Just sometimes not at the same time.
1. Ketchup and mustard. While you’re fart-squeezing that big bottle of ketchup I’m guessing the squat bottle of yellow mustard is still sitting pretty full right beside you, even though it expired in 2005. No need for the picnic multi-pack when you hit the store.
2. Toothpaste, floss, and mouthwash. After squeezing the final minty molecules from the tube it’s time to head to the drug store for a fresh box. But forget the floss and mouthwash because they’re still sitting under a layer of dust in the corner. There’s no point at all in trying to time the drugstore pickup. The two unopened deodorants in your medicine cabinet are proof of that.
3. Nachos and salsa. What is the ideal salsa to nacho ratio? Buddhist monks have debated this eternal question for centuries. And they haven’t figured out an answer yet, judging by the handful of nacho crumbs left beside your giant bowl of salsa.
Yes, salt and pepper, laundry soap and dryer sheets, shampoo and conditioner — often bought together, always used together, but rarely dying at the same time. In a way the entire story is a parallel to our own relationships. After all, we grow up, come together, and eventually fall apart. Husbands leave before wives, parents before kids, and long loves end before the loving.
Maybe shampoo and conditioner remind us to enjoy every side by side moment like it’s the last.
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