Memories Locked into the Brain


They say smells trigger memories, and I am sure they do. But so do holidays, and things like pumpkin pies. Homemade pumpkin pies are brown with black dots of spices on the top, not bright orange like the ones from Costco.

When my younger sister cut into her brown homemade pie, I thought of the first time I’d seen a non-orange one. It was in Colorado in the early eighties.  I was visiting my then boyfriend at Thanksgiving , and one of the other dinner guests had brought her homemade offering.

“Remember Gary?” I asked my sis. “He died this year. They found him under a tree on his farm.”

Sis laughed when I told her that her pie made me think of him. But it did. She didn’t remember him, so I guess I can excuse her for laughing.

Today my kids and I were discussing my nephew’s new baby’s name – Zelda.  Some people love the name, some don’t. My kids like it.  I now understand there is princess named Zelda, and she lives inside of a video game. My youngest thought for a moment that her cousin’s older child’s name was Link, apparently another character within the same video game.

That convo reminded me of a boy named Peter and his little sister named Wendy (a la Peter Pan). I’d been friends with their mother many years ago, back in the early 90’s.

Until the day I yelled at her son for pulling all the leaves off of my fake Ficus tree during playgroup. To be fair, my younger son was also involved, though he had lived with the fake tree for months and had never touched it.

Moral of the story – don’t yell at another person’s child inside your house, especially if the mother is also there.

I loved that fake Ficus.

But I digress.

Remembering Peter led to other memories of him, like the time I babysat for him when he was four plus, and how he came out of the bathroom and demanded that I wipe his butt.

It went something like this.

“Wipe my butt!”

Why it raised my hackles:

Number one. He was ordering me to do it.

Number two (no pun intended) — he was four years old. My own four year old had been wiping her own butt for a year.

Number three. I was still mad about the Ficus tree.

“Wipe your own butt,” I said.

Ah! Maybe that’s why his mother dropped me like a hot potato. At any rate, I wasn’t into wiping mean boy butts, especially when being ordered to do so.

The friendship disintegrated after that. No more play dates or babysitting swaps.

And the ficus tree — I sold it at a garage sale after I bought a glue gun and glued the leaves back on (see The Racist and the Ficus Tree).

It really was a big dust magnet.

That boy did me a favor, of sorts.

The little dictator.

I wonder where he is and what he is doing.

At least it made my adult kids laugh over lunch today. Laughing is always a good thing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s