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wotd: sachet

sachet \sa-SHEY\, noun:
1. A small bag, case, or pad containing perfuming powder or the like, placed among handkerchiefs, etc., to impart a pleasant scent.
2. Also, sachet powder, the powder contained in such a case.

Last Saturday I took the Federal Census Bureau Test for Field Employee Positions. The test was scheduled to be given at Foothills Lutheran Church, near my home. When I phoned for details I was instructed to bring my drivers' liscense and social security card, as I would be filling out an application for Federal employment and the representative there would be authorizing my identification.

Early Saturday afternoon I began the search for my social security card. I thought I'd find it in one of two places, but when neither location held it I started feeling nervous. So I started opening boxes of memorabilia and flipping through files I haven't opened in years. After two hours of fruitless searching I left for the test armed with my license and birth certificate because I couldn't find my social security card.

Now I'm not girly-girl in any way. I tromped up the stairs to that test dressed in green cords, a long sleeved T-shirt, and sneaks. Other women arrived for the test dressed in what I assumed is also their day-to-day wear: spangly top, tight capri jeans, strappy silver wedge sandles. Like I said, I'm not girly-girl, but I know what a sachet is. I've received a few as gifts, which have ended up scenting the garbage can rather than my underwear drawer.

But then I remembered a sachet I received long ago... long, long, ago, from one of the only people whose gifts I tend to keep, especially her handmade ones. I thought I'd find it in one of two places. I commenced the search in my underwear and sock drawer. Pawing through matched and orphaned socks tumbled with ancient elastic-shot panties yielded nothing. So I dumped the entire contents of that drawer on the bedroom floor.

Guess what I found.

Yup. My social security card, safe and sound inside the large rigid envelope holding my BA and official college transcripts. I must have put them there after applying for my job at the preschool, or submitting to the background check for my fingerprint clearance.

Guess what else I found.


This little sachet made for me by my sister Mandy some untold years ago. I've kept it through my move to college dorm, bachelorette pad, first apartment with Dave, first rented home with Dave, first purchased home with Dave, second purchased home with Dave. It's been there amongst my socks and unmentionables all this time, still emitting the spicy scent of cloves. I love thinking of Mandy making this; raiding the spice rack for something that smelled good, the fabric stash for a pretty little flowered remnant, the yarn stash for a bit of wool with which to tie it. It's a gift from the heart, and I'll always keep it there.

And while I was searching for my social security card on Saturday, I unearthed other Mandy memorabilia: most notably the lyrics for a song called "They're Gonna Come Shoot Ya" and a dot-matrix screenplay for a little something called Social Security Check by Steven Spielsberg. I'm hoping to find a way to weave them into future wotd entries.

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wotd: temporize

temporize \TEM-puh-ryz\, intransitive verb:
1. To be indecisive or evasive in order to gain time or delay action.
2. To comply with the time or occasion; to yield to prevailing opinion or circumstances.
3. To engage in discussions or negotiations so as to gain time (usually followed by 'with').
4. To come to terms (usually followed by 'with').

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