It's not as elegant as Proust's madeleine, but I had the strangest moment last week when I fixed the beverage shown above.
The glass is one of those Looney Tunes glasses that you used to be able to get with a purchase at Burger King or McDonalds back in the 70s and 80s. My favorite one was a Miss Piggy glass (she's on the motorcycle bursting through the stained glass window in The Great Muppet Caper) -- found this picture on Ebay that shows the whole set; sadly, my glass broke when I took it to college.
Anyway, back to the Looney Tunes glass, which I inherited from my Nana after she died more than 15 years ago. I always loved using those glasses when we would visit her house on the river. She'd fill them with ice and Pepsi-Cola to take down on the pier. As strange as it sounds, that was a luxury -- we didn't drink sodas at home when I was young.
So the other day, I needed some caffeine to avoid joining my kids during their naptime, so I popped open a can of Diet Coke. It was room temperature, so I reached into the cabinet and pulled out this Foghorn Leghorn glass without thinking about anything in particular, added some ice and poured in the drink.
Then I stopped and looked at the glass, suddenly filled with memories of my Nana, of playful summer afternoons by the river, of being young and finding great pleasure in the smallest treats. I was so grateful to have had the sort of childhood that could be summoned up like that. And I imagine that my parents and my in-laws are creating little things like that now for my children, without even knowing it, that will become the catalyst for their own fond memories one day.