You know how sometimes you need something, but you only think about it when you need it, so then you end up forgetting to add it to your shopping list because the only time you think about needing it is around midnight when you’re heading to bed?
Okay, maybe that’s just me.
In any case, I like to put peppermint scented lotion on my hands before I go to bed. While that might seem like an odd choice, my sinuses are frequently rebelling against…whatever, and when I lay down, I tend to have issues breathing. Brushing my teeth before bed helps (minty fresh!), but having that peppermint scent on my hands helps me keep my airways open so I can easily drift off to sleep.
My husband does much the same thing with Mentholatum on his lips every night, which would make my skin break out just thinking about it (and also, all those petrochemicals? No thanks – he can keep ’em.).
Anyways, I ran out of peppermint lotion a couple weeks ago, and I kept forgetting to even put it on the list, because the only time I’d remember is when I reached for the non-existent lotion bottle at 12:15am or so, and figure I’d “add it to the list tomorrow”. Which didn’t work at all, obviously, or there would be no story here.
This past Saturday I was at our local Strawberry Festival with my mom (celebrating her birthday), and I came across the Lazy Daisy Soap Co. booth. This woman and her husband take in rescue goats, and then use the milk to make all sorts of soaps and lotions to sell. I tried a tester bottle, and promptly bought two lotions and a jar of cream (it’s good stuff, and they operate in a very socially responsible manner, with all healthy ingredients – what’s not to love?). Then I kicked myself for not buying soap as well.
When I got home and told my husband, he asked if I’d gotten peppermint lotion.
No, no I had not.
Which is completely ridiculous. There I was, buying lotions, and I just skipped right over the one I’d needed for weeks. Again. Seriously!
I used the ever-popular crowd-sourcing method of finally remembering to buy peppermint lotion that afternoon by posting my dilemma on Facebook, of course. And in the course of the most well-documented grocery shopping trip in the history of…well, my timeline…I finally bought peppermint lotion.
Of course now I’ve been using my new Lazy Daisy lotions, and they are far superior to what I’ve been buying here in the store, so I wish I’d gotten one of those when I was *right there*. Good grief. Although to be fair, she didn’t have a hand lotion in peppermint, only a body cream, so I didn’t really see it. But I didn’t think to look for it either, even when my mom stuck a bar of peppermint soap under my nose to smell.
I wonder what it is that makes things “invisible” to our brains like that? Things we normally really need and/or enjoy, I mean. It makes sense that I’d block out getting something we’re both ambivalent to, but something I use nightly and that helps so much? Odd. Very odd.
The mind is a very strange thing, sometimes. Annoyingly so.
It’s probably because grocery shopping, for all the stops I make, is a pretty rote thing for me. I make a list, I get what’s on the list, I talk myself out of buying everything that looks or smells good in the store (okay, maybe not everything, but I do my best…I love food, which is a problem), and I move to the next thing. So if lotion isn’t on the list, well…it’s not food, so odds are I won’t even give it a second thought.
And I don’t make grocery/shopping lists in the “normal” way either. I’ve been relying for years on digital lists, the most recent of which is Grocery Tracker (before that it was an app called Out of Milk). On grocery day, I don’t start in the kitchen, I start on my cell. I pull the master list up (which has everything I’ve ever put on the list on it), and start checking off things I know we need, which adds them to that week’s list for the appropriate store. When I get to something on the list that I’m not sure of, I’ll go check the quantity I have (GTracker will keep inventory too, but I’m too lazy to use that feature).
Lotion was never on the list, so while scrolling through, there was nothing to jog my “check the lotion inventory” memory.
Now that lotion is finally on the master list, I’ll probably never forget it again. Unless my cell dies, and I can’t get to the backup files.
Or an EMP kills all electronic devices on earth (or just in my general vicinity).
I dare say if that happens, I’ll have more important things to worry about than whether I have lotion or not…