My husband and I sat motionless staring at the television. Before I could say, "Rewind that.", he'd already begun and simultaneously called the kids into the family room. "You have to watch this. Shh, listen and watch." They watched, then turned to us, "Mom, are you crying?"
"Who was Mr. Whipple?"
At that moment, while I marveled in the use of prime time network airspace to honor a commercial icon, I realized I craved the comfort, tradition, stability in my rapidly changing life found in, of all places, those old commercials. Honestly, just last week I watched Mrs. Lee blurt, "We need more Calgon!" Tonight I have two teenagers — neither of whom have ever chanted along to the screen, "Ancient Chinese Secret, huh?"
My daughter wouldn't understand the big deal about female " bringing home the bacon and frying it up in a pan". If I told her to "Relax!" She'd never automatically answer, "It's Palmolive!" Ever the engineer and scientist, the one household experiment my son's never been inspired to try was balancing a water glass on a wet paper towel.
A couple years ago, the Quicker Picker Upper's competitor, Brawny, updated their trademark Brawny Man. So the previous guy was declared, "outdated", but he still looked like a lumberjack, not a stockbroker who during the week, spends too much time at the gym and on weekends, sports an ax in the back yard of his suburban home. I see my sweet, blue button-downed, khaki-clad Blackberry-clutching husband every day. What's wrong with a little old fashioned plaid flannel on aisle 7?
Now Keri lotion has, I noticed during my weekly Sunday coupon clipping frenzy, gone to the dark side. The classic white bottle with simple, soothing blue text, around since Moses' mom found him in the reed basket, is now black. My Granny didn't have black bottles on her vanity. The mini bottle the hospital gave me after my first child was born was not black…Just a whiff of the stuff can send me back decades… but I don't want a black bottle on my bathroom counter.
Black is the color I wear to funerals. Black is the color of the hair dye the Goth girls at school use. Black is the color of charred logs leftover in my fireplace. Black is the color routinely appearing on random surfaces in my refrigerator and toilet bowls. There's a unique shade of black that appears under my eyes during colic, teething, teacher conferences, final exam weeks and college orientation.
White is the color of the spa products at this time in my life I can only dream about my Swiss masseuse named Sven using on me at the dessert resort I flew to in first class for two weeks with my best 2 bus stop mommy girlfriends.
Come on Old Favorites: Show some respect for tradition. For Mr. Whipple. Give me some desperately needed stability. Let me squeeze the Charmin.
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