Several years ago, when Dave and I still lived in a Oak (No) Park (ing), I was making a trek back from St. Charles, when Dave called my cell phone. When I answered, he asked if I needed anything from the local CVS–mecca well before there was my delightful Target within spitting distance–as he was there picking up Twizzlers.
“Yeah,” I told him. “I need some Slim-Fast. The strawberry shit, not the chocolate stuff. It’s delicious AND refreshing.”
“If you say so,” my husband said. “I think it tastes like donkey ass. But whatever, where is it?”
“It’s over by the dietary stuff, against the south wall,” I informed him. “I thought YOU were all directionally superior to me!”
“Dude, not here. The layout to this place makes zero sense,” he snipped, annoyed that I was mocking his directional sense for the eighty five hundredth time that month, after he’d gotten lost in Wisconsin, WHERE HE CAME FROM.
“Okay, so do you want the 200 calorie or the 300 calorie stuff?” He asked me, standing in front of the dietary aids.
“Wha…?” I asked him while lighting a cigarette. “SlimFast comes in one variety and it’s all about 200 calories.”
“Well, all they have here is generic in your high falutin’ STRAWBERRY flavor,” he replied. “Do you still want it?”
Knowing that drinking the generic stuff was far better than being tempted by the bacon and eggs he and Ben would be having for breakfast the following morning, I reluctantly agreed to have him grab the 200 calorie stuff.
About a half an hour later, I pulled into our shared garage, about 4,000 years away from our actual building and about 20 minutes after that, I was finally up the twenty billion stairs, and standing in our teeny-tiny kitchen.
Where I noticed, sitting jauntily on the counter, was a case of Ensure. Generic, Strawberry flavored, ENSURE. Which, were I a geriatric with digestive issues trying to pack on the pounds, would probably be a delicious and high calorie snacky-poo. But, since I was a 23 year old with digestive issues trying to REMOVE the pounds, I wasn’t so thrilled.
“Dave…” I trilled into the house, “Honey?”
He walked into the kitchen to give me a hug hello.
“Baby…” I asked him hesitantly, wondering if he were punishing me for singing Rod Stewart at the top of my lungs when he was in a bad mood the previous night. “Baby, are you mad at me?”
“No,” he replied, genuinely confused, “why?”
“Because you bought ENSURE. Not SlimFast. Are you trying to fatten me up? Or are you just trying to give my guts a low-residue treat?”
“WHAT?” He asked, now looking more closely at the box of cans. “I totally thought this was SlimFast!”
“No baby, that isn’t even close to SlimFast. This shit is for people who have no colon left. And maybe in 30 years, I’ll need it myself, but for now? Not so much.”
That same box of ENSURE sat on my kitchen counter, then moved into my fridge, until months later, we sold our condo. We’d forgotten to return it, because it was far more a pain in the ass than it was worth, and neither of us knew a soul that might have a use for it.
Today, however, the box long gone, and my Maybe Crohn’s flaring up mightily, I’m thinking that perhaps suddenly I really COULD use it. Which is perhaps the LAST situation I ever thought that I might be in. Especially a mere 5 years later.
Goes to show you never can fucking tell.