Do you ever have one of those moments where a certain thing or smell hits you and you are instantly transported to a specific memory?
That happened to me twice today. I walked into the craft store and there was an overwhelming smell of rose petals (the artificial smell). It stopped me for a moment. I found myself emotional, almost teary eyed. I remembered my first baby doll that my Aunt gave me for Christmas. It was so scented with rose petals that you could smell it through the wrapping paper. It took years for the smell to fade and even when I was “too old for dolls” I would sometimes sniff the baby’s head and smell the faint aroma of roses. It was oddly comforting. The baby looked so lifelike that I used to freak people out with the way I carried it. It was one of my favorite childhood toys and to be able to remember it unexpectedly was beautiful for me.
Then, at the checkout I saw these suckers called Twinkly suckers. They have this really long plastic stem and when they sit together they look like a bouquet. I couldn’t help but smile. Instantly, I was a sophomore in high school spending the best Valentine’s Day of my life. A friend and I went to Door County, this sweet little touristy area on Lake Michigan to spend Valentine’s Day. I don’t remember why we went but I remember the whole day. We weren’t dating and that actually made it better, more relaxed. It remains my favorite platonic date I have ever been on. We took a horse and carriage ride and bundled up under blankets with corn filled hand warmers. We went to dinner and sat by the window looking out at the water. After our carriage ride we started walking by all of the shops and stopped in at a candy store. That is where I had my first twinkle sucker. The suckers were ridiculous and the stems were unnecessary, so we had to get them. We just walked down the snow covered streets talking about who knows what with suckers in our hands. We ended up at a play Jesus Christ Super Star which a friend was in. And, on our way home we stopped at the grocery store and got our own pints of ice cream and ate them on the drive home. Mine was strawberry cheesecake. Why I remember that specific detail I am not sure. I haven’t thought of that night in years. I remember feeling completely enchanted by the experience-I remember feeling my first glimpses of autonomy that day. We haven’t seen much of each other since high school but seeing the sucker today made me stop and think about my friend. I wonder how he is doing, what he is doing.
It’s strange how sensory our memory can be. How one moment we are totally in the present or maybe day dreaming about the future and then we smell, see, hear, taste or touch something and we are instantly elsewhere.
Readers: Have you had a moment like that where a sensory encounter reminds you of something you haven’t thought of in years? What was it? What was the experience like? Was it positive or negative? As always, I welcome your thoughts and your stories.