Growing up, I was a thick-goggled nerd with solar system posters in my bedroom, Tetris blisters on my thumbs, and limited understanding of how to comb my hair.
My sister Nina was two grades below me but way above me on the popularity scale. While I was practicing my Pythagorean Theorem, she was captaining the Junior Girls basketball team. While I was taking figure skating lessons, she was going to the mall. And while I was upstairs playing clarinet scales, she was hosting parties in the basement.
I remember those parties well, too. She invited me to hang out with her friends, but I preferred watching Perfect Strangers with my mom. We would split a can of Pepsi and a bowl of popcorn and sock-slide to the front door whenever the bell bing-bonged. When Nina’s friends rushed inside, the hallway was suddenly full of deodorant clouds, perfume sprayballs, and the wafting aroma of some kid wearing too much cologne.
See, whether you like it or not I got news for you, baby: You smell. Yes, you’re some bizarro concoction of shower soap, dryer sheets, and hair spray. You’re a walking cloud of deodorant streaks, sweat stains, and perfume spray. Your closest cuddles with your closest pals will reveal your smell to them and them to you.
When you walk away from old places and disappear from forgotten scenes you might miss those little moments that come from cuddling in between. Snuggling with your boyfriend on Sunday morning, holding hands with your wife at the park, running in the basement with your sitter, squeezing Grandma in the theater when it’s dark.
Shampoo memories are distant smells of days gone by that pop back into your brain a long time later.
They surprise you in random closets, walk by you in jeans at the mall, pop out of dusty old dressers, and come back like no time’s passed at all. Shampoo memories are Grandma’s skin cream on crinkly letters, an ex-boyfriend’s cologne on new friends, shampoo memories are smells that pay you a visit, new beginnings or teary-eyed reminders of an end.
When a shampoo memory pops into your brain make sure you stop to appreciate it’s there. Because those memories built you and made you, they formed you and raised you, and that little moment gives you a chance to remember someone who helped shape your life.
Photos from: here