I’m Just Saying: It’s beginning to smell a lot Like Teen Spirit

Published 8:00 am Friday, November 30, 2018

Yes, the holidays are upon us, and people everywhere have been gouging and scratching each other out of the way to snag the best deal as they prepare to celebrate the birth of The Prince of Peace.

There are also those who tend to be a bit less commercial, a bit more thoughtful, and I must say, nothing feels more sincere, at least to me, than something from the heart. Something truly homemade, whether it be baked goods or a hand-sewn, or knitted, item.

Unless, of course, you’re a crap baker or seamstress, and if that be the case, please go back to gouging and scratching at Target (or, actually, Dover Saddlery) for my sake. Thank you.

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Because I never had children (just so you know, I can hear you sighing with relief), I was bemused by an article recently published in USA Today listing “The Best Gifts for College Students!” I don’t seem to remember being given anything as a college student, including tuition, but that’s another story and I don’t begrudge these kids a thing.

Those pricey little items in the article included things that really were useful: Patagonia fleece pullovers and sturdy, fashionable boots to trudge through the snow on way to class. Noise canceling earbuds to help with studying while one’s roommate is doing an impression of Black Stone Cherry (like, the top rock band out there, GAH, don’t you know anything??).

But then, wait a minute, what’s this? “Homesick Candles?”

Seriously: candles that reportedly smell like your home state for the homesick student. For example, their website states that Massachusetts smells like “apple picking.”

No, no it doesn’t. I’ve been to Massachusetts several times, in particular, Boston, and the scent of apples is not the first thing that meets my olfactory system. Like Manhattan, it’s generally a mixture of diesel and urine with an occasional Italian restaurant or bowl of chowder thrown in.

Now, Colorado, I agree with: “fresh notes of spruce needles and spice burn through the elements of melting snow, cedar, sandalwood and hints of amber and cinnamon.” No mention of marijuana, but there you go.

I had, of course, to go to my own state’s candle, South Carolina, and here I read, “Sip a cup of sweet tea from South Carolina steeped with bergamot, hibiscus and lemon slices. Magnolia and palmetto balance notes of grapefruit.”

Ain’t that pretty?

But not as effective, I’ll wager a guess, as my initial guess of funnel cake, smoked hog and a sweaty Clemson T-shirt. Now THAT is what South Carolina’s all about, Charlie Brown.