Thursday, August 19, 2010

Bathroom Relics

You know how some people have ointment tubes and medicine jars in their bathroom cabinets that have been there for decades? You can tell by the package design that the item hails from a time when nurses still wore white dresses and cute, triangular hats. The metal lid has rust around the edge. The cream inside has solidified. Yet they don't throw it out. Resting in the shadows between Q-tips and corn pads, it has taken on the gravitas of a family motif, a fixed indicator of their collective identity and medical history. The children in the family have grown accustomed to bumping into that crusted old bottle of Doan's Pill's whenever they retrieve a Band-aid. Years later, the sight of Doans Pill's will trigger a wave of nostalgia for them.

I don't have any over-the-counter relics gathering dust and significance in my bathroom cabinet. The closest I can come is this little green tin of Doctor Burt's skin ointment. I have had it for probably 7 years --more than half the kids' lives. Annabelle asks for it from time to time, when she has bug bites. "Where is that green container with the man on it?"she says. Perhaps years from now the scruffy visage on this tin will be one that hurtles her back into the dimlit corridor of some childhood memory.


  1. keep it and pack it in her luggage when she goes off to college.

  2. why DO we keep that stuff around. sometimes i keep something like that to remind me of what i need to go get if i ever need it again. bcz if i throw it away now, later i won't remember what the name of it was.....

  3. by the way, once again, as i am getting ready to finally post my blog i see that you have a new one out there and what should the title be but "bathroom relics." maybe i should retitle MY blog to "bathroom relics" as well.