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Story ID:1416
Written by:Kathe M. Campbell (bio, contact, other stories)
Story type:Diary/Journal Entry
Location:Broken Tree Ranch Montana USA
Person:Granny Hook
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Rants Of An Old Lady
by Kathe Campbell

Whatever happened to the classic versions, the good old products that were easy to manipulate? It's almost as though commodities breed overnight to deliver shelves full of the hi tech and trying. Oh, I'm not fussing about snazzy new health gadgets, asthma and headache relievers, or a favorite new shampoo that hydrates and enhances my red locks. I love them all, but anymore, the stores are filled with "New And Improved", which translates to new and improved higher prices. "Convenient" means coming in all sizes, "Easy To Use" is a down right lie, and "20% More" is only a new container design to make it appear so. I realize it doesn't do me any good to grouse, but it comforts my sorry disposition.

By choice, we shoppers aren't stuck with annoying products, free markets seeing to that. And we can gripe about them all we want, thanks to the beauty of free speech. The mistake we make as consumers is not taking time to read about our meds, or having them handy when the onslaught begins. In danger of rape, the pharmacy shelves have left us with safety packaging and security locks on suspect products. Why even one of my favorite allergy meds now sits behind the pharmacy counter, lest being used to make meth.

Recently, a sudden attack of heartburn sent me from my bed at an ungodly hour. I retrieved my ever-faithful new bottle of pink stuff with the built-in handy cup. The plastic covering and cup were a cinch, and I sighed relief to see the bottle had not been monkeyed with. But who was the idiot who fused the bottle cap on with a sharp glasslike prong that takes six men and a boy to loosen? After retrieving my glasses to see what's what, I grabbed the needle noses from the kitchen drawer and snapped off the weld. While hugging the bottle and pressing down on the cap, it slipped from my grasp leaving a sizeable dent on my old arthritic foot. My heart forgot why it was burning, so I returned to bed.

It seems there are as many ailments as ground-breaking drugs these days, and I have yet to discover which came first, the cause or effect. The pharmaceutical outfits are having a field day ballyhooing our acid refluxes, cholesterols, prostates, erectile dysfunctions, and high blood pressures. And is it any wonder with trendy highly seasoned ethnic foods, hurry-up lifestyles, abusing our innerds with endless fat, and God knows what else. I don't recall hearing of half these disorders sixty years ago. I doubt they were discussed in polite company. Today, if we're not suffering right along with the promotional melodramas, we emerge as hysterical hypochondriacs making sudden doctor appointments.

I picked up the latest wide-mouthed toothpaste tube recently, allegedly less messy than the traditional design. But, the mouth is so big, it would take a steam roller to drive out the last smidgeon. If they're going to change styles, why don't they include one of those cute skate key gizmos? They promise to whiten, but isn't that the whole idea, keeping our teeth clean and white? It'll be a sad day when this old gal puts on a whitening strip to amuse the grandkids. And heaven help us if we have a weekend toothache. Believe me, there's little relief in the dental aisle.

My druggist touts his store brands cheaper and just as effective as the spendy big names that accompany our meals on TV. So far so good, for they seem to do the trick. There really are a fair number of pills beneath that mammoth cotton ball. And don't you just love wrestling with tablets solidly entombed in little foil sections on a piece of cardboard? The designers sure don't make it easy on swollen and painful old arthritic hands. Lord only knows why we even bother with most of this stuff, considering the revolting side effects.

And speaking of TV, I'd a lot rather hear how hemorrhoid creams shrink jowls and sagging skin beneath the eyes rather than watching some poor soul grimacing and pitching on a roller-coaster. No doubt about it, the advertisers have my gas, diarrhea, incontinence, constipation, and irregularity thoroughly covered at my dinner hour.

Standing on my head grunting unseemly expletives is par for the course when it comes to child-proof caps. If I've told the pharmacy crew once, I've yammered at them time and again. "Can't you see - I'm not a child! I am a little old lady with one arm." I all but celebrated when the staff got it right last month, but here we go again, the same old lock tight cap. This morning I got out the hammer and smashed the plastic container. After retrieving $110 worth of rheumatoid drugs, I grabbed the vacuum cleaner and sucked up the resulting mess.

And now the last hurrah for all of us who suffer with belly fat. I hope you didn't get suckered in, because I did, to the tune of - - well never mind. Not once, but twice. I've worn a path in my carpet getting rid of gargantuan amounts of water to be ingested with two pills three times a day. That's a lot of pills, and even more staggering amounts of water that my ancient plumbing is not accustomed to. After the first bottle of fat burners, I thought I noted some improvement, but the second go-around merely left me with wishful thinking. So I stand in the shower looking down at this awful blubbery protrusion that got there so easily, and will no doubt be the bane of my existence forevermore.

Are you convinced that there are miracle concoctions over in the beauty aisle that will turn you into some senior sex pot, or is it too late for you as well? Maybe if our grandchildren start early enough with the scrubs, oils, vitamins, regenerates and masks, miracles will happen. Silky skin, shiny enhancing lip balm, eyes to die for, and hair that shimmers and undulates has been pitched since the beginning of time. I'm not a died-in-the-wool naysayer, but my mother's old fashioned cold cream kept her a raving beauty well into her 80's.

I'm a simple person these days. I like living on powdered cappuccinos, ibuprofens, a glass or two of chardonnay, and a five minute healthy meal along with a hunk of good chocolate for dessert. I don't diet, nor do I torment my carcass with the latest ab gadgets, or machines resembling medieval torture devices. Touted and infomercialed to the hilt, they eventually show up at yard sales anyway. In fact, I lugged home a little old second-hand stationery bicycle for a sawbuck, but find that a short brisk walk in the snow serves me better. At 74, I'm past the age of making sensual impacts.

I must continue my periodic trips to the doctor and the druggist in order to keep this old chassis going. Because you see, despite my ranting and raving, we oldsters are living years longer, and that suits me fine . . . so far. Meantime, I'll not shop for most of the newfangleds that help you remember, see better, give you wellness, cure your depressions, or anything else that is turning us into wonderful walking drugstores.