Sunday, July 18, 2004

favorite things... 

Over the last few days I've been talking with friends about what's been going on, and they've been great and supportive. Sometimes it's a little irritating when they give me suggestions about things to do so that I feel better, because, well, I'd like a little time to actually experience my emotions. If I shove them out of the way they'll just come back to bite me on the ass months - or years - later. I speak from experience.

But I know that my friends just want to make sure I don't slide back into a depression like the one I had a couple of years ago and I certainly appreciate their caring and words and effort. Because of their proximity and their coolness, Sarriah, Boychik and -oddly enough, but not really, if you think about it - CuteNerdBoy have been the ones that have been right there for me, talking me through stuff, understanding my emotions, my inclination to run around in my head way too much but reminding me that extended wallowing is not such a good thing.

So when Sarriah called me on Wednesday night ("Carol, are you okay? Your 'blog entries seemed a little down." And I thought I was the mistress of understatement!) we spoke for a few hours. At one point she told me about an exercise that a friend had asked her to do after she had a major break-up (not saying what happened was a break-up, because, well, it was all one-sided, but y'all know what I'm saying - you guys are smart like that): "Sarriah, I want you to list 50 things that make you happy." Her initial reaction was like mine - fifty? Could she start with ten?

"Carol, can you do that for me? Can you list ten things that make you happy?"

I hemmed and hawed, wondering why she wouldn't just let me wallow the way I really wanted to. Homework? I finally get it through my thick, stubborn, Taurean skull (well, mostly, at any rate - my skull is so thick that you could probably set off a nuclear bomb in there and someone standing right next to me would be perfectly okay) that the guy I've been yearning after all these months just doesn't reciprocate my feelings and she wants me to do homework?

(Boychik sort of did the same on Thursday night. "Okay, Carol, I know you're feeling bad right now, and everything I'm saying probably doesn't make you feel any better, but remember: everything you do is a decision you've made. It's okay if you decide not to do something, but it's still a decision. Just make more active decisions than non-active ones." Um, thanks guys?)

I heard a short laugh on the phone. "Look, you don't have to do it. I don't care one way or the other. But I think it would be good for you."

I thought of a few things that make me happy, none of which I can think of right now, but I felt sort of on the spot. And not quite ready to go there. But it's been running through my mind since then, and for some reason, while I can't think of ten things that make me happy, I have been thinking of scents that make me feel good. Probably because there is a specific scent that is filling the air right now that I've always loved and every time I smell it I have to smile, if only for an instant.

So here's my list of scents – six, to start - I hope they're scents that make you happy too:

1) Eucalyptus trees - in San Diego we has a eucalyptus tree in our back yard and whenever I passed it I would pluck a leaf and crush it in my fingers, then inhale the fragrance. The clean, fresh, very green smell always clears my head. I don't know why, but that scent is practically everywhere right now. I even smelled it on my training run yesterday morning (six miles - whoo!). Just a great scent.

2) Tea rose - I used to be crazy about the perfume Opium, but somewhere along the line it no longer smelled good on me. What does now? Rose or tea rose essential oils. Whenever I wear it I always have someone commenting on how good I smell. Or just smelling an actual rose makes me smile with pleasure. Simple feminine fragraces are good.

3) Vanilla - this will bring me to my knees. Rich, full, complex, yet surprisingly simple. Give me something with a good vanilla aroma to it and I will roll my eyes in ecstasy. And I do not exaggerate.

4) Coffee – it’s funny, coffee is one of those things that, when I have it (which is fairly often), it has to be heavily adulterated with cream and sugar, if not sometimes rendered unrecognizable with chocolate and whipped cream. But whenever I smell a freshly brewed pot of coffee I feel all tingly and my mouth starts to water. I love coffee.

5) Freshly laundered clothes – odd, I know, but I’ve always gotten off (so to speak) on the scent of clothes straight out of the dryer. Preferably clothes that were not washed or dried with heavily fragranced detergent or dryer sheets. Newly ironed clothes have the same effect, especially when a light starch has been used. It goes back to the way that clean smells make me feel: light and airy and fresh.

6) Recently struck matches – this may be very odd, I know, but I’ve always enjoyed that smell. Something about the sharp, acrid aroma of flash-burnt sulfur appeals to me. Between that, my love of the scent of burning wood and my enjoyment of staring into flames, it’s a wonder I never became a pyromaniac.

Oh, how I love a good smell…

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Carol/Female/36-40. Lives in United States/California/Los Angeles/San Fernando Valley, speaks English. Spends 40% of daytime online. Uses a Normal (56k) connection.
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