by Andrea Mulder-Slater
I love the online health food store because where else I can place an order for Vitamins B, C and D while lounging in yoga pants and eating chocolate - snapped into bite-sized pieces because fewer calories – without being judged by 25 year old yogis drinking beet juice behind the counter.
These chips are organic Sasha. I'm hurting myself if I don't eat them.
Then there are the random free samples offered at time of checkout.
Once I received a minuscule tube, inside of which was just enough eye cream to moisturize my fingertips. Then there was the tiny bottle of zinc ointment, which - to this day - I still carry around in my purse. Not long ago, it was a trial size teeth-whitening system, including magic minty toothpaste.
Because I’ve always been curious about people with glow-in-the-dark incisors, this freebie made me a little more excited than usual.
After I unpacked the box, I squirreled away the goods, mostly so my husband wouldn’t find the paste and use it all in one fell swoop, thus depriving me of movie-star good looks. It’s like he doesn’t even want me to be beautiful.
So instead of storing the little tube on the counter with the other toothpaste, I shoved it in my drawer, in a basket next to the eye makeup remover, dental floss and a handful of deflated party balloons.
That was my first mistake.
Trying the dentifrice out for the first time was exhilarating. It was 8pm and yes, I was tired but I still managed to vibrate with excitement at the possibility of a glamorous mouth full of Chiclets that went “ting” when I smiled.
I opened the drawer, grabbed the tube and laid a pea-sized blob of goo on my toothbrush. As I brushed, I wondered where the froth was as my mouth started to feel decidedly strange. And where was the minty flavour?
I grabbed the tube to read the fine print, which read: YOU JUST BRUSHED YOUR TEETH WITH BENADRYL CREAM, YOU UNBELIEVABLE IDIOT.
That’s when the panic set in and of course I did what anyone in my situation would have done.
I swallowed what was in my mouth. Because why would I spit it out?
Listerine, salt water, gravel from the driveway… nothing removed the grease from my throat. So instead, I stayed awake most of the night waiting for a severe reaction after Googling what happens if you swallow Benadryl cream?.
There were four million search results. FOUR MILLION.
I woke up the next morning so apparently I didn't die, which - according to multiple sources – can happen. Ultimately, my mouth just felt numb for a while (3 hours) which is too bad because the possibility of hallucinations was also on the table.
In my defense, the containers are remarkably similar in size and shape and could easily be mixed up by a confused, nearly blind chimpanzee on crack.
But the thing is... according to the Internets, a shit ton of people have made the same exact mistake and if that doesn't make you really sad about the state of the world, I don't know what does (election results). Far too many grown-up human ADULTS have accidentally brushed their teeth with not only anti-itch gel, but also hemorrhoid ointment, anti-fungal cream, hand lotion, and sunscreen. Then there are those who have used super glue instead of eye drops to treat their dry eyes.
Now I – clever, educated me - can be included in that same group of complete morons which makes me wonder if I’ve somehow absorbed all sorts of stupid from those videos I’ve been watching online instead of doing actual work because once upon a time I knew what osmosis meant.
No matter how you slice it, the reality is, I created conditions favourable for my own demise without even trying so if you’re planning to come anywhere near me, my yoga pants or my bite-sized chocolate any time soon, consider yourself warned.
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I wrote the #1 read post on Erica Ehm's Yummy Mummy Club in 2015:
8 Reasons I'm Not Homeschooling My Kid