If the shoe fits…

Vicks Inhaler

When I was a kid, I remember encountering one of these at the home of an older relative. Being naturally curious, I unscrewed the thing and smelled it.

Eeyagh! Hideous! I didn’t even bother asking what it was for, I just considered it anathema and forgot all about it until years later when, as an adult, I discovered how useful they are for unplugging a stuffy nose.

The event was brought sharply into renewed focus in my memory when, about 8 years ago, my oldest granddaughter who was, at the time, 3 years old, picked one up off my nightstand, unscrewed it, and gave it a smell. Her response cracked me up, and I remember it to this day and have told the story many times; indeed, it has become somewhat of a watchword in our family, as you shall see.

What she, at that tender age, said was: “Ew! That’s for old!”

Indeed it is, sweetheart, but I do hope you come to appreciate its value when you have grandchildren of your own.

One day this last year, my wife’s youngest daughter, who was 25 at the time, accompanied me to the dollar store to pick out some candy for a daddy-daughter movie date that we were planning. We each picked out a couple of our favorites, and one of mine was this:

Good-&-Plenty-Box-Small

Naturally, I hated these as a kid as well, preferring things like Bazooka™ bubble gum, Nik-L-Nips™, Jujubes™, and Chunky™ candy bars. Licorice was for *old* people. Gah.

You can imagine my delight when our sweet girl saw my choice, wrinkled up her nose, and said,

“Ew! That’s for old!”

And so it is. But while I’m not excited about the aches and pains that come along with becoming a senior citizen, I have long been appreciative of the sentiment, “Never resent growing old. It is a gift denied to many.”

True enough, and if it brings with it appreciation of things like Good & Plenty™ and Vicks inhalers, then that’s just icing on the cake.

The Old Wolf has spoken.

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