Saturday, November 29, 2014

Shortages To Cry Over

Reports of a shortage of chocolate have me considering hoarding this treasure for when I stop dieting. It’s not like chocolate has a “sell by” date. It doesn’t go bad if it’s been hidden in the closet behind your holiday serving dishes for months. I base this on years of experience. So far, I’ve resisted the urge to stock up. I’m reluctant to use the step stool (see previous post) and I don’t trust my willpower if I have chocolate within easy reach.

Still, it’s depressing to think about something you enjoy or depend on being in short supply or being discontinued. In my early days working at Colgate Palmolive, they were phasing out their product and my shampoo of choice, Lustre Creme. I lamented this to someone in production and he told me to use Octagon dish liquid. He said it had the same formula except for the fragrance. Eeeew! (BTW, Lustre Creme is available online. Someone must have bought the rights.)

Sadly, these product absences happen more and more often for retirees. Products we loved since our youth are continually reaching the end of their lifecycles before we reach the end of ours. I’ve started keeping a list of shortages I’d cry over and I add to it as I go about my daily activities. Turns out there are lots of things I’d miss.

One item I rely on in the food pantry is raw almonds, especially when I’m dieting. Four of them have just 24 calories, so they make a great snack; plus they’re healthy. Ditto for baby dill pickles. The label for the store brand at the IGA on the East Side of Providence says 0 calories per pickle. I think it could be 5, but either way, it’s a good snacking choice. I buy a jar every time my husband and I go back to Rhode Island. I’ve tried other brands, but they’re not as good.

I’d also be sad if grocery chains dropped Teddie unsalted old fashioned peanut butter. I stock up on it whenever there’s a sale. It has the perfect consistency to spread on gluten-free Mary’s Gone Crackers without breaking them.

Moving into personal care items, I’d be lost without ordinary pop-up tissues. I’ll use almost any brand, but what would get my nose out of joint is if I couldn’t find the plain variety. Manufacturers seem to be pushing the ones with aloe and lotions, and I can’t abide those.

A shortage of Clairol hair dye #28 would be devastating. It’s the color they put in their Natural Instincts Nutmeg. My niece, Pam, steered me to this as the perfect product to color my gray naturally. She was so right, and I’ve been using it ever since I gave in to disguising my aging tresses. I don’t want to contemplate what it would be like to have to find a replacement. Hit or miss probably wouldn’t come close to describing the process.

I also depend on waxed dental floss to help pull out the food residue that gets hung up between my teeth after almost every meal. I have a lot of old caps that have rough edges. There’s not much I can eat without something being left behind. Even the waxed floss can get caught, but the unwaxed simply shreds in place. If anyone gets an inkling that the waxed version is on its way out, let me know. I’ll lade in a lifetime supply and store it in our basement.

If they ran out of the extra-absorbent filler that’s used in those wee-wee pads it would not be a good thing. I put them on the bottom of Luke’s litter box under the newspaper and they hold a lot of cat pee. Fingers crossed that this product stays around at least as long as Luke does. Also that this means for at least a few more years; he’s 17 ½ now.

One product for which there could be a shortage is AA batteries. My primary use for these is the wireless mouse and keyboard for my desktop Mac. Battery drain is one of its few shortcomings. As Macs become more and more popular, the demand for AAs will increase. One hopes that will lead Apple to improve their battery life. I could switch to rechargeable ones, but I’d need to keep a few sets on hand so I could continue working while they were recharging. It’s so much easier to just pop in the cheaper ones that come in multi-packs.

That’s my starter list, but I’ve just scratched the surface. For now, I’ll practice dealing with a shortage of chocolate. That should help me adapt to whatever other shortages come my way. Please, Lord, let it not be Clairol’s dye # 28.

No comments: