January 13th, 2012
Ever since we moved into our new house, I’ve been dying to smudge it. Not “smudge” in the way my boys have already smudged every single wall with their grimy Cheetos covered fingers, rather “smudge” in the Native American purification sense of the word. A little ceremony to rid the house of negative energy in case the previous owners were serial killers. Or racists. Or, good God, smooth jazz fans. But honestly, has “Poltergeist” taught us nothing about the dangers of real estate? Buyer beware, my friends. Buyer beware.
Now, the first thing you need to do for your Smudge Ceremony is buy a Smudge Stick. And where else would you buy this important element of ancient Native American ritual than— Amazon.com? And, since they sell them in both the “Home Improvement” department and the “Personal Care Products” department, you’re set whether it’s your house or your face that has the dangerously bad vibes attached to it. Win!
Here’s my white sage smudge stick—-only $3.29 plus shipping:
I think it looks great, although previous customer “Suzy” only gave it three stars out of five and this sparkling Amazon review: “Meh. I still have ghosts.”
Poor Suzy. Maybe she needs Bill Murray, Dan Ackroyd and The Proton Pack to help her out instead? (YO, SUZY, I AIN’T FRAIDA NO GHOSS.)
Once the sage arrived, my husband Chris immediately made it clear that he wasn’t interested in participating in the smudging (“This is because you went to college in Eugene, Oregon, isn’t it? Take a bath, hippie, I have a conference call”), so I had to rely on three of my friends who are always up for anything. Well, up for anything if given a pastry/wine bribe. I love how we have that in common.
So this morning they showed up and, after a house tour and an hour of gossip about the passive-aggressive women who live to torture innocent Room Moms like myself, we lit the smudge stick on fire. Question: have you ever gone to a Willie Nelson concert? Ridden in the back of a VW van with a bunch of tie-dyed Deadheads? Stood in the middle of the Nevada desert while lightning struck 2,000 sagebrush and set the entire state on fire? Because that’s pretty much what the smudge stick smelled like as it billowed white, pungent smoke all over my house, my friends, my furniture and myself. Luckily we had a Pyrex measuring bowl with us to catch all of the ash it spewed or my house would now look like a suburban Burning Man. (Sans the naked acid trippers and centaur trombone players, of course.)
Then, while I held the burning, smelly sage in my hand, the four of us walked from room to room letting the smoke flow freely. Not being Native American, we weren’t quite sure what to say or chant (“Hakuna Matata” and “My body, my choice!” were immediately shot down), so we decided to just think happy, positive thoughts. We tried our best to bring our uplifting, lasting energy to the Aarons’ new home. Which I admit was helped in great part by the pot of coffee and chocolate croissants we’d just inhaled. Not quite how the Cherokees do it, but then again, they have a lot more willpower than we do.
But now the question is: will this whole thing even work? Will our little party ensure my family’s happiness in the new house? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I had a lovely, joyful time with my friends and that having my home filled with their love and laughter today made my house feel even more like my home.
Plus, and even more important, I was able to get a picture of each of them holding the smudge stick like a big ass doobie, so now I can blackmail them for the next 30 years. And if that doesn’t give me super positive energy, I don’t know what the hell will.
And just to prove I’m not a jerk, here’s the one they took of me smudging my face—-as well as what’s left of my reputation. Oooh, I hope it ends up on Facebook! Or a Taiwanese XXX website!
(And I know, I look just like Bob Marley here. No woman, no cry, baby.)
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