I love garlic. I love roasted garlic, sautéed with olive oil, and mixed into just about everything except chocolate.

I don’t think this is a bad thing. In addition to tasting wonderful, garlic is reported to have lots of health benefits and healing properties. Word has it that garlic can lower your blood pressure and improve bone health. Supposedly, it can even shorten the length of the common cold and treat hair loss.

The only thing it’s not good for, of course, is your breath.

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I was reminded of this fact at lunch one day after I had a big plate of pasta-laden garlic. Without access to a toothbrush, mouthwash or mint, I was a veritable walking breath-bomb. I was so potent, I was pretty sure if I opened my mouth, I could kill any vampire within a ten-mile radius.

Apparently, also, my family.

“Oh. My. God. Your breath is HORRIBLE,” announced my daughter when I leaned over to hug her. “Close your mouth. Move away. Move further away. Like, another state.”

I grinned. “Come on. It’s not THAT bad.”

I breathed in the direction of my son. He recoiled.

“Mom, I think you just killed half my brain cells,” he said as he staggered backwards.

“Get a mint, or maybe a hundred mints.”

“Kiss me,” I said to my husband as I puckered up.

He grimaced. “No offense, honey, but I’d rather lock lips with the dog!”

I could take a hint. Not that anyone was beating around the bush. Clearly I was having a breath problem. And until I did something about it, my nasty garlic halitosis and I were not welcome in these parts.

The advantage, of course, was that my breath pretty much insured me some time to myself. As a mother, that was a pretty attractive benefit. However, it wasn’t long before I found I was even offending myself. I decided I needed to do something to rejoin the non-garlic-stinking portion of the human race.

Unfortunately, while I’d had enough of the garlic, the garlic hadn’t had enough of me. I brushed, I flossed, I gargled with mouthwash and then ate a dozen breath mints. But apparently, the garlic lingered on.

“Kiss me,” I said to my husband.

He kissed. Mouth closed.

“Still there, huh?” I said.

“Yep,” he said, popping a stick of gum in his mouth.

Deciding that the usual ways of dealing with bad breath weren’t going to cut it, I consulted the Internet. One website said to eat fresh parsley. But when it got close to my mouth, the parsley wilted from my garlic breath. Another site recommended drinking lemon juice. But then I simply had lemon-scented garlic breath.

Finally I realized that I was just going to have to wait it out until my breath had a chance to rebound from the garlic assault.

In the meantime I’d hang out with the one person who wouldn’t mind: The dog.

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