Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Eau des Mereveilles and a Desperate Housewife

Most women have a signature scent; a perfume or cologne that is uniquely connected to them. People recognize a woman by her scent; the opposite sex on olfactory overload by a perfume worn with regularity. My scent of choice is by Hermes, Eau des Mereveilles. Famously French and grossly overpriced. If you've been around me for upwards of the last decade, you've come in contact with Eau des Mereveilles. My ex-husband bought me a bottle for Christmas several years ago that I rationed for years, I think, followed by a bottle that my ex-boyfriend bought me for Valentine's Day in '08, I think. It's historically well-received, though when my best male friend smelled it on me the first time, he told me I smelled like "70's shampoo." I couldn't tell if that was a compliment or an insult.

There is precious little left of the bottle from the ex-boyfriend, which I sparingly use on special occasions. On the average day, I revert to the bottle of Burberry for Her that my best male friend bought me for Christmas last year. I like the Burberry, and he bought it for me knowing how much I love All Things Burberry, but it's just not the same as the Hermes. It's stronger and less flowery, more apt for the every day than for the snazzing out, which is why I usually wear it to work.

Sadly, Hermes and I will have to soon part company until I earn far more money, which is sad but inevitable. Perhaps I'll spritz my wrists and just once on my neck in the meantime, as opposed to the additional spritz on the back of my neck that I usually wear.

So last night I had a dream that I wouldn't categorize as a PTSD dream, but the ex-boyfriend was in it nevertheless. We were in the Hermes store and he was buying me another bottle of the perfume. We didn't have contact with one another in the store other than the fact that I knew he was there, while I was looking at the Birkin and Kelly bags on display in the store. His mere presence in the dream awakened me at close to 6:00am, when I had my alarm set for 7:45am. I don't have to be at work until 1pm on Tuesdays, so I thought I'd sleep in, having gone to bed at 10:30pm last night. Wasn't meant to be.

He wasn't abusing me in this dream. He was treating me to something. It certainly wasn't like the last nightmare, where he had one of his small kitchen pairing knives in-hand (that he'd given me to have sharpened a couple of times), and I was outside smoking, and he told me not to tell on social network sites that I was going to be alone in the house and he tried to cut me on my right arm where I used to cut myself. THAT was a nightmare. And yes, I'm still skittish about going out alone to smoke at night, worse going into the dark alley adjacent to my townhouse complex to go to the garbage dumpster.

Wearing the scent doesn't trigger PTSD reactions in me, for I wore it long before I met my ex-boyfriend, though he always said I smelled nice when I wore Eau de Mereveilles. It just reminds me of ME. I guess if I smell like "70's shampoo," it's my own damn fault for wearing expensive French perfume.

Friends, loved ones and doctors all tell me the memories will eventually fade, just as the scent of the perfume eventually does. That's true, to a large degree. It's just the dreams that are relentless. They won't go away because he's still implanted in my psyche, which my present (soon-t0-be-former) therapist was unable to redirect through therapy. And I doubt highly that he'd ever show up at my house and hold me at knife point, though I take my phone outside with me whenever I smoke, ready to dial 911. Seems like my mind has 911 on speed dial too. I just want it to all go away.

Separately, I RSVP'd to a pharm rep talk at the hospital this morning, "Smoking Cessation and Nicotine Addiction: Understanding Both," to be given an hour and a half before I start work this afternoon. I said I'd go. My supervisor encouraged me to go. Brought to you by Pfizer and a cardiologist from another hospital. There's Thai food involved, which is free, but I somehow doubt I'll make it to the session. I think I know enough about nicotine addiction to skip the lecture, even given this week is the Great American Smokeout on 11/17. I'm just not ready to quit, and it's the last vice I do have, so when I'm ready, I'll quit. That day hasn't happened yet, though I'm getting close, having had to sing again this weekend and quickly losing my breath (partly because I don't know how to sing using my diaphragm). Sorry, but the free lunch isn't riveting enough to draw me in, during my pre-work chain smoking and Led Zeppelin-listening ritual I perform before I head into the office.

I'm a huge fan of "Desperate Housewives," the only current television show I watch religiously with my mom every Sunday night. Luke knows he's on "Do Not Disturb" from 8-9 on Sunday nights, though the show's getting hard to watch. One main character's husband just turned into an alcoholic, and at the end of the episode was heading off to rehab. Meanwhile, another female main character, who is a recovering alcoholic with 5+ years of sobriety behind her, having helped her alcoholic son recover, fell off the wagon at the end of last Sunday's episode. I begged the question, "Why did she have wine in the house in the first place?" Another couple on the show is divorcing after 22 years of marriage, which makes me sad. The women in the show all have themselves in a highly precarious place, having covered up a murder, and there is Bree, falling off the wagon with a sip of chardonnay and a look on her face as if she'd just run into her best friend in life. It's just a stark reminder of how close we alcoholics are to that one drink that will ruin everything we worked so hard to achieve. I know the show isn't reality, but it speaks to me in understandable terms and is starting to make me uncomfortable. Luckily, this is the finale of the entire series, so I only have to deal with it until the end of May. And there's enough intrigue and humor to keep me on edge for the coming months, so I keep watching it anyway.

There's this "Occupying" everything lately...and I joined the united front of occupying musicians. That was good, to be included in that. However, I was rejected from the petition for occupying writers, because my medium of writing is a blog. I sent a link to my writing to the moderator of the petition site, and he politely responded that despite my prolific ponderings, I would not be included in the petition because I blog and am not published. They were super-polite about the exclusion, so that was good, and wished me well in my writing ventures, but it's still kind of a bummer. Unlike my friend Mimi Smartypants, my blog has yet to be turned into a book, nor do I expect it ever to, but it would've been nice to have been acknowledged for the writing that I *do* do, regardless of the medium in which it's published.

Til next time!

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