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As I sat on the bench, waiting for my local 2 which would take me deeper into Brooklyn, two young girls set down their things next to me. They appeared to be sisters; both thin with long wavy brown hair, probably around 5th grade and 8th grade. The older girl had slightly darker and straighter hair, clearly straightened and styled with a little product. She wore jeans and a cute middle school-esque t-shirt. The younger girl wore athletic shorts and an athletic top and wore her long curly hair in pig tails. Her face was framed with tortoise shell glasses in a nerdy 5th grade way. The two girls had just gotten off the train and set down their things to readjust for their walk home. The oldest was ready to go quicker and the younger girl had to run to catch up and I noticed her clarinet case swinging in her hand as she jogged. When the older sister passed me, this scent hit my nose like a tidal wave of memories. She was doused in a familiar Victoria Secret body spray scent. One of the same scents some of my girl friends all but bathed in when I was in 8th grade.

I was hit with the memories of our middle school and early high school obsessions with body sprays and wearing a wide variety of crazy scents. My go-to body spray was the Bath and Body Works “Sun-Ripened Raspberry” spray, and I liberally sprayed this on my clothes because I loved to smell it during the day. Fortunately my high school boyfriend liked it too, for those three months of sophomore year at least. It reminded me of going to the mall and killing time at Victoria’s Secret, checking out all the sickeningly sweet smells. I never quite understood their appeal (not to mention their price). We might head over to American Eagle afterwords, eventually making our way to Bath and Body Works. Some days we might even venture out to the Mall of America, making sure to go to Forever 21 (it was fairly new then), maybe even Hot Topic. Ah the draw of capitalism, it starts early. (So early, in fact, that when I received my $3.50/week allowance as a 7 year old, it burned a hole in my pocket. I needed to spend it right away! Once I bought GAK! Another time I bought Silly Putty. And, another time still, I made the greatest mistake I would ever make. I bought Silly Putty that was made to smell like HOT DOGS. Who would ever do such a terrible thing?! Why did I WANT such a terrible thing? Oy, my hands smelled terrible for days. But I did have a good laugh about it.)

I took this walk down memory lane abruptly, an unexpected turn. All because of that Victoria’s Secret scent and the remembrance of the deliciously (most likely toxic) wonderful raspberry spray. (Which is, indeed, discontinued.)

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