I stopped by the drugstore to pick up a bottle of Listerine, original recipe.
When I was a little girl, Listerine only came in one flavor, and in a glass bottle wrapped in brown paper. The manufacturer indicating, either as a warning or promise, one layer of glass alone might not contain the toxic fumes.
Today there are dozens of variations on the Draino/Pinesol-flavor theme. Minty? Really?
I'm rather with my parents on this one. I don't believe germs die unless they, and I-- by unwilling association, are having an unpleasant, painful experience.
Growing up, me and my friends were skinned knees and elbows just waiting to happen. Walking scabs, really. And while their parents treated the boo-boos with Bactine and other supposedly painless preparations, in our house we got Mercurochrome, which is basically iodine mixed with glass shards.
We didn't get the Ouch-less band aids either, but these weird kind of industrial type cloth things with superglue on the back end. Only now, in retrospect, I realize these were patches made to re-attach severed digits. Dad must have pilfered the contents of one of his factories to supply our personal First Aid Kit.
Because Dad was not above helping himself to freebies. He took business trips every month. We drank juice from Hilton tumblers, and could always grab a United Airlines pillow for a road trip. A businessman who traveled extensively, I'm sure he considered these as perks, akin to frequent flyer miles.
I had a friend who would take his grandmother out for a monthly dinner, and she'd clear anything not nailed down on the table. Put it in her purse. Salt and pepper shakers, condiment jars. "They expect you to take it, honey," she told us. Well, she was 80, and I've always respected my elders.
I had a brief life in crime. Shoplifting. Nothing big -- make-up, mainly; perfume, sunglasses. My biggest score was a Danish commemorative plate. $35 dollars. I gave it to my parents for their anniversary, and inherited the plate when my father died. It hangs at the entryway to my kitchen, today. And brings back more than a single memory.
Then, as abruptly as my life in crime started, it ended. When I turned 16. Not a conscious choice.
Remember? When all you ever craved at breakfast was Cap'n Crunch? The caramel goodness soaked in milk and snap. And then one day you woke up and realized you'd never crave it again.
Like that. Not a choice, at all.
A mystery. As most of life's enthusiasms. Here today, gone tomorrow.