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My work colleagues and I went out for a meal after work (as you do). They all know about my anosmia. Because it was a Friday night, we ordered alcoholic drinks, mine was a Pina Colada. The waiter, who was also making the drinks brought our round over quickly. He handed everyone else’s drinks out, typically, mine was last. As the waiter handed me my drink he asks one of the questions I dread “please can you try the drink as I’m concerned I put too much alcohol in it?” I looked at him as though I was a deer caught in headlights. What do I say without having to explain that I can’t taste anything? It was like time froze around our table as all my colleagues looked at me. I quickly decided on a course of action. I took a sip of the drink and said ‘that’s perfect thank you’, what else was I supposed to do.

I was imagining patting myself on the back as he walked away when the worst possible thing happened. One of my work colleagues says ‘but you can’t taste anything so what’s the point?’ The waiter didn’t turn round but his steps did falter before continuing on towards the bar.

I nearly died of embarrassment on the spot and was hoping that the ground would open up and swallow me. The even worst part was that everyone else on my team just laughed without realising how I felt. I can look back and laugh now but the hurt is still there.