Monday, February 3, 2014

What I might end up being known for, part 2

At the time of writing, it was spring on the south side. After all, if Elizabeth David's 60-year-old articles can be republished with lines like "When I visited Harrods last Saturday, lamb was threepence the pound" intact -- I am thinking of South Wind Through the Kitchen -- after all, why not me too?

We continue with our Pond's cold cream saga. And we include a picture from our most recent field trip. It's spring here on the south side.

I was actually disappointed enough to write to the Pond's company, outlining my complaints and asking why they had changed the formula. Some one from Quality Control wrote me back, apologizing for my experience and insisting that it did not reflect the standards that Pond's is determined to maintain. And wouldn't I please accept a coupon for a free jar, which I would soon find in my mail, while my letter was forwarded through proper channels, etc. I can imagine the person writing this thinking, "get a life, you no doubt ninety-year-old relic."

In a few weeks an entire package of coupons arrived, for all sorts of products. I had no idea that the Pond's people either own or are owned by all sorts of other people -- the people who make Suave shampoo, and Dove soap, too, if memory serves. I didn't use any of the coupons because I don't want two dollars off a soap or a shampoo. I want, at the least, Pond's to confide in me that they have changed the formula, and at best I want them to go back to the old one.

Let me tell you why I love Pond's. (Do I sound as if I am dunning for more coupons? I am not.) Of course every family with women in it is likely to keep a jar in the medicine cabinet in the bathroom. It takes off makeup beautifully, and is safe to use even around the eyes. When I was growing up we always had a jar on hand, which seemed to sit half used for years, with the same black swipe plunged into it, from some already mascara-laden fingertip that some woman hadn't bothered to clean off before dipping in for her second helping you might say. Since I don't wear makeup, however, I thought no more about Pond's until it was time to buy a jar, in adulthood, to have on hand to remove my own children's Halloween makeup. And then I opened it and smelled again that scent.

And I was instantly transported back, in the powerful and ridiculous way that scents can do this, to the bathroom of my childhood home. Summertime, the open bathroom window, the heights of the green trees outside, and even the sound of bird calls returned to me in one split second sensation. Because of Pond's. Ridiculous.

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