I don’t like the smell of lilacs.

There, I’ve said it. My mother-in-law would stone me if she knew. We have lilacs all around the neighborhood, and they’re pretty when they bloom, but I don’t like the smell. I’ve never liked floral scents of any kind–some are okay, but none make me really happy. I like fruit scents and food scents and woodsy scents. Lilacs bother me.

We have two lilac trees. One is in an inoffensive corner and I don’t care about it one way or the other. The other was planted between the driveway and the house, doubtless by some previous owner who brought home a twenty-inch stick and said, “Hey, there’s plenty of space right here!” and regretted it ten years later. We’ve had to cut back the branches twice to keep it from spreading out over the driveway, and that’s both sad and annoying. So we were going to cut it down.

But then a coworker posted a “Lilac tree wanted” notice on the bulletin board. “Wanted: dark purple or white lilac tree, full-grown if possible. We took a tree out of our backyard and there’s a big hole, and I want a lilac but I don’t want to wait.” I told her that mine was light purple, but she was welcome to it if she wanted it, and she must not have gotten any other offers, because she and her sister and their husbands came to take it away.

Good-bye, lilac. I hope your new owner appreciates you more than I did (and can keep you alive; I didn’t like the way her husband and brother-in-law were hacking at your roots to get you out). I’m going to replace you with something small.

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