Saturday 01 Oct 2016

The Quotidian
Jennifer Flaten

For today’s, why yes it is a daily occurrence because people tend to forget to let me know we are out of essentials like toilet paper, trip to Target I bought six items and I left the store with three separate bags.

One bag contained two swimsuits, for my daughters, I don’t even require one swimsuit, let alone two; one pair of swim trunks, for the small boy in the family and a sponge, yes, I treated myself. The other two bags held the laundry soap and the bath soap.

Yes, each cleaning product rode in its own separate bag. Why, I don’t know, maybe they are feuding like the Hatfields and the McCoys?

Personally, I think item segregation is out of control. I have no problem with the meat riding in its own little plastic cocoon, but does the bar soap really need a triple bag of plasticky goodness. 

I remember when the only thing you worried about was the bag boy putting the milk on top of the loaf of bread. Now, people worry if the toothpaste is in the same package as the box of rice.

It’s not as if the toothpaste is uranium 235, besides the packaging these days is impenetrable. Especially, as the toothpaste sealed seven-ways-to-Sunday, I wouldn’t worry about it leaking on anything.

Speaking of packaging, nothing is worse than the packaging for children’s toys. When my girls were small, they loved the Littlest Pet Shop toys. For those unfamiliar with this particular brand of parent torture, they are tiny plastic animals with cutesy names and miniscule accessories.

The packaging for these toys is impervious. I am confident it could survive reentry from space and still be inaccessible. I would like five minutes alone with the engineer who designed this packaging, after I am done with him he would fit inside one of his packages. 

First, the toys are in a cardboard box, which sealed with some space age glue that resists any sharp object. Once you breach the hull, the toys themselves are nestled in a molded plastic shell. If by some chance you can pop the rice size plastic comb out of its plastic coffin, you aren’t in the clear yet.

The damn thing is rubber banded-rubber banded!-inside the plastic shell. One year the girls received two sets of those damnable toys. The girls fell asleep waiting for me to free their toys.

In fact, I now keep a multi-tool in my glove box so I can open any toy packaging in the toy store parking lot. Oh yes, children want their toys immediately. Especially if they just spent their own money, on that toy and they will fidget, whine, and cry the entire time you are wrestling with the package.

Prior to stashing the multi-tool in the car, I considered running the package over with the car. I mean it might have popped the package open, right. I can honestly say that is reason number one, of a very extensive list, why I don’t own a gun, because if I did I would have shot the Polly Pockets package in the parking lot at Toys ‘r’ Us.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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