The Sample

I received a sample of Tide Pods ‘spring meadow’ scent in the mail. Mildly intrigued by its dishwasher tablet-esque looks, I abandoned all interest when I saw the words ‘spring meadow’ on the packaging. Because scents and I? We don’t get along. At all.

But the Gort got a hold of the package I’d set aside, (instead of depositing it in the garbage). My little label reader got very excited by the packaging and its promises: stain remover….brightener. ‘We should try this to see if it works!’ he insisted; a sense of urgency underscoring his suggestion. As though we’d potentially hit the clean laundry jackpot.

‘Um, yeah, I’m not going to try it,’ I broke the news, somewhat callously. ‘Why?’ he asked, all but demanding a very good explanation why I would not at least try the diminutive pouch of stain removing, brightening miracle detergent that I’d received free of charge.

‘Because I can’t stand the smell,’ I tried to explain. This did not sit well with my oldest. ‘Well, maybe we can just wash one shirt with it – to see if it works.’ I had visions of a washing machine filled with water and one, lone shirt floating in its ‘spring meadow’ scented water. It seemed like a waste of water. ‘I don’t think so,’ I laughed. ‘Well then what are we going to do with it?’ he demanded.

‘I could use it to wash your hair,’ I gave one of my infamous pretending-to-be-serious-when I’m-actually-joking answers.

‘Are you JOKING?!’ he despaired. ‘This says eyerritant.’ And it took me a second to discern he’d unsuccessfully read ‘eye irritant’ from the warning on the bottom of the package. ‘May be harmful if swallowed,’ he continued for our information, ‘see caution on back label!’

And the professor and I howled. For the outrage in his voice and the ultra-literal, by-the-book nature of our firstborn. And though I tried to suppress my howling, I’m guessing the tears running down my cheeks and the snort-sounds at the back of my throat gave me away.


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