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Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Memories

Melissa's dreamy perfume tray.
Photo by Lark Whicker
As I drove the boys back from tennis (that sounds awfully posh, but if you were to see us playing tennis at the local park, not at all properly outfitted for such a pursuit, you would know the reality of tennis in our family), I happened to hear a story about the science of memory on NPR's Talk of the Nation.  Many of the memories people shared were funny, others odd and a few were rather touching.  They all had one thing in common - each of them centered on some small action or moment. 

If you'll recall your very first memory, it's probably just a tiny snapshot of time, not attached to any other event but, perhaps, filled with other emotions and senses.  Mine is of an afternoon in my crib, the bright sunlight streaming through curtains and waiting for someone - someone specific who I can't recall - to come and see me.  I remember that it was pleasantly warm and that I was happy.  That's it, just a second but, somehow, comforting in it's way.

Memories are based on so many things.  I think one of my favorite recollections is of my wife when we were dating.  Less a specific memory, I suppose, because it's something that she still does, but every time I catch her at it, I'm reminded of just how I felt almost 19 years ago.  It's the simple act of putting on her pressed powder and her lipstick.  It's the way she would touch up her lips with, at the time, Mauve Madness, press them together and look at me with a smile as she unpressed them.  Her powder was put on quickly, from a stylish little compact, smooth strokes, first over her cheeks, then her forehead and finally her nose and chin.  Always the same combination.  I love the smell of her lipstick and powder.  And now she always seems to move in a gentle breeze of Chanel No. 5.

My wife is, to me, the epitome of dreamy (hence the title, I can only try to be dapper).  And this is one of the little memories that I get to revisit frequently, and one that reminds me why I am still in love with her.

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