Last week I came home from work and walked into the bathroom, eager to wash the smell of money and cardboard crumbs off my hands. Half of my mind was engaged in planning recipes and the other half was caught by the exclamatory title on the bottle of hand soap. Minimalist in design, this bottle was an opaque rectangle with a small picture printed at the top and, in all caps and bold print “LEAVES”. I chuckled to myself, picturing the marketing team who probably branded this: 4 people sitting in a room with the walls covered with colored paper mapping ideas and consumer traits. Samples of the soap scents sit in the center of the table and Sample A is passed around the circle. A stern but stunning woman in stilettos keeps the meeting running while two designers in tight jeans and shirts screen printed by their friends doodle furiously in their notebooks and another man wearing a button down unbuttoned at the top without a shirt underneath exclaims “what if we called it – LEAVES!”. Brilliance was agreed upon, and the Bath and Body Works scent LEAVES was born.
For the next few hours, I couldn’t stop laughing about the LEAVES in the bathroom. It might have been the unusually simple title; compared to Warm Vanilla Sugar, Sensual Amber, and PS. I Love You (what do you think PS. I Love You smells like anyway?) LEAVES stands on its own. But, more likely, I suspect what curled my lips into a smile was the surprisingly exclamatory tone; my house is decorated almost entirely in cream, and nothing really exclaims much of anything except lack of exclamation.
That’s kind of the feeling I’ve had about this summer. I’ve enjoyed it I guess, but it’s been relaxing more than epic. I’ve gotten some much needed rest and sun and time to get my ducks in a row, but I’m finding there isn’t much to write to any of you about. And frankly, I keep forgetting things like A) I’m going to start grad school in a week and B) 15 months from now (if not sooner) I’ll be shaking the dust of this town off my feet and starting a totally new life in some yet undetermined place intentionally far from here. The complacent relative-contentment of here is rolling along, creamily, like the green lawns roll into one and other.
But in a few places there are leaves beginning to change. Fire reds and golden yellows crowning a few small trees and a handful of leaves fallen at the base of some of the larger trees. And when I spot these little colorful patches on walks with my dog or driving to and from work, I shout LEAVES! to myself, remembering that though the thermometer says 75degrees and the manmade subdivision hills are the same manicured green they’ve been all summer, autumn is just around the corner.
Today my text books arrived. LEAVES! And my boss asked how my classes where going and I answered that they started next week. LEAVES! And my other boss told the new hires she’s not going to let me go and that I’m headed for corporate. LEAVES! And I’ve got contacts I need to catch up with from my jobs past, and I need to catch up on what’s happening in the field. LEAVES!
“Just like autumn leaves we’re in for change.” – TV on the Radio