What's Not to Laugh?

Almost everything about aging–except grave illness and death–can be funny as well as disturbing. I try to find the funny and help us all get through it!

Archive for the month “February, 2014”

A word I’d like to banish: discontinued

A while back I wrote a blog post about how so many products I love get discontinued. I blamed myself for liking them too much. Here’s the beginning of that post:

There’s a crime spree under way, and I think I’m the perpetrator. My crime? Liking a product a whole lot.

When I find something that’s incredibly useful or enjoyable, I continue to loyally buy it. The second time around, I may buy a large size, if it’s sold that way, and it takes me a while to use it up. When my supply runs low, I go back to the store, looking high and low but not finding the product where it used to be. When I ask a store clerk about it, I’m crushed when I hear those terrible words: “Oh, that? It’s been discontinued.” This happens so often, I’ve come to the conclusion the problem is me. I am the kiss of death to an otherwise fine product.

Then I went on to list the items that were snatched away from me in the middle of my years (decades?) of enjoyment: lipsticks, OTC medications, shampoos, even peanut butter.

I eventually get over these losses and move on to substitute brands or varieties. And then there was yesterday. In one day, I was faced with three different “discontinued” items. Now that has to be a conspiracy, doesn’t it?

First I went to Sephora to try to replace my Bare Minerals blush in the uncommon shade of Aubergine. It seemed dark when the sales associate recommended it long ago, but I’ve loved it and used it down to the last few grains of powder. You know where this is going. The color has been discontinued. But at least the product was still around. I just had to have the associate gaze at my skin tone and recommend another shade.

Then, same store, I moved on to the Clinique section, where I hoped to replace my very old Superbalanced mineral powder foundation. There was nothing in the Clinque lineup that even resembled that product. Another disappointing “discontinued.”

Through with my cosmetics shopping, I went to the grocery store. Just before I entered the checkout line, I remembered I wanted to buy more Greek yogurt. These days my favorite brand is Chobani, and I have discovered that the apple-cinnamon flavor is not only tasty but also only 3 Weight Watchers Points Plus! I was delighted to find it on sale…at a very low price. Turning to the guy restocking the refrigerated case, I asked (hoping for a better answer than the one I had in mind), “Why is this flavor on sale? Is it the expiration date?” He shook his head no and then uttered the dreaded word: “Discontinued.”

“I know why,” I said to the employee, whom I’m sure didn’t care to continue the conversation. “Because I like it!” (By the way, this practice of saying what you’re thinking to anyone around is one of the pitfalls of aging.)

Stocking up on a product isn’t always practical. Besides, being a superstitious person, I feel I would be tempting fate if I bought enough of anything to last me until I’m in my 90s—like saying “I absolutely know for sure that I’m going to live that long and that I’m going to be lucid enough to know what the product is for.”


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