Last night after discovering that I ran out of hand cream and fearing the worst-- my soft supple (not really but it sounds good) skin would turn into ghastly alligator-like scales, I rushed out in the middle of the night to find myself a good ole 24 hour CVS drugstore.
There it was , the letters C V S illuminated the dark sky and like a lighthouse in a dense fog, drew me into its parking lot. There was no time to lose. Every second that passed brought me closer to buying swampland real estate in Florida , forever dwelling there with other lonely large lizards.
I rushed to the skin care aisle and scanned the shelves. The usual assortment was there. Your high end hand creams, the ones that promise as long as you use their product religiously, wrinkles and liver spots wouldn't DARE think of residing on the back of your hands. I looked at the price--were they freakin serious? $15.95 for hand cream? I reached for it because fear of aging trumps fear of poverty any day. I turned to walk to the cashier. It was then that I saw it, minding its own business,cool as a cucumber, smack dab in the middle of the shelf where the low-ends and generics live.
It sat almost majestically, holding its ageless pump high. A pump that had undoubtedly seen its share of expensive products come to the market with promises that could never be kept, only to crash and burn. I picked it up, looked around to make sure that I was alone and took off the top. I breathed in it's familiar cherry-almond scent and was immediately catapulted back to my childhood in Brooklyn, sleeping over my Grandma Bessie's one bedroom apartment.
Before bedtime, we would watch the eleven o'clock news. She would lean far back on her recliner,( the foot rest would be a foot off the ground to reduce her end of the day ankle swelling), pump the bottle of Jergens and generously and methodically rub it into her hands. Just before the news ended, during the very last commercial, she would disappear into the bedroom and pull down one corner of the blanket on each twin size bed, to make it more inviting when we turned in for the night. After the news ended, I would jump into bed feeling safe as a clam and drifting off to sleep with the scent of cherries and almonds floating above the sheets.
I brought the bottle up to the cashier. If it was good enough for Bessie, whose hands could comfort the feverish of brows, then it was good enough for me.
There isn't an alligator in sight!
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Alison is the award-winning author of The Lily Lockwood Series: The Seeds of a Daisy and soon to be published The Silver Cord.
The Seeds of a Daisy is available paperback and digital download: Amazon, barnesandnoble.com and iTunes