I started to write this as “six years of lotion” then realized it may be closer to “eight years of lotion”, so I settled on seven years of lotion.
It’s a wonder the things that bring about nostalgia and an intense yearning or homesickness for nothing in particular and everything altogether. Two days ago, I finished a gigantic pump container of Philosophy’s Falling in Love fragrance lotion that my mom bought me approximately seven years ago. Falling in Love is my signature perfume, and finding the gigantic bottle of lotion when I got home from college one weekend from my mom was an awesome treat.
A few notes on me before I continue – first, if someone gives me a lotion, and I know it’s full of fragrance and alcohol and has no actual moisturizing properties, I will still use it to the last drop. Even if I hate the smell of it, I will still use it. Second, if I really like a lotion or fragrance, I tend to savor the product and use it mostly for special occasions. My routine daily body moisturizer of choice is straight up coconut oil.
My mom’s gift fell into the second category above, a lotion I loved so much that I savored it. For seven years. This last week, I was using it more often, and found myself pounding the bottom of the container on a surface to pump out just a couple more drops each day. And then, it was over. We can truly make any instance into a symbolic memory, because I may never forget throwing out that giant piece of plastic, with the signature philosophy on the front.
I’ve moved that bottle throughout six or more different addresses, worn it on date nights and Boys Club Prom nights. Every time I put it on, I think of my mom. These are important moments that are linked to smell, which really is the strongest form of memory.
Now that the moment has passed, I’m shaking off that romantic nostalgia that such a silly thing as finishing a bottle of lotion can arouse. But I once read that “gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more.” (Melody Beattie) Nostalgia, after all, is gratitude for your memories.