I have definitive, conclusive, concrete, non-negotiable, absolute, irrefutable proof that I am still myself. The Body-Pods (or anybody/thing else) haven't taken over yet.
Here is how I know:
Last night I was laying on my bed watching The Office Season Five with my children -- it's how the four of us bond closer as a family (make of that what you will, I don't even care) -- when I smelled something burning. I sniffed. Definitely burning, but maybe outside. A few minutes later, I smelled a strong casserole. Hm? Then burning toast. I called to The Double B, who(m?) was in the other room. He obediently came to my aid. The conversation went something like this:
Me: I smelled something burning, then casserole, then burnt toast.
Double B: Really.
Double B: That's interesting.
Me: I know. Can't you smell it?
Double B: (sniffing) I don't smell anything.
Me: Could you go and make sure the kitchen is not on fire?
(He goes to make sure there are no flames licking at our cupboards. Returns)
Double B: Nothing is burning.
Me: Okay. Thanks, buddy. Except, I smell burnt toast again. What do you think that means?
Double B: I don't know. (He returns to his game.)
(Two minutes pass away)
Me: Benny! I smell chlorine!! Strong, strong chlorine!!!
(Double B returns to doorway)
Double B: Would you like me to stay in here with you?
Me: I think that might be a good idea.
(Double B lays down and proceeds to watch The Office Season Five with me)
Me: I smell burning toast again.
Double B: That's pretty weird.
Me: I think I may be exhibiting the early signs of a stroke.
Double B: What makes you say that?
Me: I think I read once that people who suffer a stroke smell burning before the event.
Double B: Hm.
Me: Do I look weird? I think something might be wrong with me!
Double B: Nope.
Me: Do you think you should watch me closely in case I start exhibiting warning signs? Because if you call within three hours of the stroke they can sometimes reverse the effects and I can come back.
Double B: I'll keep an eye on you.
And ... scene.
We then finished watching the last few episodes of The Office Season Five and laughed our heads clean off (that last moment with Jim and Pam... sigh of happiness!). Something about that show just cracks us up every time. I have a real fondness for Andy. Ben has a real fondness for Kevin. And we both are convinced that Dwight K. Sch-rute is the coolest dude ever.
I did not suffer a stroke, you'll be very relieved about that.
But it did prove something: I am, in fact, still Marie. There is no changing that fact. If I smell mysterious burning, I will honestly be concerned I am having a stroke. It's just the way I am.
And that is A-Okay.