I hope we're not doing THAT again

My Mom and I decided to clean out the cabinet below the bathroom sink a few nights ago. It had become a graveyard for bath products. Among the old, crusty bottles were hotel shampoos from the '80s, innumerable bath and shower gels that we'd received for Xmas from the families we babysat for, and Steve's collection of mega-hold L.A. Looks hair gel from 6th grade. There was quite a bit of the old gel left, despite what you might think when you see pictures of him from that year. You could have used him as a portable cork board, so pin-like were his spikes.

In any event, as I was washing out the bottles this morning, I had a nice trip down memory lane. I remembered a family vacation as I rinsed the dregs out of a Block Island authentic shampoo bottle. The numerous bottles from Garden Botanica, a bath store that left the JV Mall in about 1997, reminded me of the self-perfume station where you could mix your own scent. Katie and I would wander around that store, clutching our babysitting money, wondering which scent we would splurge on next. Thinking back on it, I suppose we were victims of marketing and the ploys of the ad campaigns in suburban malls, but I remember associating the purchase of mango gel with a rite of passage, a step towards woman-hood, and rarely did the prospect of cleanliness from such mango gel cross my mind.

We became women in baby steps, first through shower gel and crimping irons, and then through mascara and eyelash-curling weapons. Katie was always braver about trying something new; I remember her using Nair for the first time while sitting on the edge of the tub in the bathroom the three of us shared. "What's it like?" I asked. "BURNS," she squealed.

As I was rinsing the final evidence of our transition from adolescent kids to normal, functioning members of society (albeit on good days), my Dad paused by the sink to fill up a water bottle for his bike ride. "Look at all this stuff," he said. "I hope we're not doing THAT again." Because when he sees a bunch of bottles of bubble bath so old that the lilacs on the label have turned yellow, he bemoans the idiocy that was the women in his family for spending so much money.

Maybe it takes a female to know one, maybe it takes a couple of fallopian tubes to understand the significance of the history of one's below-the-sink cabinet. I agree with him; I hope we're not doing THAT again either, but not because it was a waste of money the first time around. I hope we're not doing THAT again because we already did it once, we grew up, we became women, and I think we all can all agree that going through that once was enough.

1 comment:

seasidesar said...

dear jen,
please update your blog again... i'm running out of ways to procrastinate!
ps - why'd you have to was out all those old bottles?