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Below are edited excerpts from several emails to a friend regarding this topic. That friend urged me to make this public, so here it is.
I've spent quite a bit of time caring for my elderly parents in past years, including staying overnight in hospitals with them after operations.
In early 2009 I did that again, with my dad. And got quite a surprise!
Elsewhere on my site I discuss pheromones, which are basically natural scents given off by animals (including human beings) which can act as powerful sexual attractants to certain members of the opposite sex. It basically attracts you to a potential mate whose DNA combined with yours would likely create babies with stronger immune systems than either parent alone possesses.
But nobody but scientists pays attention to that part. For their other aspect is far more fascinating: pheromones are what all our love songs rave about (or lament). For pheromones can be as powerful as any drug on the planet in their effects. Two people whose pheromones are highly mutually attractive will often be certain they've each found their soul mate in this world.
As a teenager I got drowned in the pheromones of a beautiful cheerleader who sat just in front of me in a class for at least one hour a day for maybe six weeks once.
And I've never fully recovered. Evidence of that is plentiful on my site.
Back then I thought it was love. Now, in my fifties, I know it can help lead to love in the proper circumstances, but it can also cause tons of trouble for everyone involved too, breaking up marriages, and even causing crimes of passion involving murder at times. For pheromones at full intensity are not something to be trifled with. That's why sometimes people manage to avoid prison for 'crimes of passion', as the jury or judge themselves may know from experience the power of pheromones (among other mental aberrations).
Being under the effect of pheromones can be much like being on a hallucinogenic drug like LSD-- only maybe worse (or better, as the case may be: this can be a Heaven or Hell type of situation).
Like I say, I can still dimly remember my first time on the stuff, and was it potent!
Anyway, I got hit by some again at the hospital recently. It'd been so long since that happened to me I was momentarily dazzled and bewildered. Heck: I thought maybe I'd gotten so old that stuff didn't work on me anymore. Because I hadn't felt a peep of anything like that for decades. Literally! Decades!
The whole episode began in a large hospital waiting room where we (I and other family) delivered dad to the staff, and would end up sitting in for hours and hours and hours afterwards.
The lady nurse or assistant who was supposed to collect him walked into the nook where we were sitting and asked for him, but he'd gone to the restroom.
I explained that to her, and she said she'd just wait there for him then.
She seemed awfully excited, or hyper. I know some people are just like that, but still it seemed unusual. Or maybe I was getting a slight effect from her pheromones right then, and didn't realize it (I was several feet away, and there was no particular air movement in the room in my direction).
Maybe I only thought she was hyper, because of something going on in me at the time.
Although I'm unsure how old she was, she was definitely younger than me. And cute. But I've ignored stuff like that for literally decades now. So my main reaction to her remaining there and seemingly practically vibrating all over was to get nervous myself. Ha, ha. I mean, she seemed to be chattering a mile a minute to me and my family members, and I was thinking no way we could keep this up for long! Ha, ha. So I fairly quickly went off looking for dad to let him know some one was waiting for him.
Thankfully he showed up soon after, because I honestly didn't know how we'd keep the girl occupied much longer.
After they left, I commented to those with me that I'd never seen a nurse that perky before, and that it was like she'd drank 16 cups of coffee or something.
As I said before, she was cute. And seemingly charged up on caffeine. But I forgot all about her after that, and didn't even commit her face to memory, in any conscious fashion.
Roughly 24 hours later I was tired and groggy after just spending a fitful night trying to sleep in dad's hospital room. In my old age I have terrible insomnia anyway, and it seemed like the nurses were popping in every 15 minutes, sometimes noisily, all night. But I had managed to sleep a bit, due to utter exhaustion.
I went down to the cafeteria to try to find something with fiber in it, as all the white bread sandwiches of the place the day before was combining with my lack of sleep to cause me stomach problems.
Somebody behind me asked me how my dad was doing, and I think I somehow instantly recognized the voice as the hyper nurse. At that very instant I suddenly felt much better, and spun around like I was 25 again. I think I even smiled without realizing it, before I began moving. And there she was, this time standing close, maybe only a foot or less from me.
I hadn't been nearly that close to her in the waiting room. Never closer than three or four feet, I think.
In that instant she was stunningly beautiful to me. With a smile and eyes to rival any super star you ever saw in TV or films. A perfect visual for the phrase 'breathtaking'.
It was exactly the scene so many cheesy films try to portray on-screen with seductive music, make up, out-of-focus cameras, and slow motion video, with a fan blowing a woman's hair around. Only the real thing is a million times better.
This time I was surprised to see she was wearing glasses. Kind of old fashioned thick rimmed black frames. Which sent her cuteness quotient soaring with me (I've always had a thing for Saturday Night Live's geeky black frame glasses-wearing Tina Fey).
She seemed like something out of a wonderful dream.
We briefly discussed my dad, and I thanked her for her concern, and she returned to getting her own meal by moving here and there through the cafeteria. And I began wondering what the hell had just happened to me. I was thoroughly confused and disoriented by my unusual response to her presence. And couldn't understand why I liked her so much all of a sudden. I mean, it almost sickened me when we parted-- the difference between the moments was so stark.
Once again I found myself suddenly nervous regarding her, and actively tried to avoid running into her again as we both had to traverse the cafeteria area to put together our meals.
Then I began to realize what had happened. I'd been close enough to her this time to get caught in her pheromones field. Or else she was using a perfume suffused with that kind of stuff (though I don't recall detecting any overt scent). And those pheromones must have been a good fit for my DNA for all those infatuation signals to go off like that, to almost mimic a shot of adrenaline to my system.
When something like this happens, you feel compelled to do something about it. I may have actually tried to sit down with her to eat and talk, if another fellow she obviously knew didn't right then walk up and arrange the same thing for himself. Damn! He appeared to be a co-worker. But he might also have been something more. So I ate alone.
Stuff like this is enough to get an old fogey like me all torn up. Ha, ha. Because I sure do miss having a girl friend. And just a regular girl friend that didn't set any bells ringing at all would be awfully nice. But a bell-ringer like this...! Whoa! That's truly the stuff dreams are made of. People like that in your world can make life feel worth living for years to come. Maybe all the way to the end.
Of course, here I am stuck with tons of responsibilities and practically zero free time, as well as the limitations of having little extra money to spend on anyone-- no matter how much I like them.
Logically speaking, there's no room in my life for a woman.
That's too bad...for I'd sure like to sit down and talk with her, to see if there's some substance and commonality there to further things along. Heck: just being near to her seems like it'd keep me happy for a while! Ha, ha.
But of course she was most likely just being nice in that moment, like virtually all the nurses I've met the past 25 years. And wouldn't go out with me anyway. And I'm being silly and ridiculous and WAY too optimistic about my chances. It's just that after I felt what I did, it made me wonder if somehow she felt something too. Earlier, in the waiting room. For in hindsight, that seemed one possible explanation for her hyperactive demeanor.
Men have pheromones too. Which women may be prey to just like we are to theirs. But if she was reacting to me in the waiting room, I'd have to say my own pheromones have never ever worked that well on a woman before! Ha, ha. But I'd guess if she was reacting to anything at all, it wasn't my subliminal scent, but maybe my looks: like maybe I reminded her of someone she used to like a lot or something (I'm definitely not a particularly handsome fellow, so GOOD looks aren't something I possess to have affected her so).
But despite all the long odds against her mirroring my own feelings of attraction, if you step into the right pheromones field (as I did), it sure does make you WANT to make a move! Ha, ha. Damn!
Maybe the worst thing about it is I took so little notice of her the first time I met her, and was so dazzled by her eyes the second time, that I have no firm recollection of her face! Agh! I just fell into her eyes, and that was it!
In my memory there's barely more than a flash of her eyes and her smile from that moment. Because I was truly overwhelmed.
No: strike that. The worst thing about it is that at this rate, I'll be dead before I can get hit with pheromones like this again. Agh!
Nope: strike that too. The absolute worst thing is that even if she did like me too, a full-blown miracle would have to happen for us to get together. Maybe more than one! And miracles like that are even rarer than this girl is, in my universe.
And no: I don't even know her name. Which is probably for the best. The first time I met her it didn't matter. The second, I didn't have the presence of mind to look for any name tag, and probably couldn't have torn my eyes away from hers even had I thought of it.
How wonderful it must be for two people who encounter their pheromone match in one another-- and there's nothing stopping them from getting together.
And I now have one more reason to hate being unable to make very much money.
[At this point sometime later my friend replied; to their knowledge, they'd never experienced a pheromone rush themselves, but only the more usual cues of attraction (visual, verbal, etc.); they'd also spent some time in a hospital themselves recently, noting the cheerfulness and apparent youth and attractiveness of the nurses there; and so thereby wondering if older and less attractive nurses were being squeezed out of the workforce.
Below is my response.]
I first wrote up the page below some years back, due to my gratitude for how nurses at multiple hospitals had treated my elderly parents:
In praise of a national treasure: American nurses
I still see some older nurses at the hospitals I've frequented. I suspect the tilt in average ages has something to do with burnout and exhaustion. For I'm sure I'd get burnt out and exhausted treating all those sick and hurt and suffering people with such tender loving care as I've seen these women do.
As for seeming unusually attractive, keep in mind ANYONE who treats you especially nice, ESPECIALLY when you badly need or want it, can't help but seem somewhat more attractive to you. So helpful and attentive nurses get a big boost right there in general appeal-- as well as sex appeal.
Too, many nurses may actually seem younger than they are simply due to their display of physical stamina and high level of activity around their patients. At times it can almost be like you've got a cheerleader squad jumping around your bed. Like when a couple nurses manhandled dad to reposition him in his bed a few weeks back (he seemed to enjoy it. Ha, ha.)
As for cheerfulness, positive attitudes have been proven to have some theraputic and healing effect. So it's a natural tool in a nurse's repertoire. I mean, such attitudes can't save someone all on their own-- but they can help at the margins. That's a fact.
I've seen reports which indicate there can't be much squeezing out of older nurses going on-- because there's a nationwide shortage. Thus, quite a few of the people you see around the hospital likely aren't official nurses, but 'fill-in-the-gap' personnel, meant to do anything and everything about a real nurse's job which can be safely off-loaded that way. One hint of this is a whole raft of new acronyms for the personnel you encounter, among which registered nurse will be much rarer than you expect.
A few days after getting dad out of the hospital I had to take him to the emergency room for an apparent complication. Thank goodness it didn't turn out to be anything serious!
Thanks for the comments on the pheromones story. I'm torn about posting it. Partly because I still harbor hopes of doing something about it (that's powerful stuff!).
It's no fun at all being a lonely old man.
Yes, I know what you mean about the 'normal' turn ons. That Tina Fey geek-glasses thing is one of my own.
But an honest-to-God pheromone rush: that's what all the most wildly popular love songs are about. And with good reason!
I think I've only had three such rushes in my entire life-- counting this one. The previous two were roughly 30 years ago. The worst was that cheerleader I write about on-site. I had to sit soaking in her pheromones field for an hour a day, 5 days a week, for maybe six weeks I believe, as I sat immediately behind her in a class we shared. NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!
The effect was so strong it almost entirely obliterated my intellectual and analytical capabilities, as well as my free will.
I truly never have fully recovered from that one. OW!
When that happens to a kid, all they know is that they must be in Love (the capital L kind).
Luckily (or unluckily?) my second exposure came not long at all after my full six weeks exposure to the first-- and so the second person's effects were somewhat weakened or diluted by those of she who preceded them. Plus, her parents wouldn't let her date me, which kept us apart. And the more physical distance inbetween you, the less potent the pheromones are.
(Too close for comfort offers an online account of my second exposure)
Dad had seemed all right after I stayed with him that first night after his operation, and so I returned home for the next several days. He was also getting lots of visits from other family, and had explicitly told me he didn't need me to stay.
After a day or so though, I found myself almost pleading with him over the phone to have me come stay again (mostly because I wanted a chance to see that woman again-- but I didn't tell him that). But he wouldn't hear of it. And there was no indication that I needed to be there, for him.
So I didn't return to the hospital until Friday, to help retrieve him at release. As there were plenty of delays in getting him actually discharged, I took the opportunity to scour the place for the nurse or assistant or whatever she was.
I wanted to formally introduce myself, and get her name. Maybe buy her a meal in the cafeteria in exchange for a conversation.
Yes, I was fully willing to make a complete and utter fool of myself there! Ha, ha.
I managed to make three complete rounds of all the places I'd seen her in before, during the hours before dad's discharge. Even skirting the edges of entering 'staff-only' areas. But I couldn't find her. I was both disappointed and relieved at the same time (ha, ha).
I contemplated returning early the next Monday or Tuesday to see if I could find her then-- for that's my only leads to ever contacting her again. But alas, there were so many obstacles. And then I turned out having to take dad to the ER that Sunday. So that seemed to make it clear that I couldn't take off on such a wild goose chase any time soon.
But I couldn't stand to do absolutely nothing in regards to the issue. So I channeled my newfound energy in my spare moments into doing whatever I could think of to boost my personal fortunes online, and maybe better my chances at success all round in days to come.
The trouble was, I'd already pretty much tried everything I could think of for that. And there simply isn't anything that brings big results fast, like I wanted. GRRR!
So the main thing I ended up doing was finding some web sites possibly receptive to linking to me (preferably sites with tons of traffic of their own), and sending them spiels for the particular pages of mine I thought they'd like best. And tried to do this for all my sites across-the-board at once.
Yes: I was actively selling myself here. In an effort to boost my traffic in a big way, fast.
I simply didn't know what else to do.
My logic (flawed as it may be) was this: so far as I can tell, my content is at least as good as many other sites that seem to be raking in the traffic. So maybe the problem isn't my content, but my marketing/networking.
Plus, I've known for a long time I'm weak in the marketing/networking department.
So I tried to use that pheromones encounter as a source of motivation for tackling that problem.
Amazingly enough, the girl's face has begun to recoalesce in my memory as the blinding light from her pheromones blast fades. At first all I could remember were her eyes and her smile. Turns out she does have very fine features. Seemingly a classic beauty, face structure-wise. So I guess I'm attracted to her aesthetically too.
(Doesn't this sound weird to you about my memory? It sure does to me!)
So have I gotten any traffic benefit from my spiels? Not that I can tell so far. But there's practically always been some lag time with such things, even when they did work a bit, when I tried them in the past.
It simply amazes me that something like a one or two minute close up exposure to her pheromones had such a huge impact on me. And now in hindsight, I wonder if I didn't also feel some effect in the previous encounter, when she was farther away. And that was why I felt nervous, and there seemed to be so much energy about her. It may be my perceptions were being affected even then-- just not in the big way that happened when she stood closer to me in the cafeteria.
Decades-long memories simply can't do justice to such phenomena!
On a funny side note, I ran across some sort of article somewhere a while back where the Pentagon had done some research into possibly dropping pheromone-like stuff onto enemy troops that would make them suddenly find their fellow soldiers sexually irresistable. I think it said even if the troops didn't act on it, it would either be a terrible distraction or a terrible demoralizer to them, thereby making it easier to defeat them. And I have to say this sounds entirely plausible to me.
[At this point sometime afterwards my friend replied, requesting clarification on the exact nature of pheromones and their effects, among other things; they also seconded the idea that I try to arrange at least one more encounter with her.
Below is my response.]
No. One person's pheromones only have this kind of impact on certain others of the opposite sex: not all of them. And it's unpredictable who. It has to be a fairly exact match, like a specific key to a particular lock.
Science says it's all based on differences in immune systems. Our personal immune systems seek out their most perfect complement: someone else with an immune system which-- if combined with our own in a child-- will likely produce progeny with an immune system superior to both its parents.
It's when we 'smell' this 'perfect' complementary immune system that all the bells and whistles go off. So according to my immune system, any kid produced by me and the nurse would be better able to stave off infections than we ourselves can.
Unfortunately, these bells and whistles can be one-sided. When they're mutual, that's usually the stuff all the love songs are about-- and can be what makes life worth living for lots of folks. Because your immune system rewards you with the ultimate in pleasure if you get together with these people. At least for an average of 9 months to a year or so, when it usually wears off. After that you better have more than animal attraction to keep you together. Plus, after that both partners will once again be vulnerable to a whole new pheromone attraction from a stranger. Yikes!
I do know for a fact there's been certain artificial scents with pheromones added made available as expensive perfumes-- at least way back in 1990. It's conceivable that a lab could concoct such a scent that would drive a large percentage of men crazy, by simply dumping enough different pheromone keys into it.
Naturally though, I think each woman's pheromones will only strike a very small percentage of men in a big way-- except maybe where she meets a family of related males who are all receptive due to similar DNA (see how this explains lots of adultery with in-laws?)
If the pheromone thing isn't present (or after it's come and gone; or air currents and distance are stifling its effect), that's when looks and behavior and general circumstances take over in attraction.
Oh yes, she (the nurse) could be just as oblivious to it as I am aware. That's the great tragedy of the phenomena. Statistically it's probably much more likely to be one-sided than mutual. I've seen some writers talk about the 'tragedy of the male sex drive' since we're almost always 'on', while women are often the opposite. But a non-mutual (or impossible to consummate) pheromone attraction is far worse than the normal differences in sex drive. Agh!
Oh yes. I definitely want to at least verify she's already taken, or not interested. Get to put on my 'utter fool' hat in public. But even that bit of ambition has immense obstacles against it at the moment. If only I'd had a faster response time in the cafeteria, I might could have made that determination then and there, and in a much more casual and economical way. But I was in shock! Literally staggered! Ha, ha. And in the one or two minutes it took me to realize what was going on, that other guy had already arranged to share a meal with her. Agh!
But while I'm stymied, I'm trying like the dickens to get some traction with my web site to build myself up a bit better financially, in case I do get to talk with her again.
[Here my friend replied again; writing that playing the utter fool here would be better than not, and thereby never knowing how it might have went. My answer is below.]
Yes, it would. Most definitely! Unfortunately, I've been unable to make any improvement in my overall situation (unrelated to the mystery woman), which means it continues to deteroriate. While I wouldn't mind dragging down enemies with me in any downward spiral, I definitely wouldn't do that to anyone I like, if I could avoid it. So I'm now trying to let go of all notions in regards to her.
Plus, the practical window of opportunity here must be closing fast-- if it was ever open to start with.
Fortunately, the pheromones effect continues to fade. But the last week and a half any time I saw on TV an attractive woman's face or a woman in a situation you could empathize with, I would see the visage of that lovely nurse super-imposed over it. AGH!
Man! What a strong effect from merely a minute and a half of standing within a foot or so of her! No wonder that six week saturation in high school practically killed me! Ha, ha. That's some of the most awfully potent stuff on the planet! When I wrote about it on my site some years back, I was working off my cold and dim recollections of it from some 30+ years ago. The nurse of weeks back has now made me better appreciate what my poor teen self went through back then! Wow!
You know, since this stuff can still affect a 50+ year old, that brings up another point: old guys like me simply don't get fired up as easily as young whipper-snappers. I.e., something like pheromones may practically be necessary to make us like a woman as much as a younger man might for non-pheromone reasons.
I don't know if your husband will agree with me, but I believe practically everything of a substantial and difficult nature we men ever do, is either directly or indirectly related to our desire for (or to please) a woman. That is, we're always trying to obtain (or hold onto) a particular woman we want. Girlfriend, or wife. And even the worst cads of us can usually be viewed as simply trying to obtain or hold onto multiple girlfriends or wives, as opposed to a single one. It's all for you women!
My own desire to get rich and/or famous has always been primarily so I'd finally have the resources with which to woo and win my preferred mate. Yeah, sure, I'd like to have more money for medical bills and other stuff, etc., but winning that unknown love of my life has always been the pinnacle of my ambitions.
Now, here, I've possibly met such a woman after 30 long years, and I don't have my fortune or even a viable business operation with which to support a romantic venture. That's what I hate the most about all this.
If I were a puppy dog, you could say the universe is now using the nurse to rub my nose in my failure (to use a (mixed?) metaphor).
[My friend responded again, saying her husband did agree that we men usually attempt all our greatest feats in order to either woo or keep a particular woman; and they support whatever I decide to do, including letting it go; however, they thought others would like to see my writing on the matter, and I should post it online if I could bear it. My answer, below.]
Well, since I'm being forced by circumstances to give up on her, maybe it'd be OK to post some edited version of this stuff somewhere. Only problem is, once it's posted, you can't unpost it. I.e., if by some miracle all this got turned around sometime after posting, the publishing of this stuff could possibly cause me a problem with her. Yeah, yeah, an ABSURD thought, the facts would say. But there has been a few things in my past which not only seemed preposterous before they happened, but preposterous after, too. And yet, they happened anyway!
And it's awfully easy for a post to be immortal online, no matter what the original writer decides to do about it. And it's getting easier all the time.
It might be tricky editing such a piece to successfully deal with that (admittedly) remote possibility. Plus, the more real-life details you remove or change, the more life that drains from the account...
I've ended up changing very little. Since I never knew even her first name, and she probably doesn't remember my dad's (her patient), there seems no way she'd ever see this text. But her presence is still strong enough in my consciousness (as of 3-15-09) that if by some miracle I managed to turn my business around any time soon, she WOULD be getting a visit from me for at least one last conversation! If I could ever find her again, that is. Just in case she's 'the One'.
No self-respecting man could do less.
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