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

 

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Middle School Men

I used to fake a friend’s name in middle school.  I did.  To clarify, I faked his name in writing.  I didn’t know how it was spelled, and I never worked up a way to find out (and to remember) how to write it.

Traditionally, I always wrote people’s names clearly.  Sure, my handwriting was sloppy and small and almost always in cursive.  However, I took the time to write people’s names, oftentimes in print, and much better than my standard note-taking, squinty script.  So, when it came to this one friend’s name, I faked a sloppiness that was not my own.

See, regularly, when he wrote his own name, he connected the last two letters together somewhat, making it unclear as to whether it was a hurried -an or -on at the end of his name.  It was a somewhat irregular name, and so I had no basis for comparison.  Plus, the pronunciation didn’t help – there were plenty of foreign-like names that had an -an sound like a US English -on.  (Take Han Solo for example.)  To top it off, the first note he gave me, whenever he signed his name, I couldn’t tell which way his name was spelled.  And, since I saw it that way first, that was what stuck.

I had heard how people spelled his name wrong all the time, and I had seen it spelled by others both ways.  I was not about to make that same mistake.  Therefore, I just threw in a stab of – and I say stab casually, but it truly was painful for me – sloppiness whenever I wrote his name in particular, and no one ever had to find out.

(Until now, of course, but that is beside the point.  These sorts of things mattered among young people learning to become friends in middle school.)

It was kind of funny, really, remembering all of this tonight.  It all came to me, because of something similar about slightly illegible writing, but, because it was from middle school, I ended up with the song “sk8r boi” by Avril Lavigne in my head (a middle school hit).  As I thought about the song, I happened to notice how my middle school was somewhat the reverse of the “sk8r boi” scenario.  The nerd-esque boy in the ever-present UT jacket that seemed to conceal any shirt he ever wore – oops… I digress – now, he seemed to want me (and everyone knew it).  I semi-wanted him, but I declined because he was not the cool kid, so to speak; he didn’t have the skater boy edge to go along with his book brains.  (I didn’t actually like the skater boys at my school either, but my brothers roller skated and skate boarded a little, and their general coolness was my standard for what was needed in a desirable guy [and still is], in addition to brains.)

I somewhat cared about what all my friends thought about him, but that totally wasn’t my reasoning.  I just didn’t actually have a crush on the guy.  We were classmates, and I had a blast going back and forth in contest with him over having the highest grade in class (math class for sure, I remember).  But he didn’t have what I desired – he was just a half package, so to speak, not the whole thing.  Come to think of it, that’s how I’ve felt about most any guy I’ve known.  Perhaps that’s part of why I’ve never really been in any kind of dating relationship – I’m only looking for the whole package.  Anything less is fine for a friend or acquaintance, but not for dating.

huh… not quite where I expected this thought line to go tonight… 😛

Post-a-day 2018

Rocks with that?

I was reminded today of how I used to have a chunk of charcoal in my water bottle.  I haven’t thought much about that at all recently, (however, I might start doing it again) but apparently the lacrosse team I used to help coach thinks of it often.

First off, the charcoal in the water bottle is something I learned from Japan, though, via my brother before I moved there (and then it was emphasized while I lived there).  It has to do with cleaning up the water, essentially, from what I recall.  (Note: It is not drinking charcoal mixed with water.  It is a stick of this specific charcoal that sits in the water bottle, so that its pores can absorb unwanted stuff from the water.)

Anyway, so I had this stick of charcoal in my water bottle.  I carry my water bottle pretty much everywhere with me in life, so lacrosse practice was included back when I was coaching (and teaching).  Apparently, one of the girls has held on to the fact that I had ‘some kind of rocks’ in my water bottle, though I have doubts as to whether she recalls what the ‘rocks’ actually were (the stick had broken in half, so there were actually two pieces in the bottle, instead of one, but they didn’t really look like rocks).  In memory of my water bottle, in a sense, that particular girl regularly drops rocks into other people’s water bottles, telling them that it is healthy, and reminding them of how I did it.

Yes, my wonderful lifestyle rubs off in the best of ways.  😛  I guess it gives us a new meaning for ‘on the rocks’, now.

Post-a-day 2018

Floor Hockey Rockstars

I had forgotten until recently that I used to play street hockey with one of my brothers.  We just would rollerblade together and pass the ball or puck to each other, or practice rollerblading with the sticks as fast as we could and then with the sticks and ball/puck.  It was fun.  And, you see, I remembered this, because I was trying to figure out how I had been so good at floor hockey in gym class in ninth grade, even though I had never done it in school before then.  And I thought of that memory, because I saw at the YMCA the other girl in that freshman gym/health class who was really good at floor hockey (and definitely more intense about it than anyone else), which had been our first sport of the school year.  Her name is Kristina.  It was really good having someone else in that class who enjoyed sports for the sport of them, and who was naturally good at most sports, and who didn’t get an attitude about any of it.  We didn’t really become friends outside of that class, but she’s always held a little sweet space in my heart and memory because of our initial floor hockey awesomeness bond.  😛

Post-a-day 2018

How do You shave?

One of my favorite memories from my childhood is the time my brother, sister, and I bonded over shaving legs in the living room.  You see, our dad’s house used to be a duplex, and so the upstairs and downstairs had the same floorpan, giving the girls – the upstairs lots – our very own living room.  It was normal circumstances for us girls and maybe a girlfriend of one of theirs to hang out on lazy afternoons and evenings there.  Occasionally, our bother would join us.  On one particular night, my eldest sister had decided to allow me to shave her legs for her, while we watched some television show.  I was around eight or ten years old.

In my panic of doing it, worried that I would slice open her leg or something, my brother joined in on the adventure, to show that it was definitely doable by me, since he had never shaved legs, but he was able to do it safely.  And so, he shaved her left leg, and I shaved her right, while she lay on the rug in the living room.  Such beautiful sibling bonding time.  😛

Post-a-day 2018

Cleaning out = unexpected exhaustion

I’m kind of exhausted.  And kind of feel like crying and curling up in a ball.
There have been a LOT of memories going through this stuff.  And, with that, has naturally come Loads of emotions.  Lots of them quite strong, too.
I guess that’s a big part of why I kept the stuff.

And as of this morning, I find myself not wanting to take on cleaning out and going through anything else right now.  Like I need a vacation from it.

Especially since so much of my stuff is disorganized amongst the various boxes, the task feels more exhausting.  Because, rather then opening up a box and re-living fifth grade, I open up a single box and am going through parts of fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, and possibly even a memory or three from before and after those years.  And going through the memories of those years isn’t just ‘going through memories’.  It’s also re-experiencing the emotions and thoughts and thought patterns of it all.  So, in cleaning through one box, I am living several years – and from the very formative years – of my life in a matter of an hour or few.  Talk about exhausting… that is exhausting.

And I want a break from it for a little while, so my mind and my nerve endings can relax again and not be so constantly overwhelmed.

Post-a-day 2018

Mortification after Consideration

While on a summer symposium in high school, I had a very upsetting and memorable experience.  See, we had a presentation-turned-almost-meeting one day with a man who had done highly valued things with his life so far, – it was a world youth leadership symposium – and he started off the presentation by asking us as a group, ‘Who are you?’  I was near the back of the room, and that was how the trouble occurred for me.

The first kids answered by the standard social behavior of giving his name, etc.  I instantly commented mentally that he hadn’t answered the question.  The man had asked who he was, not what his name was or where he lived.  The talking went along, one by one, around the seats in the room, heading back towards me.  Occasionally, the man repeated his question, asking who people were, but not always.  No one strayed from the name-giving routine.  I grew anxious about how to answer.  Was the man being the way so many people seemed to be, unaware of the actual words he was using, really only want to know our names and ages, and a bit of our backgrounds?  Or did he mean what he was asking?  Was he genuinely asking who we each were?

Considering how everyone else had responded and reacted to his question, I was leaning toward the former.  Taking into account that my mother and I were not exactly normal, and that we would have meant what we’d asked with such a question, I leaned even more towards the former.  I determined that I would answer his question, should he ask it to me directly.  ‘Who are you?’ he would ask, and I would reply nervously with an honest, ‘I don’t know.’

My turn arrived.  I waited a few moments before speaking, waiting for his question.  But it didn’t come.  Thrown, I faltered and defaulted, stumblingly, to my name.  However, I was very specific with my words.  Rather than everyone else’s phrase of, “I’m [insert name here],”  I said, “My name is Hannah.”  No, it was not an answer to the original question, but it seemed to be the expectation.  And I had answered honestly and consciously.  I was not carelessly declaring that my name was who I was, but consciously stating that my name was, in fact, my name.  I didn’t want to be any more isolated than I had already felt in the group of the symposium, by giving an odd answer.  And especially when the person asking the question hadn’t wanted such an answer.

I never liked my answer, nonetheless.

After we finished going around the room with the lame (in my opinion) introductions, the man took up speaking again.  He stated how it was interesting that he as asked us ‘who we are,’ but everyone had automatically answered with their names, as though he had asked their names – we had all unconsciously answered a question that wasn’t even asked, but assumed, instead of answering the question asked.

I still feel a huge sob within me, whenever I think about it, actually.  I was simultaneously inwardly mortified and furious.  I had made the incorrect assessment of the situation for one thing, and my conscious care of words had gone seemingly unnoticed.  I felt scolded, and angry, and I just wanted to spit at his assumption and leave.  And I still respected him and his work.  I just hated how he had tied me to being unconscious.  I’m not sure I have ever been unconscious about such things…

The things that stick with us…

Post-a-day 2017