So Saturday was my paternal grandmother’s 85th birthday, and my Aunt Mary invited the whole family to her lake house in upstate South Carolina to celebrate. (It’s gorgeous there, by the way, and lakefront living rocks, man. I’m now shopping for lakefront property.) I hauled my butt out of bed early Saturday and drove four hours so that I could play with my cousins’ babies and toddlers and small loud boys, eat entirely too much barbecue, get dragged and bounced across Lake Hartwell on the inflatable watersport version of an electric bull, and get my ass whipped at Uno Attack. A good time was had by all, and the next day I hauled my butt back into my car and drove the four hours home. All in all, it was pleasantly uneventful.
But moments after I walked into my house Sunday night, ready to crash into my bed and sleep for a week, my Aunt Mary called and asked me if I’d brushed my teeth yet. “Why, that’s a strange question, Aunt Mary,” I exclaimed. “Why do you ask?” Now, my Aunt Mary is a wonderful woman and she looks out for me in many ways, but asking after my oral hygiene is not one of those ways. Indeed, her question was wrapped in sarcasm, as she knew full well I hadn’t yet brushed my teeth because I had left my [fancy-shmancy WaterPik sonic rechargeable] toothbrush in her bathroom. I had also left my toothpaste, and that, friends, is an even greater tragedy.
You see, I discovered a few years ago that I am allergic to whatever makes tartar control toothpaste tartar control. It causes angry red ulcers to spread around my mouth and chin (I’m not a neat brusher) and makes me look like a leper. A few weeks ago I accidentally bought a tube of tartar control (those darn Tom’s boxes all look the same!) and only realized the mistake when those telltale sores appeared on my mouth. I purchased a regular tube, and that tube, along with my toothbrush, was left behind when I departed Mary’s lake house. She assured me that she’d mail it on Monday, but I had to brush my teeth in the meantime. What to do? Oh, what to do?
I located a spare toothbrush, but the only tube of toothpaste I had was the tartar control mistake, so I went rummaging through some old travel kits until I stumbled across a tiny tube of Burt’s Bees Essential Oils Lavender Mint Toothpaste. I love Burt’s products for the most part, but there is a reason I do not use Burt’s toothpaste: potpourri is not an appropriate dental product. I’m not kidding, people. This toothpaste is purple, and not the purple of Barney/Minnie Mouse/Winnie the Pooh and Piglet kids’ toothpaste. It’s purple like actual lavender. It tastes just like lavender oil smells, and it leaves an odd oily film on your teeth, and it does not lather at all, and when you spit it looks like grape milk. Thank GOD for Listerine, or I would be scrubbing my teeth with an Altoid.
Pray for me, will you–pray that my toothbrush and, more importantly, my toothpaste are waiting in my mailbox when I get home tomorrow. And I will pray for you–pray that if you are tempted by that lovely Burt’s Bees display at the market, and if you are curious about the Essential Oils toothpaste, that you will resist the urge to satisfy your curiosity and will buy some lip balm instead.