Alice, How Can I Convince My Neighbors I'm Not a Pothead?

Alice, How Can I Convince My Neighbors I'm Not a Pothead?

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Ask Alice
Dec 16, 2015
(Image credit: Shutterstock / Allard Laban)

Dear Alice,

Two months ago my friend and I moved into a beautiful basement apartment of a large old Victorian with six units. I love lighting candles and burning incense to create a calming ambiance in our home. Even though I wrote a very nice welcome letter to all the tenants of the house and included my phone number, the couple that lives directly above us has complained TWICE directly to our landlord that they smell MARIJUANA coming from our apartment! How do we talk to these people who've obviously never smelled pot before that A.) patchouli and pot do not smell the same B.) I gave them my number for reasons such as this. C.) And obviously we're not doing drugs. I can tell our landlord is getting annoyed and we're feeling kind of bullied! We don't complain when they let their dogs run around above our heads at 11:30pm every night. Do I knock on their door with incense in tow?

Signed,
Not a Pothead

Dear Not a Pothead,

You can put all this to rest by simply switching to popcorn-scented candles. Case closed!

If, however, you're simply mad for your present candle and patchouli scents, I think you and your roommate should knock on your neighbors' door and give your personal assurances that what they're smelling isn't pot. If it's the specific scent they dislike, you can either reconsider what you buy or you can just decide that you're okay with their disapproval. But it may be that that they're worried about the effects of secondhand smoke in which case you can give them your word of honor that their noses are mistaken. Either way, give them your phone number again so they can't feign not having it.

If they seem friendly, invite them down sometime for a coffee or cocktail and let them see and smell your not-pot patchouli in action.

Love,
Alice

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