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The Perfume Stalker

Thursday night, I naively went to see Mamma Mia with my dear friend, hereafter to be named The Perfume Stalker.  (You’ll have to read the whole post or skip to the bottom to find out why.)

I twittered my movie-going announcement proudly as I ran out the door, and then about 20 minutes into the musical, I almost sent a text to H begging him to “un-twitter” it.

Here I’ve just started twittering a few days ago and I’m not sure what my new twitter friends will think when it looks like I am waxing poetic about Pierce Bronson singing “SOS”.  (Granted I knew nothing about the movie before I agreed to go, which is a problem in itself because other than Batman, I couldn’t name a new movie.  Incidentally, H does not believe this claim of ignorance; he is running around telling everyone I was secretly yearning to see the movie.)

Anyway, what was interesting about the whole scenario was why The Perfume Stalker chose this film in the first place: she was coerced, strong-armed, if you will, by her mother!  It seems that her mother, who is in her early 50s, found the story “life-changing” and wanted her to experience this phenomenon as soon as possible.  She called her relentlessly every day to make certain a screening had been scheduled.

As we sat through the “film,” the pain was palpable…we crunched our popcorn and squirmed uncomfortably–cringing when Meryl Streep writhed all over tables and attempted to hit high notes.  When we were finally filing out of the theatre, The Perfume Stalker asked me, “I just don’t get it–do you think that movie makes my mother feel like Grease made us feel when we were 10?  Does she think our relationship is like the one depicted in this movie?  What am I supposed to say to her when she asks me what I thought about it?”

Still, didn’t we all yearn to be a dancing queen and/or Olivia Newton John at some point?  I will never forget strapping on my skates, cranking up my Abba tapes, and dance-skating with graceful abandon all over the asbestos tile floor in my parents’ basement.  I would even go so far as to don old tap-dancing costumes, set up flashlights as spot lights, make tiny cakes in the Easy Bake, and sell tickets.

Well, apparently this desire becomes buried only to resurface (for some/all of us) when we reach menopause and/or see Mamma Mia, the movie.

As we were leaving the theater, three sweet ladies in their early 80s were making their way slowly down the steps.  I stopped to let them pass, impressed that they would be out so late (9:30 pm) after dark.  I also noted inwardly how much one of them reminded me of my own grandmother, who passed away from Alzheimer’s when I was in my mid twenties.  Something about the pastel seersucker cropped pants and matching top, the tightly laced white Keds with those socks that had puffy balls at the heel instantly transported me, and I felt an unusually poignant longing for her.

As we meandered through the parking lot, my friend kept exclaiming about this wonderful smell.  “Somebody smells wonderful and I’m going to find out who it is!”  She raced ahead toward the older ladies, her nose in the air, sniffing uncontrollably.  I was a little frightened.

“Ladies…ladies,”  she calls, “one of you just smells so good I’ve got to find out who!”  Two of the ladies stopped and reluctantly turned around.  A worried look crossed their faces as they clutched their purses tightly.  The other friend trudged ahead, undaunted, toward her car.  If this was some type of scam or holdup, those friends would have to make it alone!

The Stalker smiled to show she was friendly, and then carefully sniffed the air near each lady.  “Well, you both do smell nice, but that’s not the smell I’m looking for.  It must be your friend–let’s call her back!”  The ladies beamed:  “This is going to make her day.  She will never let us forget that she was the one with the unforgettable smell!”

They called Evelyn back from her Buick.  The Stalker sniffed, smiled, and exclaimed with glee, “That’s it–that’s it–what on earth is that divine scent?”  We stood still for a moment in quiet anticipation.  “Oh, baby, it’s Beautiful, by Estee Lauder.”

So, so rare.

The Stalker thanked the ladies for their patience and had one last question: “What did you think of the movie?”  They smiled gleefully and said almost in unison: “Oh dear, it was grand, simply grand!”

So I called The Perfume Stalker yesterday to find out if she had talked to her mother about the film.  And her answer?  “I told her it was grand, simply grand.  And that made her so happy.”

Yep–just what I’d expect from a Perfume Stalker.  There’s an unusual kindness there.

Posted on 2 August '08 by , under Humor/Disconnected Miscellany.

11 Comments to “The Perfume Stalker”

#1 Posted by mrsbear0309 (03.08.08 at 10:51 )

What a great story, really a pleasure to read. I won’t say grand because that might be misinterpreted. I commend you guys for being able to sit through the whole movie, just watching the previews made me cringe – Meryl Streep in her overalls with her legs spread…eek! Your friend is a wonderful nut. Congrats on the night out, I know how useful they can be.

mrsbear0309s last blog post..I Enjoy Being a Girl, Mostly…

#2 Posted by Molly (04.08.08 at 09:08 )

I want to see Mama Mia but haven’t had the chance. My grandmother is going with a friend of hers and they will totally have on the exact outfit you described right down to the balls on their socks because they will probably go after golfing…and leave the visor with the red (or green) clear plastic “sun shade” in the car.

#3 Posted by Trish @ Another Piece of the Puzzle (04.08.08 at 19:57 )

I really enjoyed reading this – thanks for brightening my day!

Trish @ Another Piece of the Puzzles last blog post..Magic Marker Monday: Getting Zapped

#4 Posted by acarlson (06.08.08 at 23:26 )

This is wonderful! You are such a talented writer. I had no idea. I am looking forward to future posts!

#5 Posted by Three Channels » A Measure of Earnest Love (18.08.08 at 23:21 )

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#7 Posted by andreacook (03.09.08 at 15:21 )

Hilarious! 2 areas I relate the most: I wear Beautiful! Its my ‘signature’ perfume – but I am out and probably won’t have it again until Santa… I loved roller skating and Olivia Newton John too – we must be similar in age. Did you know about Xanadu??? It is playing on broadway right now!!! Can’t wait until they travel, or I travel there to see it!

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