December 13th, 2001

JOY

Smells like Teen Spirit

Smells can really bring back memories. Today’s boredom-inspired childhood tale is brought to you by the smell of patchouli. It’s a High School story, therefore it stars our own calamine_tea. Take a bow, Ms. Dale.

Sophomore year, a new girl came to school. If memory serves, her name was Christine or something. She wore Ned’s Atomic Dustbin and Dinosaur Jr. shirts with these thick pink-rimmed plastic coke bottle glasses, the kind that a nine-year-old girl would wear. It seemed that she hadn’t gotten her geek-chic look completely together. She was pretty cool and fun to talk to. Christine’s claim to fame, however, was that she was the first girl in our school to come right out and talk loudly and frequently about how she was a lesbian. Our high school was pretty much what a High School would look like if Abercrombie and Fitch could sponsor it (if my word isn’t good enough, witnesses also include: rahaeli and veejay): everyone got a BMW for their 17th birthday, front-tucked rugby shirts with jeans and a white baseball cap was pretty much the order of the clique. So an Alternative Alternative Chick was something to take notice of, particularly one as here and queer as she was.

Christine’s other notable characteristic was that she wore patchouli. Lots of it. Lots and lots of it. She must have figured a way to get the stuff to come out of the showerhead in the morning. It was overpowering. I don’t remember her being around for too long, and from what I remember from talking to her, she either transferred schools or moved again by the end of Sophomore year.

Due to completely unrelated circumstances, Dale started wearing patchouli in Junior year. One patchouli-wearing day in the hallway, she and I were talking at her locker and after a pack of whitehats passed by, we hear one of them say to the other, “eeugh, I smell that lesbian girl.”