The Power of an Interlude

It was a VERY busy day at work but I had two young kids at home that were probably starring at an empty refrigerator so there was no question I would have to stop by my trusty HEB store to pick up groceries for the family.  I actually had a lot of groceries to get so I knew I would be going down most of the aisles.  After about the 4th aisle I began to get a strange feeling.  I wasn’t sure what it was at first…I mean it is normal for men to look at women and as a result it was normal for me to realize that a man was looking at me.  Maybe he liked my short skirt or something so at first I didn’t think much of it.  I went on down the 5th and 6th aisle, filling up the grocery cart for my family, all the while getting the creepy feeling someone wasn’t just looking at me…someone was FOLLOWING ME.

I thought at first it was just paranoia, which I never suffered from but there is always a first time.  I walked quicker to try to finish my grocery shopping but by the 8th aisle I could almost feel someone standing next to me…the same someone who I felt was following me.  He didn’t even have a grocery cart for goodness sake.  I decided that I was going to stop suddenly and turn around and tell him to go away!  I didn’t have the chance at all.  He sensed my nervousness and says “Excuse me, excuse me!”  I turn around and he is just a few feet away from me looking at me straight in the face.  “Ummm, I’m sorry to bother you and this is really going to sound strange, but do you mind telling me what perfume you are wearing?  I want to buy it for my wife’s birthday next week!”

It all started on a birthday I had, in particular, my 19thbirthday.  I was in college and was working at Odessa Junior College in the Reading Lab.  It was a great job.  I was called a “Reading Paraprofessional.”  That was my title.  Pretty cool for a 19 year old, I thought!  I worked for a wonderful professor named, Dr. Imogene Freer.  She put me in charge of the Reading Lab at the college that was open not only to the students at Odessa College, but to the community.  I’m not sure why she had faith in little miss Caroline Reaves to run the Reading Lab, but she did and I shall always love her for that, among other things.  Dr.

Dr Freer and I posing for an article in the Odessa American about the Reading Lab. Maybe this is when she realized I needed perfume.

Freer was my mentor the whole time I was in college.  I truly believe that she loved me like a daughter, the daughter she never had.  And any time my birthday or Christmas rolled around, she had a gift for me.  That was always nice, because who doesn’t like gifts?!

I remember absolutely nothing about my 19th birthday except the present Dr. Freer gave me in my little office down the hall from the Reading Lab.  She was very excited to give it to me.  She walked into my office and said “Happy Birthday Caroline!  I have a present for you!”  I smiled with delight as it was my first present of the day.  “Open it now Caroline!”  So I did and as I was opening it she said to me “You don’t wear perfume much, do you Caroline?”  I stopped opening the package and looked at her trying to decipher what the true meaning was behind her words.  I smiled sheepishly and said “No, but sometimes I do!”  As I finished opening the gift it is a blue and red box and Dr. Freer said, “Well Caroline, I bought this perfume for you and I hope you wear it every day!”  I really didn’t know what to say, except thank you.  I was thinking to myself that I would have to start wearing this perfume every time I’m around Dr. Freer.  I smiled and gave her a hug as she says to me, “I love you Caroline!”  “I love you too Dr. Freer!”  I truly did, whether she gave me this unwanted perfume or not.  It’s not that I wasn’t appreciative but I just wasn’t a girly girl and didn’t want to smell up things as I walked in a room, as I thought some women do.  I mean, Dr. Freer had already made me start wearing lipstick and that took weeks and weeks of her telling me “You look much better with lipstick on Caroline!”

The next day, I dutifully sprayed a little of my perfume on because I knew Dr. Freer would want to smell me.  I know that sounds strange but she would.  I drove to OC (Odessa College) and walked up the stairs of the main academic building to begin my day at work.  Within about, truly, one minute of walking into OC and walking up the stairs I faintly hear someone saying “you smell nice.”  It was a girl’s voice of all things and I look down the stairs at her as I’m walking up and say “thanks” as I turn beet red.  I wasn’t used to compliments.

If I only knew at the time that that particular compliment would be the first of literally HUNDREDS of compliments I have received in my life time, because of the perfume I wear.

INTERLUDE

This perfume I have sprayed on myself EVERYDAY of my life and this is the perfume Dr. Freer gave to me on my 19th birthday in Odessa, Texas.

You know how they say the same perfume can smell one way on one person, and completely different on another person.  Well, you know what I have to say to that?  It’s true.  And you know what else I have to say to that?  If Frances Denney, the maker of INTERLUDE, only knew how my life changed because of the perfume, Frances Denney would know that INTERLUDE was made for me and me only!  I really don’t have a big head about this, I promise, but basically it’s true.  For some reason my body chemistry is just right for this perfume and brings out the best of INTERLUDE.  I mean, they should have made a commercial about some of my experiences because of this perfume I wear.  They would have made allot more money (now it’s really hard to find).  But, they didn’t so I will just now tell you about one of the most memorable days of my life and the power of my perfume:  INTERLUDE.

It was a really beautiful morning in Austin, Texas.  October, November time frame, 2002.  I was working downtown for Junior Achievement during that time and we had an office on Brazos Street, one street east of Congress Avenue, the main street in Austin that leads straight to the capitol.  Just about every morning, before I settled into work, I would walk down the 8th street block to Congress to get my favorite coffee at a place called “Texpresso.”  I had to cross Congress Avenue every morning so I usually had to wait at the corner of 8th and Congress to cross the busy street and wait for the “walking man” signal signifying it was safe to cross.

On this day I waited once again for the “walking man” but for now it was just a big red hand blaring at us standing at the corner.  The “us” at the corner happened to be just two people, me and a young blind man with a walking stick.  I look at him quickly as it registers to me that there is no way that this man could see a “walking man” to be able to even know to cross so how would he know when to cross.  But I stand there as if nothing is wrong and think to myself he must have done this before or else he wouldn’t be doing it!  To top it all off, he doesn’t even know I was standing next to him.  I look across and see that the “walking man” signal is on.  The blind man next to me does not move so I gently touched his arm and say, “We can walk across now.”  He says thank you and we walk across together as I make sure he is okay as he steps up on the curb on the other side.  As we both stepped up on the curb I begin to walk to my favorite coffee house and I hear “Excuse me, Mam?”  I still am close enough to the young blind man so I turn around and realize he is talking to me as he is looking in my general direction.  I say, “Yes?”  He says to me, “Mam, can I ask you a question?”  “Sure,” I say, eager to help in any way I can.  “Mam, Are you beautiful?”

This was by far the last question I thought would hear.  I thought he was going to ask me directions or something, but no, he asks me if I am beautiful.  I quickly gathered my thoughts and say “Well, I suppose it depends on who you ask!”  He smiled and said, “Yes, I suppose it does but if you ask me I would say you are beautiful because you smell BEAUTIFUL.”

I was blown away.  I’m sure my mouth dropped as I pull myself together and told him thank you.  He smiled and asked me what was the name of my perfume, and I told him “INTERLUDE”.

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About Caroline

Daughter, Sister, Mom... I think the best thing I've done is to be a mom, to give my kids my love but not my thoughts and to listen, observe, offer advice when needed.
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16 Responses to The Power of an Interlude

  1. Pam says:

    Caroline – Thanks for tuning me into your blog. Paul has been telling me how good it is.

    Pam

    Like

  2. Aunt Prissy says:

    That’s so sweet! AND BEAUTIFUL YOU ARE!!

    Like

  3. Wanda Reaves says:

    This is really, really good Honey! Love it!

    Like

  4. Caroline says:

    Thanks Mom! So glad you read my posts too! You learn more and more about me! Hee HEE!

    Like

  5. Amy says:

    Caroline, I LOVE your stories! I don’t remember you coming into the office that day and telling us that one. I need to smell you next time I see you!

    Like

  6. Caroline says:

    I don’t remember you being there that day but either way, I would have been to embarrassed back them to come back and tell everybody what happened. I was just savoring it as a day to remember. It was a great day. Thanks for the sweet comments. I love writing and I love that you read them too!

    Like

  7. That is such a great story! You haven’t changed much from the picture. You can see you were as adorable than as now<3

    Like

  8. Steven says:

    As I read this, the smile on my face could only grow larger and larger. I still can’t help but grin now as I write this. Wonderful writing and wonderful story. Thank you for sharing this!!!

    Like

  9. Pingback: The Power of an Interlude | Caroline's Place to Write

  10. Patsy says:

    As you can see I am behind reading email. Enjoyed reading another one of your stories. Keep them flowing. Love you, Aunt Patsy

    Liked by 1 person

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