Thursday, February 26, 2009

Just consider it a mental upchuck [Part VI]

A collection of stories that I've been meaning to write about, or that other people have told me I should post, or that I've recently just remembered...all here for your reading pleasure.

Part VI: Smells Like Happy

Smells can trigger just as much memory and emotion as sights and sounds. Sometimes even more so. Some smells can trigger anxiety, depression, sadness. Maybe the smell of the perfume of a lost love... or the coffee that a relative used to drink. Some people love certain smells because they remind them of home...or of a place they have been on vacation...or a favorite food.

This is the story of two of my most favorite scents.

From the time I was 3 to the time I was 8, my mother owned her own dental practice. Her clinic was located exactly halfway between my elementary school and our home. Everyday after school, my nanny would pick me up and drop me off at my mom's and we would wait there until my dad picked us both up after work and took us home. I remember every afternoon being driven to the clinic and regardless of whether my mom had a patient in the chair at the time, she would always come out to the reception area and give me a hug and she would always smell like her favorite perfume mixed with "dentist". She would walk me to the very last room, give me some water and hand me my blanket (which was conveniently stored along with some books and videos in her office). I would crawl up on the big dentists chair as my mom lowered the back rest and I would take my afternoon nap right there. In the dark while my mother worked in the next room, the sound of the vents running...the buzz of her instruments, and her voice as she talked to her patients would lull me to sleep. When I woke up, she or one of her assistants would take me to the office and I would read or do homework untill my dad came and got us.

Even now the smell of the antisceptics and the recycled air of a dental clinic reminds me of childhood. Even the sounds of the drills and random other machines running feels welcoming to me. My mother is still my dentist and everytime I see her for an appointment I always make it a point to give her a big hug before I sit down. If anyone ever asks me to name a smell guaranteed to make me feel completely relaxed and at easeit would be this: Donna Karan Cashmere Mist and tooth polish and fluoride Gels...better than Novacaine!

My Mommy and Me

14 comments:

Felisa said...

Awwwwwwwwwwwwww that's so cute. At least you like your dentist! My dentist? I don't like him too much. lol

I love my mom's scent as well... She liked to change around her perfume but there was one thing she consistently used: Oil of Olay. That was what she smelled like whenever I gave her my good night kiss as a kid. :)

The Unbearable Banishment said...

My father was a butcher. Oh—excuse me—a meat cutter. Care to guess what smells we encountered while growing up?

Matt said...

HAHA, I did not see this one coming at all...

especially since the title was mental upchuck.

Mary Moore said...

Love this post.

Smells are the strongest sense we have, I think.

I wish my memories of the dentist smell were as sweet as yours!

SkylersDad said...

This was great, that was a nice story and an interesting scent to remember. My childhood smell was of my grandmas wood burning stove.

Sassy Britches said...

What a wonderful tribute. To both your mother AND smell!

LegalMist said...

Oh, that is so sweet. What a great mom. :)

Amanda said...

I grew up around Navy ships (when security was less stringent, so I actually took naps in my dad's birthing area, and played in the CO's office) so that's a smell that most people would hate but that I love.

I'm glad you like your dentist - mine is a 25 year-old ditzy blonde...something about that doesn't scream "trust this person with sharp instruments in your mouth"

Chris said...

We watched The Anatomy of Sex on Discovery Channel a few years ago. It's really a fascinating show, you should watch it, it comes on every now and then. But one thing they talked about was the role of the sense of smell. If I remember correctly, it was the only sense that bypasses a processing part of the brain that the other 4 senses use.

Great post!

Anna Lefler said...

What a great post!

You must have the most the most beautiful smile ever!

:^) Anna

Cowguy said...

I can still smell my grandma....




Thanks for the river of tears E.


:-)

Fancy Schmancy said...

How cute. And you are probably the only person in the world who is comforted by the dentist's office!

Candy's daily Dandy said...

Candy rocks!!!

A nice, warm-hearted, well written post.

sid said...

Yep that's definitely a great memory to have. Guess you were never afraid of dentists.