Being neither Irish nor a great lover of beer, I like to think of St. Patrick’s Day as an homage to the color green. In honor of this day set aside to celebrate a visual experience, I was making a list of green things that I love, only to discover that the the top two items on this list no longer exist. So, with nostalgic abandon, here are some little odes to my top three green-thing happy memories:
#1 The Crayola crayon called “Magic Mint”
Was discontinued in 2003. I remember a particular summer spent on the Texas coast – swimming, getting salty and a little burned, watching Blue’s Clues, the smell of vitamin E gel, and a box of 120 crayons with an accompanying swatch list for every color in order. Magic Mint was a translucent light green, a bit more on the blue side than the yellow. It was light enough that you had to press down till your fingers hurt to get a nice layer of color, but it was worth it. Goodbye, Magic Mint! The children of today don’t know what they’re missing. (As consolation, Crayola introduced “inchworm” that same year, which is not only a nice color, but also a great name.)
Note to readers: the top photo is not of Magic Mint. I couldn’t get my hands on the now-vintage real thing (although there might be one in the crayon box at Cathy’s house). These are new crayons from the 120-color box. That extra wrapper you see there was my attempt to more accurately show the user what color they’re about to get since Crayola only prints 16 different wrapper colors and judging by the wax color alone can be very misleading…
#2 Kirsten Larson the American Girl, and her dusty green dress
Yes, The Pleasant Company “archived” Kirsten Larson in 2010. At age 9, I thought this green “milking dress” with tiny plum stripes was perhaps the most lovely item of clothing ever invented by anyone. Never having milked a cow, planted anything successfully, or used an outhouse, I often fantasized about living in 1850s America. Granted, the 1850s America of my dreams was an unusually clean and happy alternate-universe-version of our own in which nobody ever needed to use the restroom, slavery and diseases didn’t exist, it was always 70 degrees except when it snowed on Christmas, and people used the words “calico” and “molasses” at least once a day.
Reality check aside, there is still a place in my heart for this doll, and her dress, and 9-year-old suburban imaginary pioneers.
#3 (not discontinued, but green and wonderful) Lava soap
It’s perfect for cleaning paintbrushes since there’s a little pumice in there, but not so much to chap your hands. Plus, a soap that’s wrapped in paper is always fun to open – carefully – like Charlie opens the chocolate bar that contains the golden ticket. I used to have a soap collection – a huge Rubbermaid under-bed box filled with molded, scented fat and lye. Mmmm. It was actually a pretty great (and eventually useful) thing to collect, but maybe that should be another post…
What I love most about Lava soap is that it smells like Trident cinnamon gum, of which Cathy (my mom) used to keep an endless supply in a man-shaped tin near her desk. When I smell it, I think of visiting my mom at her drawing table, pulling off the tin man’s head (his head was the top of the tin and his body was the bottom), getting some Trident, and probably leaving the wrapper someplace that wasn’t the trash… Happy memories…
If you have any green, vintage, or Crayola-scented happy memories, we’d love to hear ’em!