Tom is out with a busted computer so…….I’m baaaaack! At this rate y’all will be PRAYING for March and Tom to return. Prayin’ HORD!
But for now, ya got ME!
And I have a winner ( or two) from Autumn Leaves: Queen Cupcake!!! and Maureen!!! I’ve been really good about getting these out, so HOLLA! and I’ll get some fun stuff out to you! gmail me at evilauntieanita.
I dunno about you but Autumn is Memory Time for me. Not all melancholic – just a whole lot of memories pop up. Perhaps it’s because I tend to look inward in Autumn – who doesn’t, right? Some of it is sight-inspired…there is this little enameled vase that belonged to my grandmother – every time I see it I think, not of her (she died long before I was born) but of Otto Preminger’s film ‘Laura’, which then reminds me of my Tia Cornelia (her living room was much like Laura’s). And I think of Liz Zorn’s Violets and Rainwater, even though the vase is of cloisonned irises….
…..and yes, nearly all of the visual memories are tied up like skeins of silk, jumbled in a drawer.
Sound memories are a little more straightforward. I am currently on a Vince Guaraldi bender. I have waxed long and loud about my love for Bossa Nova, with Vince Guaraldi at the forefront. He’s tied into so many things from my youth and early adulthood – my father adored him and owned every one of his albums. We wore a hole in the Grace Cathedral record and it sparked a lifelong love-affair with San Francisco (even though I would find myself preferring the other side of the bridge – both bridges, in fact). But it also connects to my mother, and it’s one of those intriguing Six Degrees situations, because my mom liked jazz and bossa nova but not to any great extent. But she loved the living daylights out of the 1959 TV show Mr Lucky. I remember her settling down to watch our giant console TV (with the record player in one of the boxes – remember those? We also had one of those black panther statues. Oh, c’mon. You remember those, right? I can’t remember if ours was a lamp or not – something tells me it was) – anyway, the incredible Henry Mancini did the sparkling music and Vince Guaraldi would later do a sparkling rendition. After each episode would find my mom humming the Mr Lucky theme song -and as long as she was humming that song all was right in our fraught little world. In a weird confluence of the elegant and homespun, I always associate Mr Lucky with plastic sofa covers and the smell of pot roast. I wonder what John Vivyan and Henry Mancini would make of that. That spinning sound you’re hearing? Blake Edwards, coming up out of his grave, to beat me senseless. He probably didn’t even know what a pot roast was! I wonder if he had a panther lamp atop his console TV……..?
The most nostalgic smell for me is not perfume, it’s not even pot roast. It’s a smell that has nothing to do with me, personally but I think it personifies a particular time in my life. It’s the smell of hairspray. My mom shed her glamour image in favor of a more hausfrau style – and she suffered from depression (so spent quite a bit of time in bed, self-medicating with Nervine and scotch), so hairspray and nailpolish were not a bit part of our lives. When I was 15 we moved to Chicago’s Pill Hill neighborhood – and I met our next door neighbors, the Kahns. Mrs Kahn was Vegas-style glamour – and the pervasive smell, throughout the entire house, was that of hairspray & nail polish remover (they smell eerily similar). I’d never smelled that much hairspray in my life! Breck! Aqua Net! Final Net! To me, it spoke of beehives (she had one) and afternoon martinis and canasta games and any minute Tony Franciosa was gonna come through that front door (alas, it was only Mr Kahn). I don’t think Mrs Kahn ever cooked a meal in the entire time I knew her. Every night was takeout! Oh, the magnificence of takeout! Prior to knowing the Kahns I don’t think I’d ever even heard of takeout! Their daughter was the epitome of the Seventeen magazine girl, a Colleen Corby clone – and I worshipped her. To this day, when I smell AquaNet, it brings back memories of my adoration of the Women of Kahn. They moved to the Northwest Suburbs a year or two later, replaced by yet another elegant, hairsprayed woman and her daughters. I think I had the only non-hairspraying mom on the block!
Am I the only one who has these weird connections? Am I crazy? Okay – Crazy is a given. Am I Crazier? What are your non-perfume memory triggers? Sight? Sound? Smell? I will, once again, pull a winnah! I would have Banana do it but I swear, if you could see these paws. It’s like asking Godzilla to type a mash note!