people believing they're unobserved

Concerning people in their 'secret' state, i passed a cubicle at work at the exact moment that the woman who worked in it happen to lift up her purse and smell of it.

 

She saw me go by and i slowly backed up and asked, "Did you just smell your purse?"

 

"You know," she laughed, "I did. You caught me sniffing my purse."

 

"Do you mind if i ask why?"

 

"It's kinda funny. My mother-in-law smelled my purse yesterday and i just remembered that and so wanted to see what she was smelling."

 

We both laughed and though i was tempted to bring out my wallet and sniff it, i did not. I walked off. When i told a friend about the encounter she asked bluntly, "Well, what did it smell like?"

 

That, for some reason, i felt was none of my business. I wonder why?

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Taken on October 19, 2007