Yesterday one thing led to another and I found myself ankle-deep in the contents of our bathroom. From under the sink and inside drawers sprung the band-aids and bottles, scents and salves, that have comforted us for years. And I mean YEARS. M came across a little pot of hair sculpting gel he'd had since his days of wearing floodwater pants, way before I ever knew him.
In addition to some pink hair extensions (college), Bumble and Bumble curl creme (2005), and Manic Panic hair dye (who knows?), I found a bottle of Navy perfume that I wore in 8th grade. I think it came from Wal-Mart. I actually remember spraying myself before school, wearing white blouse and brown uniform shorts, hopes high that the musty scent would last at least through lunch.
The memory felt so vivid and immediate that I had to momentarily abandon categorizing my allergy meds. So much came back to me: the stickered girlhood bathroom that I begrudgingly shared with my older brother, whose own Drakkar Noir trumped any scent of mine; my wavy bangs, forever getting greasy; the nagging anxiety that the scent would fade too fast, that perhaps I should save it for a special occasion.
There's still about half a bottle left. And as I tucked it back under the newly-cleaned sink, I felt a bit guilty. Surely I'm never really going to wear Navy perfume (Egyptian Goddess has been my scent du decade) and I've lugged it around now for TWENTY YEARS! Plus, I've spent the past week researching and writing about the tiny house movement, applauding the notion of living simply and sloughing off all the burdensome stuff we don't really need.
If only I could go back in time and have a word with my 13 year-old self. I'd tell her not to worry so freaking much, to go ahead and spritz herself every day, even twice a day. I'd tell her that the special occasion is her life, right now, at this moment.