The summer after I graduated High School I interned in Washington D.C. It seemed that Vanilla Coke had just came out. If it hadn’t, I had never had it before that trip. I stayed in a College Dormitory which had a vending machine stocked with the stuff, and the dorm seemed so old and run down- and the Vanilla Coke so new, that the soda seemed so novel. I don’t know if I even liked Vanilla Coke that much, but it was new, and I dunno, somehow seemed good to drink. Now, I still don’t know if I like Vanilla Coke. I don’t know if I like the taste of it that is. I definitely like Vanilla Coke, because every time I drink one, memories of that summer come flooding back.
If I ever eat a peppermint pattie with a grape soda I remember rides home from school with my dad when I was a kid.
In reality, the combination of the two does sound pretty foul, but that doesn’t matter. The two went together when I was 7, and they always have since.
Now I try to actually manifest sensory associations like this. I don’t know why. I think it’s because I’m addicted to daydreaming, These things bring me to another place, and the more I can create that in my life the better. So when I go on trips or do new things, I purposefully seek out trying lots of new things, in the hopes that one will blow my mind, and the memory will stick. Like, I don’t know, maybe I’ll eat octopus for the first time in Indonesia, or maybe I’ll smell a rare, exotic orchid that no one ever gets to see on an African Safari.
It’s usually much simpler than that. I’ll buy a different bar of soap on vacation, and then in the future, the scent always reminds me of a far off land. Though it could be something more adventurous. I’m on a little trip right now and you know, I’ve never ridden a mechanical bull…
I’ve done this little ‘sensory association’ trick inadvertently and on purpose with roller derby. My first team was called the VooDoo Dolls, and we used to say “Can you feel the VooDoo Curse?” and other cheesy slogans. That was 6 years ago. –And to this day I still have to paint “VooDoo” on my left skate truck and “Curse” on my right skate truck. It just seems like good luck, my secret weapon if you will. I have more deliberately created a recurring theme with the black and white checkers I decorate my helmets with. I don’t think I have any other crazy derby traditions or anything. Other than I talk to myself a lot in my head before jams. I give myself pep talks and amp myself up. But doesn’t everyone do that?
Not sure. But I do know some girls out there have some pretty serious rituals. Some are mostly unhealthy, like chugging energy drinks before games. But a few, like my past teammate who wouldn’t drink alcohol for at least three days before a game actually did have her health in mind-(and that might actually be a good idea for almost everyone to put into practice.) I’d be curious to know what others out there do, but alas, I’m usually the only one who shares in this forum.