Almost every summer, I hit a moment when it’s very hot and I wish to be clean and cool. I long for the freshness of summers past in the Adirondacks where my family spent lots of time. I can’t escape to the lake of long ago. I can buy a tiny travel-sized blue tub of Noxema cold cream, potion loved during those early adolescent summers, though. I don’t need a huge tub. I need enough to let me reminisce; I need its chill on my face on a summer day and I need that somewhat astringent but creamy scent to waft from the perfectness of that blue plastic tub.
Inevitably, the tub lasts a while, because I stop using it. Then, in the winter, I finish it up, eager to slather something thick across my dry skin. And again, I’m taken back in time and to another place. I feel lowbrow in my enduring love for Noxema.
Sarah Werthan Buttenwieser is a freelance writer and blogger whose work has appeared in the New York Times, Brain Child Magazine and Salon the Huffington Post, Babble and Ceramics Monthly. Her essays have appeared in various anthologies including The Maternal is Political and Wait a Minute, I Have to Take Off My Bra. A writer for Preview Massachusetts Magazine, she keeps a personal blog, Standing in the Shadows at the publication’s news site, the Valley Advocate and a tumblr Refractions. She is a sometime contributor to Momfilter. Follow her on twitter–@standshadows or Pinterest.