Tumbling through

I was hanging out with my friends Shannon and Michelle, two very dear friends who I have not seen for a long time – way too long. But we were enjoying a moment of friendship while, of all things, doing laundry. And then I pulled my laundry out of the dryer and saw that my bottle of Burberry perfume, only halfway used, had gone through the wash.

It appeared to be intact, yet I was so upset. It had been given to me by friends for Christmas the year before, and every time I put it on I feel like it’s just the right touch. I was told the vanilla blend smelled perfect on me. And I think of them often as I wear it and am touched by the thoughtfulness.

Oddly, the friend that gave it to me and I have been through what I prefer to call a “rough patch” (because I am an optimist) but what others may more accurately call “a catastrophe”. So as I saw it in the dryer, knowing it was likely ruined, I felt defeated.

But, I turned to my friends, the ones I hadn’t seen for years but who I knew were always strong for me, and I continued making small talk. About the weather. About our families. About the sunshine and life and the little moments that made everything ok.

And then, I pulled another load out of the dryer. Somehow, during my conversation with my friends, I managed to wash the perfume bottle again. And dry it. And I was devastated. There was no way it could have survived two washes.

Yet, it looked intact still. Not watered down. Lid on tight. I took off the bottle top and sprayed my wrist. Brought it to my nose and – nothing.

The perfume looked right, but the smell was gone.

I sprayed again. And again. And – no scent.

Normally I don’t write about my dreams. Ask anyone I talk to on a daily basis and they’ll tell you I have some crazy ones. This doesn’t even rate on the scale of weird things that go on in my head during slumber. But this is what I woke up to this morning. I didn’t think much of it at first – but then the metaphor seemed to hit me so hard that I just had to write it down. Just because things look intact doesn’t mean they are. Just because the perfume bottle still has the logo on it and still retains the liquid doesn’t mean you can put it through hell – not once, but twice – and expect it to be ok. When I fight with my friends, I want it to be ok. And when apologies are made, I want to move on, reforge the bond, make things go back to normal.

But no matter how much I sprayed, I could not make that perfume smell good again. And what is the point of spraying perfume if all you get is nothing? I also found it interesting that it was the friends I’d had for years (I’ve known Michelle almost 30 years and Shannon for 16 years) that were able to distract me during the second load of laundry. Something about a pillar of support should probably be inserted here.

P.S. I have also dreamed about interventions and murdering people and trying to get away with it (both strangers and friends – sorry to those of you I have killed off and no I’m not saying who) and adopting dogs – all in the past month. This I know: I have an active imagination, and I watch too much Discovery on ID channel before bed. So maybe the dream simply means I need to do laundry. Or call Shannon. Who knows?