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.

31 thoughts on “The Drink Of The Apocalypse

  1. Hi!

    Crohn’s flare: icky! I feel for you!

    Thank god I haven’t needed to go on that ‘gorgeous’ ensure stuff yet…

    You’re patient keeping a box of ensure for that long…I would have given it to charity ;-)!

    Very funny story but! 🙂


  2. Hahahahahahahaaaa! How funny-he paid a whole helluva lot more for that ‘generic’ ensure than he would have for real slimfast! I got a couple of cans of ensure for my 40th birthday from a funny (not) friend, and the KIDS sucked that shit up like milkshakes…they couldn’t get enough of it!

  3. When I was 15, and had my wisdom teeth out on Thanksgiving wknd (evil bastards – I didn’t “have to miss so much school” that way OR eat t-giving. WTF) and they tried to feed me my great-grandma’s ensure. I preferred pureed campbell’s vegetable soup. It was THAT nasty.

    That having been said, I’m so sorry you’re in a position to perhaps wish that case back!! 🙁

  4. That is SUCH a male thing to do. I literally have to send mine picture text messages so he can buy the right thing OR I have him send me one of what he is getting. LOL Yes, Yes it is that bad.

  5. My husband would sooooo do that. Except maybe he’d bring back vanilla Ensure, because he’s all contrarian like that. And then he’d probably drink a can to make a point.

    But I digress. Can someone just make you a homemade shake including things delicious and calming? Is that possible?

  6. Having just bought AN ELBOW BRACE, I can relate in a sort of way. Who would ever think I would need such a device? Not me.
    Next will probably be the Ensure.
    But while I’m here, let me ask- what would the difference be between 200 calories of Ensure and 200 calories of Slimfast?

  7. Isn’t it just freaking amazing that what we considered “old people mess” in the not so distant past would come around to bite us in the butt? I have become an Excedrin Back and Body addict ….because I’m knocking on 40 and my body hates me. You can totally look on the bright side….there’s always coupons for ensure in the Sunday paper. :))

  8. My niece got really sick when she was about 3 years old and she kept losing weight. Ensure is what they gave her to get her weight back up, haha.

  9. Mine would do it too. Mine likes to get the stuff HE wants me to have instead of what I request. Not that I request stuff from him much, cause I don’t and I know now, why. The thing that caught me first in your story was that he even called to see if you needed anything! Who does that? Please tell me, he no longer does it, so I kind of feel better. Please.

  10. I just have to say this – I totally agree with the Daver about CVS. Everytime I walk into that place, I’m like, WTF were they thinking when they designed this store? The aisles are all weird and shit and I can never find anything anywhere that makes any sense.

    My husband loves CVS. I think they suck!

  11. hommie, i say drink whatever you can keep down and that will give you some energy. it totally sucks ass that you are going through this. when is the babe making her arrival???

    i know it must be soon because you have to be farther along than i am.

  12. All that stuff is nasty. I did something like that when the doc wanted me to lose 30lbs before he’d do my gastric bypass (like 250lb lost already wasn’t enough to give him room to root around in there). I drank nothing but SILK soy milk for a month. It worked though!

  13. I could totally imagine my husband doing the same thing! That’s so funny. I’m surprised he didn’t argue with you though, that since it’s still the same amount of calories, it was basically the same thing. Come to think of it… what IS the difference? I’m now curious and want to research the nutritional info on them both…

  14. Generic Vanilla Ensure tastes like chalk. Real Vanilla Ensure is okay. Chocolate is pretty good. Butter pecan? I have to keep myself from drinking it for a dessert when I’m perfectly healthy. It sure went down easy when I had some nausea last summer. The real stuff is worth the extra 25 cents a can :/

    I also drank Ensure in my 30s, during times I was too depressed/lazy to feed myself.

    Probably if you pour in a little guar gum or whatever to make it feel more filling, it would be pretty much the same as Slim Fast.

  15. hmmmm I always wondered who actually drank Slimfast…or Ensure for that matter. and you are a nurse? lol just saying

  16. Oh bless your heart. Pregnant and digestive issues flaring up must = a very unhappy Aunt Becky. I can only imagine how much it must suck.

    Hope you get to feeling better.

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