December 17, 2010

"There was a moment during the test when my mind drifted to her funeral and melancholy began to overtake me."

"At that point, I noticed a scent of hairspray—the same one my grandma used for the past 60 years. I teared up, knowing that she was right there with me and she was proud of me."

IN THE COMMENTS: Everybody's talking about what their grandmothers smelled like. Mine smelled like: 1. lemonade, watermelon, and chicken & dumplings, and 2. knitting wool and African violets.

39 comments:

Hoosier Daddy said...

They do offer the LSATs more than once....

Pogo said...

Aqua Net.


My Grandmother smelled like Chantilly and Cold Duck.

traditionalguy said...

Chanel #5 is everywhere.

Pogo said...

My other grandma smelled like cookies and talcum. She was only 4 and a half feet tall, but tough as nails.

Scott M said...

Not while taking a test, but in class nonetheless...the exact same thing happened to me right after my paternal grandfather died. I caught a wisp of the cologne he always wore and had a mild, internal freakout.

"Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter"...except that apparently Old Spice is part of that luminosity. Who'da thunk?

DaveW said...

Funerals are for the living. The dead person isn't there.

Smell is a powerful memory trigger for me. Another one is feeling - to this day if I walk barefoot on a (real) hardwood floor it will bring to mind the house of my childhood.

Of course feeling something is largely voluntary and smell is not.

Hoosier Daddy said...

I still remember my sophmore year taking a test in psych when the dude in front of me who I kid you not was about two biscuits short of half a ton ripped one of those farts that sounded like someone ripped a bed sheet in half. You could tell how far the smell zone was by the rest of us who emptied our seats for safer ground.

There are people out there who have absolutely no sense of shame.

DaveW said...

Insty says Sunday is the last day for free super-saver shipping from Amazon in time for Christmas. I'd call it the drop-dead last online shopping day.

I need to check my list and make sure I'm finished today and tomorrow.

EDH said...

A smell can bring on a flood of memories, influence people's moods and even affect their work performance. Because the olfactory bulb is part of the brain's limbic system, an area so closely associated with memory and feeling it's sometimes called the "emotional brain," smell can call up memories and powerful responses almost instantaneously... The olfactory bulb has intimate access to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for associative learning.

Speaking of smells, I'll never forget took the LSAT in February near Boston next to a guy who said he slept on a bench outdoors the night before in a t-shirt.

He didn't bring a pencil, borrowed one from me, and he hacked and coughed the entire exam. He said it was his father who wanted him to take the exam.

At the end I along with several test takers approached the proctor to take note, which he said he already had.

In my experience, most commercially sold practice books are completely out of date with the logical section. You need to take the course where they are constantly sending people into each exam.

Seems to me the LSAT's strategy to keep ahead of the test-prep agencies plays into the prep course's advantage.

chickelit said...

My toddler son always had the habit of smelling his fingers after touching things (especially new things). This continued until about the time when he started school. I thought little of it but I noticed that his sister (a year younger) did not do the same.
I was visiting my brother around that time and mentioned it. He said that his son did the same thing. What's up with that I asked. "Imprinting" was his answer-the boys are instinctively implanting smell memories.

Meade said...

What's weird is that was also Elizabeth Edwards's hairspray.

David Smith said...

Jergen's Lotion.

Scott M said...

...too soon...

Fred4Pres said...

We are all going to die.

TMink said...

The olfactory nerve goes from the nose to deep inside the brain next to our attachment and panic centers. There is a single synapse between the nose and the inner recesses of the brain. Smells can be VERY powerful emotional triggers for good or ill.

Trey

EDH said...

The secret when test taking is to overcome your nervousness.

Scott M said...

The secret when test taking is to overcome your nervousness.

According to the movie I saw last night, the way to deal with nervousness is to repeat to yourself, "not the game grid, please not the game grid".

It didn't work for that guy, though...derezzed.

Christy said...

I stepped into the shower once and freaked when I smelled my dead grandmother. Grandma was a user of snuff, so why the hell was I smelling it strongly in my home? Who was in there? A search showed no one and nothing out of order. Turns out I had confused smells. Grandma really smelled of chamomile, the scent of my new shampoo, which my brain had associated with snuff. Go figure.

David said...

Nana smelled like kindness.

MadisonMan said...

An old deck of playing cards. She was a whiz at canasta. Okay, just kidding,

Mom has a dresser of her Mom's, and it's slowly lost Grandma's scent over the years, which is a real bummer. I don't know what the scent was, but I know it when I smell it.

edutcher said...

Meade said...

What's weird is that was also Elizabeth Edwards's hairspray.

You're a hard man.

Meade said...

Thank you.

Scott M said...

You're a hard man.

Nope. No possibilities for double entendre there...

Pogo said...

Grampa smelled of pipe terbacky.

His father smelt of elderberries., and his mother was a hamster.

Famous Original Mike said...

Mine is Chanel no 5 too. She's worn it ever since I can remember.

Irene said...

Chanel No. 5 here as well. It's also the only scent Mom and I wear.

Three generations and not a single Coco.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

My grandmother didn't personally smell this way, but the smell of a good ripe cantaloupe and fresh mown grass always brings back memory of my grandmother.

She had a garden full of cantaloupes, which I still love to eat. We would gorge on warm from the sun, fresh from the garden well salted cantaloupe.

Trooper York said...

My Italian Grandma smelt of garlic and parsley.

My Irish Grandma smelt like a shot of Jamison.

A great combination.

Revenant said...

I have no memory of my grandparents smelling like anything.

Class factotum said...

Mothballs and cigarettes. Even now, that scent makes me nostalgic and happy.

Stevie said...

Dove soap. Grandma always smelled of Dove soap - so did her bathroom. I can't even shop in the soap aisle without thinking of her. Of course, she was a super shopper, so shopping reminds me of Grandma, too.

c3 said...

My rural, Iowa Grandma had a smell that I later, as a physician to old folks, discovered was "old person smell".

That vague combination of sweat, urine and cheap perfume/cologne/eau de toilet was a regularly companion for me when I did home visits.

I can't well describe it but I sure know it when I smell it. My mom had it in the last few years of her life (though her's had a healthy dose of cigarette smoke mixed in)

former law student said...

Everybody's talking about what their grandmothers smelled like.

Dropped rose petals and Seven-Up.

howzerdo said...

I think visually, of a color (lavender) and a flower (lilacs), not a smell when I think of my grandmother. But I do associate a smell with her, although it was the odor of her front porch, not of her person - cats, smoke, and dampness. Like class factotum, when I notice that scent, it makes me nostalgic and happy.

Chase said...

Hershey's Milk Chocolate.

I blame her for my eternal 20 extra pounds.

Methadras said...

My Mom's mother smelled like Olive Oil all the time. She was an awesome cook and I think that's why. My father's mother I barely knew.

Methadras said...

Chase said...

Hershey's Milk Chocolate.

I blame her for my eternal 20 extra pounds.


Wouldn't that be external? :D

amba said...

Vodka.

Albatross said...

Pencils. The newly-sharpened pencils she would give me to draw with when I came to visit.