When I was a kid, back in the old days before VCR's (can you hear my rocking chair creaking?), we would eagerly anticipate Christmas time because of the Christmas specials on TV. I loved Rudolph and Grinch and Charlie Brown's Christmas tree, but the big favorite at our house was The Sound of Music, which always came on around the holidays. Mom would pop a huge bowl of popcorn and we would get to stay up late to watch it clear until the end. (That reminds me. At a wedding shower once people were sharing in-law horror stories and one of my friends said that HER in-laws would pop a big bowl of popcorn and pass it around—and when each person got the bowl he or she would stick his or her TONGUE INTO THE BOWL TO GET OUT A BITE OF POPCORN!!!!!!! I think this person won the prize for craziest in-laws. But I digress.)
Well, I was going to be Liesl when I grew up. I memorized "I am Sixteen Going on Seventeen" and all of the choreography to that song. And once I was sixteen I actually did find me a boyfriend who was seventeen-going-on-eighteen, but he thought that movie was cheesy and never would sing the song with me. Cheesy? Sound of Music, cheesy? Dumb guy. (By the way, this particular ex turned out "very ill; very ill indeed." No wonder.)
ANYWAY, the fact that this movie came on during the holidays must be the reason that someone decided that "A Few of My Favorite Things" is a Christmas song. So, in honor of the season, I propose that we discuss a few of our favorite things here.
Theme #1: Smells.
I have been thinking about smell lately because I am going to have sinus surgery this week. I have always had a very sensitive nose, and although that is often a bad thing to have, it is sometimes a blessing. I'm amazed at how clearly scenes can come back to me when I smell familiar smells. The smell of the fog machine at dance clubs, for instance. Or the smell of the black leather coat that a guy I once dated wore (NOT the dumb anti-cheesy guy; THIS guy actually knew all the words to every song in Sound of Music AND could hold my hand just right as I leapt from park bench to park bench). Or hospital soap. Such memories! I wonder if the part of our brain that processes smells is close to the emotional center.
Here are a few of my favorite smells:
1. Coffee. I love the smell of coffee. I think it's because that smell means that I'm in an airport or hotel or on a cruise--travelling somewhere fun.
2. Sprinklers hitting the cement in summer.
3. Onions cooking. (Also all the usual good cooking smells like bread baking and chocolate cake and wassail and garlic bread.)
4. The pear/raspberry lotion that someone gave me when I was post-partum.
5. Jergens lotion (means Mom to me)
6. Wet sagebrush.
7. The cheap purple "fabuloso" cleaner that the hispanic housecleaner used in the house where I was employed as a nanny.
8. Campfire. Also, bacon cooking over said campfire in the morning. Also, the camper and the kerosene lantern and everything else to do with camping (except the porta-potty).
9. Old book smell.
10. The fennel that grew in the student housing complex in Berkeley.
Now it's your turn. What are your favorite smells?