A trip though the psyche of a self-appointed cultural warrior with a bone-to-pick with the well-adjusted minority. "Susan Says..." is for women of all ages, as well as the men who love us, fear us or try to avoid us. Welcome. We're glad you're here.
Monday, January 6, 2014
Peach Cologne and Charlie Brown
I have – mostly – learned to no longer bother with New
In the past, they’ve been pretty typical…lose weight, take
better care of my feet, win an Academy Award, etc. They are all broken by day
three and I feel like a failure….but this year, I have only one and am
determined to keep it.
Not too long ago, shoved to the back of a crowded closet
shelf, I found an old jewelry box. Flocked in faded pink fleur de lis and
fastened with a rusty clasp, I recognized it as my childhood treasure box. Hugging it close, I carried it to the kitchen table awash with fond sentiment
as I prepared to enjoy the memory surrounding each artifact within. It started
out well--- there was the paper mache bracelet I made, a half-worn down eraser
in the shape of a heart, even a tiny plastic treasure chest with a few of my
baby teeth. Wow.
On the bottom, in a corner of the box, was a small bottle of
“Peach Blossom” cologne. I remember the moment my aunt gave it to me. I was
about eight and immediately fell in love with the bottle – graceful and
tapered, its screw top was a perfect wooden blushing peach complete with fuzz.
I was overjoyed to receive it; I’d never had my own cologne before. The closest
I’d come to smelling pretty was a dab of my mother’s Jean Nate. She’d swipe it
behind my ears when she used it after her bath. The cologne smelled just like a
fresh sweet peach. I used it very rarely,
dispensing it one tiny drop at a time, consciously saving it for special
occasions that never seemed to come. The pretty bottle, it’s wooden peach no
longer as bright, now held only dust that coated the fluted sides.
I know some of you remember Kean Nate.
In the box was also a nearly full pad of Charlie Brown
stickers. I remember how delighted I’d been upon discovering them in my
Christmas stocking so long ago.
Back then little girls wrote letters. I had a
pen pal as well as school mates who’d moved away and note cards with violets
and kittens flew back and forth between us. Often they had S. W. A. K.
(sealed-with-a-kiss, of course) hand lettered on the back flap but these stickers
had fun little sayings on them and were meant for a child’s envelope. I used
them once or twice but decided that they were to be used only for the most
important of missives.
"I would have liked a letter with a Charlie Brown sticker,"
Was I planning to write a letter to Richard Nixon, for
goodness sake? Needless to say, the stickers were now curled up and discolored
when I found them in the jewelry box.
Just last week, I overheard a chat between Seth and Tommy about
the merits of eating your favorite component of a meal first instead of following
the conventional wisdom which advocates saving the best for last.
this, insisting that favorite things should be eaten first since you are
hungriest then and, therefore, would savor them more. I sat back and blinked at
this logic. How often did I save the mashed potatoes for the end, finding them
cold and my appetite dulled? Well, damnit.
Add all this tangible evidence to my natural inclination to bemoan
the past, eternally fret over my personal catalog of mistakes as well as obsess
about what the future may hold ( but, please,
boys, do check out that nursing home thoroughly before you slap me in there and
prance merrily away, content that Mom is now “taken care of”) and there was a
bit of an epiphany to be had. “Susan Says…” is damn well going to try to focus
on today, the proverbial here and now---the
That is my resolution. I’m working on it already. It might
just take care of the other stuff as a side benefit since it should make me
more aware and pro-active about life in general, don’t you think? I have
already placed the ancient bottle of peach cologne dust on the dresser as a
reminder. If you open the lid and press your nose to the top, you can still get
a nice whiff.
Happy, healthy new year to
all. Love, Susan, Seth and the Cats.