A Day of Miracles

Happy 15th birthday to the Girl-child. 15. There’s a miracle right there. I know what you’re thinking. How can someone as young as me have a 15 year old kid? And if you weren’t thinking that, let me remind you that this is my blog, so play along. That’s better. I am awfully young. For the record, I was only seven when a fairy dropped the kid under a cabbage leaf and all that. For the record.

Anyway, we spent a whole day together to celebrate her birthday. That’s minor miracle right there. I have a teenager who doesn’t mind being seen with me. Most of the time. So we went to the mall. I’ll jump right in here and explain that neither of us are mall-rats by nature. But she was running low on fragrance, and I had a get stuff for free coupon! Off to Bath and Body Works we went.

Miracle #1: I found a fragrance that did not make me smell like a middle-aged streetwalker. If you have ever read this post, then you know how strongly I object to being labelled middle-aged. Here’s the sad part. Girl-child liked it, too. No teen one wants to share a scent with their mom anymore than they’d want to wear her polyester pant suits. I granted Girl-child full custody. After all, I spend a lot of time at the zoo where fragrance is frowned (and often sneezed) upon, so I couldn’t wear it much anyway. ***

Miracle #2 I bought new clothes. No, really. Like new-new clothes. It’s the first time in 10 years or so that I have actually bought clothes anywhere other than a thrift store. Unless you count my collection of Severus Snape t-shirts, and I don’t. Because Severus isn’t clothing. He’s family. I digress. New clothes! On sale!  A pair of capris, some shorts, a new shirt that, for the record, does not contain the image of a certain Slytherin headmaster.

Miracle #3 Pants and shorts were in a single-digit size. Could be vanity sizing, could be I don’t care. Single digit, friends. That’s all this girl needs. I can ride this particular high for a week. Maybe longer.

Miracle #4 Girl-child let me pick the music. Sort of. We I bought a stack of CDs at the used bookstore for under $1 apiece. And my companion let me listen to some of them in the car. Without gagging up a hairball or leaping out of the moving vehicle. That’s huge. Granted, none of it was Simon and Garfunkel. She has a generous, but she has her limits.

Miracle #5 I got out of Hot Topic without getting into a brawl. Oh, wait. I haven’t told you that story, have I? I keep promising sj that I’ll blog about that one someday. When it’s not quite so fresh and humiliating. When I can find the funny in it.

*** Update*** The second time I tried the smelly stuff, it made me smell like a mildewed sandbox. Not such a sacrifice to let Girl-child have it. It actually smells great on her.

Why I Don’t Get Out Much


I can think of absolutely nothing funny with which to caption this borrowed image. Nothing. Now I am very sad. And it all started with a post about humor. How ironic.


My sister made me go to Lotion and Smelly Stuff Works a couple of weeks ago. I never go in there, having lost hope that there is any fragrance in the world that will make me smell good. It’s too depressing. Seriously. There’s something about my body-chemistry that breaks down even the classiest perfume and leaves me smelling like a middle-aged streetwalker. And if you are a regular reader, you know how hard I am avoiding anything to do with middle age. But she had a coupon, and I will never, ever stand between a girl and her coupon. Against my better judgment, I went.

The saddest part about walking into the store is everything smells good. I know that sounds like a good thing, but it’s not. I end up frustrated and confused. I can go into a music store to buy a CD. Even if I don’t know the name of, if I can hum a few bars of the hottest track, I at least stand a chance of leaving with what I wanted. If I walk up to a sales-clerk in Lotion and Smelly Stuff Works and say “I want to buy that smell,” a frustrating conversation ensues.

“What smell?”

“The one that reminds me of my second grade teacher. Not my first grade teacher. She smelled like beer.”

“Um, can you be more specific?”

“Guiness, I think, although I do recall seeing her at the 7-11 buying Budweiser.”

“No, your second grade teacher. Er, I mean can you describe the fragrance you are looking for?”

“I smell it right now. It’s like soap. And maybe some fruit.”

“Fruit? We have 42 different fruity fragrances.  Um, we have Pear Passion? Is it this one? No? There is also Citrus Circus. You might like that one. It smells kind of like those giant orange marshmallow peanuts. We also have Apple Anarchy. It’s saucy…”

“No! Not those. I want THAT smell. The really loud smell.” And you know what I’m talking about. There’s always one aroma that stands out over all the rest but is impossible to identify. In frustration, I must break off the conversation and set off on my own, hoping I can find it by its name.

The store is a confusing array of colors and shiny things. They’ve got their smells arranged by mood, I think. There’s an entire section labeled “Sexy.” But their signature fragrance in that department has something to do with pomegranates, a fruit both adored and renamed in my household. I’m not sure a spritz of “moose apple candy” would get anyone in the mood for anything except a “Rocky and Bullwinkle” marathon. I move on.

Maybe looking by name isn’t going to help me. Perhaps one shops for fragrances by actually smelling them? I’m asking. I don’t actually know. Here’s how it goes for me:

1) Locate promising bottle of lotion.

2) Remove tester from shelf.

3) Carefully open tester and raise to nose.

4) Accidentally apply too much pressure to tube and squirt lotion up nose.

5) Lose ability to smell anything besides Twilight Vampire for three hours. Game over.

At this point, you could shove a decaying skunk up my left nostril, and I’d never know. I slink out of the store in defeat. My sister finds me an hour later with my head in the mall wishing fountain. Guess what my wish is?

The good news, though, is that my sister did get to redeem her coupon. There’s always a silver lining, you know.