Thursday, March 4, 2010


I may be a skeptic, but my mother-in-law is not. In fact there are few people in my life as skeptical as I am about, really anything. My mother-in-law, wonderful woman that she is, spends a lot of time offering my wife and I items that we really don’t want. She and her husband (my father-in-law) are quite possibly the world’s most perfect people, except that they regularly insist on assuring that every time we see each other, my wife and I leave the visit with more stuff than we had before we arrived.

Usually these items take the form of things that we really don’t need, like cases of water, or paper tote boxes, or old rollerskates with keys. But every once in awhile, the items take on a uniquely practical form, such as a chapstick or, in this case, the Tide to Go pen. I never would have bought such an item, not necessarily because I didn’t need it, but because I didn’t think it would work, and there is little I share in common with Kelly Ripa. Although I have found myself sitting across the table from a lot of men who dribble food on their ties, I have never once had the inclination to do anything about it. It’s not really my place, and quite frankly, I think it a bit weird. I wasn’t opposed to the product, per se, it’s just that I never thought it would find a use in my life. The dirt in my life is usually much too large for anything the size of a pen to fix. Nonetheless, I found myself in possession of not one, but two Tide to Gos (Tides to Go?). Apparently I’m much dirtier than I though,t because not only my mother-in-law, but a friend from South Carolina gave me one. Who knew the messes in my life could so easily be fixed with a mini-cleaning product?

Of course, since I didn’t actually purchase the product myself, I had no commitment to its presence in my life. So there they sat for years, untouched. One rested in the junk drawer in my bedroom, and the other I stuck in my briefcase thinking that maybe I’d need it while I was working and wearing my big-girl clothes. Of course then I forgot about it for about two years during which time I had flown with it successfully no less than 25 times. (Interesting how well airport security works, but I digress.)

Fast forward to about four months ago when I was sitting in my bedroom, watching TV and eating a pomegranate in a white sweatshirt that yet another friend gave to me. (Don’t I have the most generous friends?) I know that’s quite a picture, and I can’t really tell you what flash of brilliance enticed me to wear white and eat a fruit with notorious staining properties. Nonetheless, there I was, hardly noticing the mess I was making until it was too late.

Luckily it was a large sweatshirt so the rich, red pomegranate juice landed only on me and not the furniture. After cursing my stupidity for moment, I remembered the long, lost Tide to Go in the junk drawer and decided to give it a whirl. I figured the sweatshirt was already ruined so what harm could come of ruining it more? I only wore it in the house anyway.

I primed the Tide to Go and applied it generously to the many offending spots, fully believing that absolutely nothing would happen. Low and behold, I was right, nothing happened. I applied more, which also had no effect, and then I put it away. Relegated the offending Tide to Go to the junk drawer where it clearly belonged. I settled back in to American Idol or NCIS or Bones or whatever I was watching, and forgot all about the trauma of yet another product disappointment.

And then the strangest thing happened. I looked down. Looking down in and of itself was not a particularly strange, what was strange is that my pomegranate spots were gone. Not faded, completely gone. Pomegranate is used as a material in natural dyeing, so this was really quite impressive; a little frightening perhaps because the thought of anything with stain removing powers that potent is just terrifying. I’m not a chemist or anything, but I can only imagine what the compound capable of such an act could do to me should I ingest it or somehow find myself doused in it. That all said, so long as I don’t eat the Tide to Go, or stick it in my eye, I guess I don’t really have anything to worry about.

It is a story with a fateful twist. A story with a happy ending. A story about a white sweatshirt restored to its purest form. It’s a story about a product that actually does as it claims. Tide to Go is a definite go. And although I will never find myself removing food spots from some guy’s tie across the dinner table, maybe I have more in common with Ms. Ripa than I thought.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for yet another great post