16 July 2015

Nostalgia in the Target Shampoo Department, and a Digression about Toothpaste

I think I have turned into my mother. I took my daughter to Target the other day to buy some things that she needs for camp. Included on the list that she made (Uggs = NO, iPod = NO) were shampoo and conditioner (can't argue against cleanliness) but what she picked out off the shelf is called Not Your Mother's Shampoo.

[Truth be told, I think she'd seen an ad for it, because she was looking for it.]

I had to laugh. When I was a tween/teen, all I wanted was the toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner that my mother wouldn't buy. She was deep into Pathmark's No Frills brand. Price was definitely a factor, but so too was the relentlessly sterile, black and white packaging, so severe as to be - dare I say - stylish.

Okay, maybe stylish is going too far.

But oh how I longed for toothpaste that wasn't chalky indifferent mint. I wanted Close Up - not because I thought it would make me more attractive, but because that ruby red clear gel was so beautiful.

And it's cinnamon! I love cinnamon toothpaste.

I dreamed of brand name shampoo. Like Lemon Up - with its molded plastic lemon for a cap.

I made do with bottled lemon juice as a rinse.

Then again, maybe I haven't turned into my mother. After all, I acceded to the petty indulgence of Not Your Mother's Shampoo. But my daughter may be turning into me, in her rejection of my workaday, ordinary shower accouterments in favor of those she chooses. Ah, growing up.

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In the meantime, I'm still looking for the perfect toothpaste. I was squarely in the Arm & Hammer baking soda toothpaste camp for a long time, until I got bored. I moved on to Tom's Cinnamon Clove, until they changed the formula and made it blander and more boring. I buy the Fennel, Propolis & Myrrh toothpaste at Trader Joe's sometimes, but I don't shop there terribly often. It is a weird flavor, which I like in a perverse kind of way - and I know that my husband will never ever borrow it. I've tried Toothy Tabs from Lush, which are okay but not perfect and I am confounded by the instructions, which tell you to "Crunch one tablet up between your front teeth". Why must it be crunched up front? Molars are better for crunching. Strangest of all is the Anise & Clove Tooth Soap that comes in a lovely little glass bottle, with an eyedropper. It - literally - is like washing your mouth out with soap and I have to say that it put me straight over the edge and back to Arm & Hammer. It is still in the medicine cabinet and once in a while I use it just to remind myself that it really is bizarre. Now that I know that Close Up is available on Amazon, where all of the reviews are nostalgia-tinged, I may have to give it a try. I'll be so sad if it isn't transformatively wonderful though.


Heide Estes said...

I went to a powdered toothpaste, fluorideless, for a while, and promptly got a cavity. So back to Tom's Wintergreen.

Veronica said...

My mom was a no-frills, store-brand shopper too. I also dreamed of Close-Up toothpaste! I remember one year, my mother gave some "fancy brand" apricot-scented shampoo for Christmas and I was so happy!

Jocelyn said...

I like Tom's, in general. All the flavors. But I've been using Sensodyne the past year or two, since it became clear I need all the gentleness a chemical-driven toothpaste can provide.

Bibliomama said...

That No Frills stuff totally looks retro stylish to me.

I can't stand baking soda toothpaste - it gives me a rancid aftertaste. I've tried the Tom's stuff when other people had it, but it's not readily available around here and I have sensitive teeth so I usually just use Aquafresh sensitive. I remember wanting the red Close-Up stuff too, though. And if I'd known that lemon bottle existed I would have wanted it too. Shampoo makes me tired - I'm forever buying new stuff thinking THIS will make me pretty, and it's never any different.

Rima said...

You could always chew on some mint leaves

Liz Miller said...

I use Mentadent, because it doesn't have the ingredient most toothpastes have that give my delicate little gums canker sores.

I always wanted to use Herbal Essence, and my mom would only buy it for me when I was going to camp.