I don’t know what mrtl was sniffing when she came up with this week’s “Monday Motif.” She wants us to write about SMELL. I don’t have deep thoughts on smell. I don’t have any deep smells on thought, either. Just a few things I’ve gotten a whiff of lately:
For two days, whenever I have sat down at the computer, Biscuit, the VBD, has lain down beside me. And farted uncontrollably. If this were a scratch ‘n sniff blog, you’d be outta here by now. It’s heinous, it truly is. I don’t know what’s gotten into him. I know HE has gotten into the TRASH a lot recently. There’s probably a connection there.
Yesterday in church, “smell” cracked me up. My pastor, Rev. Dr. Fruity, during her sermon, mentioned that when she does pre-marital counseling with a couple, she gives them a little “test,” asking them to write out answers to questions like, “What are you most looking forward to about marriage?”
She said that when she gives them the assignment of writing answers to the questions, “The first thing they tell me is, ‘I don’t spell very well.’”
LG, sitting in the pew beside me, looked shocked, and whispered to me, “Why would they tell Miss Fruity that she doesn’t smell very well?” There is no laughter as sweet as uncontrollable silent church laughter.
My favorite smell from childhood is honeysuckle. Not from a bottle, but the real deal. It was all through the woods where I spent most of my summer days as a very young girl. Back in the days when kids could leave the house on a summer morning, and maybe not be seen again until time for Dad to come home, and no one worried at all. Honeysuckle smells like childhood and like freedom, to me. The kind of freedom that my daughter will not know during her childhood, because the world is a different place, and I must know where she is every moment.
A smell from childhood that I hate is carnations. They smell like my grandparents’ viewings — held in their home, with everyone gathered around the caskets talking about how “natural” they looked. The smell of carnations instantly brings to mind the image of my uncle, a large man of fifty-something, throwing himself on the body of my grandmother, lying there against billowy white satin. The smell of carnations instantly brings to mind the sound of my uncle’s wailing, “Mommy, Mommy…” Carnations mean grownups act like frightened, helpless kids, and that scares me.
My favorite scent to wear is one that smells like an orange creamsicle. Not a real citrus-y scent; it has to have the creaminess, too. I haven’t found it in a perfume, but a couple of lotions have it: Camille Beckman’s Orange Creme and Lady Primrose’s Royal Extract.
I SMELL A RANT:
This isn’t really about smell, but it’s on my mind, and this is my blog, so I’m putting it here. Let’s just say . . . I think this STINKS:
These are some excerpts from a book in my home, a library book:
Girls are just plain messy. I told that to Dad as we were mashing potatoes for dinner.
“Not any messier than boys,” Dad said. “Boys ejaculate, you know. We always figured you couldn’t get much messier than that.”
He had his hands on my waist . . . and his lips were against the back of my neck. He was slowly running his hands up and down the sides of my rib cage, and I felt a whoosh! go through my body like everything was drawing up tight, and my nerve endings were tingling.
“Ummm, Patrick,” I said, leaning back against his chest, and this time he bent his head and I turned mine so that we were kissing sideways, full on the mouth, and I felt another whoosh!
I lay back in Patrick’s arms, and he kissed me again. One of his hands rested on my chest, and although he wasn’t touching my breasts, I think I wanted him to . . .
I felt wet and tingly, and began to realize I was definitely a sexual being . . .
OK, before you go to find your partner or small appliance, let me tell you where these passages are from. They are from a book in Phyllis Reynolds Naylor’s “Alice” series. Naylor is the author of “Shiloh,” about a dog. This character, Alice, is the heroine in a series of “Alice” books that were recommended to my daughter’s third grade class.
I became aware of the passages above when LG brought the book to me last week and said, “Mom, I like this book, but I don’t think I like this part.” This was her sweet, 9-year-old way of asking me, “Is this OK for me?” I read the passages, remained calm, and looked on the back of the book for an age recommendation, as children’s books often have. It is recommended for age 10 and up.
I know that children today grow up faster than I did. But . . . that is for a 10-year-old? Not MY 10-year-old. So now I know that a book shelved in the children’s section (not “teen” or “young adult,” but “children”), written by a children’s author, and endorsed by a third-grade teacher, is not automatically a book that my daughter can read right now. My Mama job just got a little bit more difficult.
If you disagree, you can knock yourself out making a case here, but you’ll be wasting keystrokes. This Mama is quite clear on this matter. Hell, even my 9-year-old knows that isn’t good for her. “Age 10 and up,” it says. There is a lot of difference between “10″ and “up.” I don’t know at what age LG will be ready for such things: 12, 14, I don’t know. I know it won’t be at 10.
Remember the “hospice porn” story? After that, I talked with LG about why it wasn’t good for her to see the book that she found at Nana’s. She told me that she had a feeling it wasn’t good, but she didn’t know why it wasn’t. We talked about “conscience,” and that little voice that tells us when something isn’t quite right, even when you don’t know why, because it’s something that’s new to you, and no one has ever told you that it isn’t right. When she brought me this book, I affirmed how well her “little voice” is working, and how she will be in good shape if she keeps listening to it so well. It will help protect her when I can’t be there. That part doesn’t stink. That part is kind of like honeysuckle.