I left his home! It was bad! I’ve smelled gangrene infections and they were not this bad.

  76. I think the main part of “zoo smell” is like animal musk, makes sense that would be hard to get rid of as well since it’s used for marking and as such is probably meant to withstand rain and stuff in the wild

  77. I swear the overwhelming stench at our zoo (The San Diego Zoo) is from the flamingos. They reek. That’s what “zoo smell” comes to mind. I don’t notice any others. A couple of the bigger cats have strong urine smells which are horrific, but they don’t really linger and are just occasional.

  78. I don't see why this isn't a GREAT opportunity to say "babe work was really strong today, how about I help you wash some of that off?"

  79. Sounds like an excuse to jump in the shower with her. Def buy some oil-breaking cleaners, I remember there was some orange-based ones that were heavy duty for mechanics, I think that would help in this case too.

  80. I have this really crazy batshit lunatic idea that I think MIGHT be good advice in a relationship, but maybe I'm just being absurd.

  81. I get it. I tried seeing someone years ago who always seemed a little funky. I liked her enough to be interested but something was off. Soon I realized it wasn't just a bad day, it was a bad odor. A funk, a living smell more than skin deep. It was cat piss. A house filled with cats and overflowing unattended litter boxes. Her personal hygiene was okay but that environment seeped into everything.

  82. Just ask her for a job at the zoo so you smell as bad as her, problem solved. Two stanks happily ever after, sorta like Shrek and Fiona

  83. Do they have volunteer opportunities? Go shovel shit with her for a month and you’ll hate the smell for a different reason. Genuinely though, it could probably change your subconscious bias to the smell over time.

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