Memories in alcohol

Walking through an absurdly large and diverse (product-wise) Kroger today, I was struck with a sudden and momentary shift back to Japan, as I passed one of the drink aisles….

There was something about its seeming chaotic orderliness, and its crowded feel that took me back to the alcohol aisles in the store near my house in Japan, and, at first, of this one particular store near the train station in a nearby town where I went to help with English stuff…

And the memory was really nice… it was a very good feeling of transportation, and I felt very much at ease, belonging, and comfortable…

Weird to see Japan as such things, but I also totally get it – it is part of me, and certain points of life were stable there that are not stable for me here and now, thus the feeling of stability and comfort from the memory, despite the fact that Japan as a whole was kind of nuts and really hard on me… 🙂

The aisle…

It is definitely more spaced out in the middle than Japan’s comparable aisle, but the setup and feelings were quite the same for me… who’d’a thunk alcohol could be so warm and fuzzy for me? 😂

Post-a-day 2019

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Friends

Tonight, we had a dinner: three moms and three daughters.

The mom’s could have talked all night, if we had let them.

We daughters could have talked all night, if one of us hadn’t had to get to bed for an early morning and long day tomorrow.

When we switched to any combination of us talking to one another, the conversation hit a new seemingly infinite possibilities for continuing all night.

In short, it was a dinner of friends.

I have felt for a while now that there is always something that can be said with friends… yes, silence is comfortable, but it is only there when wanted…, otherwise, there is always something new and exciting to be discussed – friends often can hardly wait to share about this or that, and they love listening to the this or thats of one another, and they always inspire new this and thats for one another to share…

With non-friends, we run out of things to say, and then sit in odd silence (which is in great contrast to the comfortable silence that can occur among friends).

And tonight was a night of friends, despite the fact that I’d only met the one mother-daughter once, and my mom hadn’t met them before tonight.

There’s something about friends that doesn’t necessarily have to do with time… more a matter of connection, I guess it is…

I’m not sure we three daughters could have been much different from one another on paper…, but we connected so comfortably, that we might as well have been friends for years.

🙂

Yes, it was a very good night.

I love true friends.

Post-a-day 2019

Sniffingly a homemaker

Walking through Target tonight, I found myself moving in a sort of comfortable, meditative state… It was late, and I was rather tired from the day… I took several times over the usual time it takes me to obtain an equal number and variety of items at the store… and I somehow didn’t mind it…  I guess this just supports my theory that I secretly – read ‘subconsciously’ – want to be a homemaker-housewife.  When I first moved into my own apartment several years ago, and then again in Japan (when I had to start from, basically, scratch), I felt a certain flow of mental chemicals that delighted me through and through, in a comfortable, this is where I belong sort of way whenever I was shopping for apartment-related items, house items.  And it isn’t to say that I belong only as a homemaker or anything, but simply that it is somewhere of many somewheres where I do belong.

Tonight was no exception.  I moved into a new home and with a new person yesterday, you see.  She has most everything that goes in a house, and I have very little of that sort of stuff, so the match-up is rather good on that front (not to mention that we actually get along really well in the first place, because that isn’t the point).  However, my whole OCD compulsions have me need my own cleaning supplies. —You see, it isn’t enough just to have cleaning supplies.  They must also be nice to the planet, nice to the nose and eyes, and themselves clean (their containers), while kept in a clean space.  Show me a bottle of cleaner that has been under a cabinet and has a thin layer of dust on it, and I won’t even touch it until you have cleaned the bottle.  I probably also with have slight inner daytime terrors of the fact that the bottle is dirty.  Anyway, back to the main point of this all… —-  So, I was at Target, seeking out these cleaning supplies for me for my new home.

I walked calmly, despite the inward thought of how late it must be.  I felt confidence every time I set down the basket and gave a once-over to a certain type of product.  I gracefully selected bottles whose scents I wanted to test, and euphorically sampled their natural essential oil-filled smells.  I smiled at each, and even mmm-ed a few, closing my eyes to embrace the scent.  I usually take my time with scents – I even stop to smell flowers much more often than is common, just to smell them and to indulge myself.  It’s alway sa bit of a bummer whenever I find flower bunches at stores that don’t even smell (or don’t smell good).  Whole Foods is one of those stores.

Anyway, so I take my time with (good) smells, enjoying them, allowing my brain to do any work it feels appropriate whenever it crosses a familiar scent.  I was told when I was quite young that scent was the strongest sense for recalling memory, and I’ve always kept that in mind for some reason, delighting in the silly scents that bring back memories.  (Like how the hand soap in this one bathroom in the house where I once nannied smelled like my grandmother on my dad’s side.  She hadn’t been alive for years at that point, and yet I had no doubt that it was the same smell that was usually on her, though I never seemed consciously to have noticed her having a specific scent before that moment.)

So, I was smelling slowly and comfortably, and enjoying all the familiar and new scents.  One in particular, though I definitely didn’t want it as a cleaning supply, was the replication of some regular smell from some point in my childhood.  I took a picture and sent it to my mom, telling her to go find one and to sniff it, so she could help me figure out why the scent is so specifically familiar.  It was labeled as being scented “radish”, however it was not merely the scent of radishes that was familiar – it was that specific combination.  Perhaps my mother had used that cleaning supply brand and scent at some point.  Though, I’m not too sure of that being very likely, because it seems to be a newer scent from this brand, and because it relates to a specific summer-type memory for me, as opposed to just lots of childhood cleaning days.  I’m looking forward to figuring out that one.  It might take me a little while, a few months’ even, but I am confident that, as with others in the past, I will figure it out.

Post-a-day 2018

 

Pallet Ingenuity

I’m spending tonight on a little pallet of pillows on the floor, and it is reminding me of that night I had in Japan, where we had all only just moved to Japan, and so, when I spent the night at a friend’s apartment, she had to make me a pallet out of her clothes, since there was nothing else to use for sleeping on the hard, wood-like floor.

We got creative and resourceful, and it was great.

😛

Post-a-day 2018

True to your heart

Guy: ‘C—, you know, there are people over here you could be serving, instead of just hanging out here,’ he says teasingly.

Hannah: ‘Uh, she is absolutely doing her job.  She is giving us, the guests, exactly what we want, and, right now, that is her attention.’

Guy: ‘Well, is there anything I can do for you?’

Hannah: ‘That depends.  What are you offering?’

Guy: ‘I’m offering whatever you’re thinking.  What would you like for me to offer?’

Hannah: ‘…We could discuss it.’

[laughter from both]

………………………………………………….

How’s that for silly flirtatious conversation in the wine garden?  It’s amazing how wonderful life seems to go when I just let things be and rest calmly within myself.  That was a brief glimpse into the many wonderful conversations that occurred the other day/evening/night in my life, when I was comfortable and at ease with and within myself.  I love being me/myself.  🙂

Post-a-day 2018

In the raw… not

Sometimes I wonder if my OCD isn’t the only thing I have.  I had a sort of episode today, which is what called to mind this idea (though I have had it regularly for years).

I had just showered, and was using the bathroom briefly before dressing.  My mom had just shown me a dress she was considering for my cousin’s upcoming wedding, while I had been wrapped in my towel.  When she came back toward my bathroom a minute or so later, telling me to look at another outfit, I told her to wait a minute, because I was peeing.  She, in good humor, and not thinking much into it, said, ‘No, look at it now.  I have it on already,’ and began to open my bathroom door, to show me the outfit.

Without having my chance to think anything through, I had thrown my arms around me protectively, and was almost yelling – not actual yelling, but much louder and more panicky than regular speech – to tell her to shut the door, and saying that she doesn’t ‘get it’; I was serious about waiting a minute.

I was almost in tears.  My mind was able to view the situation with sanity – What on Earth, girl?  It really is okay that your mother see you naked and/or on the pot.  What just happened in here, darling?  My reaction, however, had been instantaneous and automatic, leaving no attempt to consult with my brain on the matter before responding to the situation.

I went to talk to my mom about it afterward, and my eyes teared while we hugged.  It had taken me a while to go see her outfit, because something had me feel a need to be fully dressed before going to see her, as opposed to my usual comfort level of a bra and underwear being just fine.  It was like an odd means of making up for having felt exposed – compensating by over-dressing.

Growing up, I never was very comfortable with nudity of my own body.  My female family members were all incredibly comfortable with being nude around the house.  I’m not sure I went a week at any given point in my childhood without seeing at least one of them walking around naked.  And it never disturbed me.  I even marveled at how comfortable they were with being nude, and respected it.  I think I even thought that I would be so comfortable by the time I was around their then-ages (college-aged).

It never happened, though. College came and went, and here I stand totally uncomfortable with my own nudity around others.  In college, I was surprised that more girls in the dorm didn’t walk around more often in their towels.  I had just learned so well from my sisters how to make a towel stay in place wrapped around my body, that I spent plenty of time down the hall with friends, their constantly wondering and asking how my towel stayed up.  I didn’t even have to consider if I were comfortable in a towel – I just was.  In the same way, I suppose, I never even considered the idea of being comfortable nude – I just wasn’t.

And I imagine that all of that is somewhat normal for a good chunk of my society.  Some girls strip down entirely in the locker rooms after water polo practice, and some just don’t.  I have actively pursued being comfortable with my own nudity, just in my own presence, over the years, in hopes of 1) learning to appreciate my own body, and 2) being comfortable with certain close family and friends being around when I’m changing or have to use the bathroom.  (There are just certain scenarios that are part of life, and I can’t seem to see myself possibly functioning in them.)

But, just to throw in a sort of curve ball, let’s talk about how I am fine with other cultures and my own nudity.  I specify: Bath houses in Japan and a topless beach in Spain all had my full participation.  I was slightly nervous initially, but the social acceptance of the behavior allowed me to accept mentally the task.  I even appreciated the ease and comfort of the accepted nudity.  For the topless beach, I wasn’t with friends, so that made it loads easier. But the bath houses in Japan were easy enough to do with multiple friends, after my initial exposure to how the whole thing worked.  So, social context makes a huge difference in my comfort levels, it seems.  In my apartment in Japan, with the same friend with whom I had hung out naked in an onsen, I would not be found nude… take away the bath house, and the comfort disappears with it.

So, sometimes I seem to be in good shape and totally normal.  I changed at the YMCA the other week after swimming, and I did it in a way that was much more exposed and easy-going than I ever would have done in the past.  Perhaps, despite the fact that the general social context has changed (not Japan anymore), since it is a changing area at the gym, I still can grasp the behavior mentally, and participate to a certain degree, after my experiences in Japan.  However, since it is not Japan, and the general social context has changed in terms of nudity acceptability, I am only okay with it, because no one I know is around to notice me.  Add a family member to the equation, and I’d bet that I would be wrapped up or in a bathroom stall while changing clothes.

And I think all of that is somewhat normal, too.  However, when something like today happens, where it is not just a matter of my being uncomfortable, but a matter of my having a panicked, immediate reaction to the situation, I wonder if there is something more to it.

Post-a-day 2017