On Wednesday night, which is now in my mind, laundry night, Anne and Rian were discussing the different ways people smelled. Everyone's house has its unique smell.
"Every place you've lived in still smelled like you and Grandpa," they agreed.
I got uneasy with this observation. They recognize our smell? What is that smell? Dried toad? Camel breath? Sluffed off skin? Rancid hamburger?
One of the grandmas, not me, smelled like mint. I hoped I smelled at least as good as mint. Mint is nice. Mint is minty.
"Grandpa smells warm," they said. Warm? Like manure?
"He smells warm?"
"Yes. It's a comfortable smell. He smells warm." Their faces look positive; I assume warm is good.
"You smell like lipstick."
I am relieved. "Like cosmetics," I asked.
They nod their heads.
"Remember at Second Avenue, when we came to visit, Grandma would hug us and our faces were
squished into her breasts?" They both laughed.
"I'm going to bed now," I said. "You can have this conversation without me."
This morning I searched in the cupboard under the bathroom sink and found the box of Chanel No. 5
body powder, and puffed myself liberally with it. On the scale of grandma smells, I don't want to fall below lipstick.