The smallish silvery-purple letters aren't very distinct against sage tone of the shampoo and conditioner bottles resting side by side in the alcove of my shower. They have very similar labels, this pair, and are nearly indistinguishable, the one from the other, unless you pull them close. Then you'll find that one the one marked shampoo has a slightly more purple font on that word alone.
I went to the store to replenish my supply and accidentally bought two conditioners, once. That's how alike these look. That even from the unimpeded view of the store, where I had not the excuse of the shower's steam, water and lather in my eyes, and general sense of rush I experience, I still mistook them. Since then, I've learned never to trust them when shopping, and also developed a strategy.
After I bring my products home, having ensured that what I bought was correct, I open the tops and peel off the safety seals (because trying to pry that sucker away while you're already slippery and soapy is its own special kind of hell) and when I replace the flip-top lids (not screw-ons), I reverse the lid of the conditioner bottle, so that it opens in the opposite direction of its counterpart. This way, when I'm feeling for my shampoo bottle, my eyes barely opened and peeking through the lathery layers of face wash, I'll be able to discern by feeling the tops which bottle I need. Tricky little demons that they are have been outsmarted by my cunning and no longer defeat me, forcing me to send that $.70 handful down the literal drain.
I do this with old age in mind.
My children and grandchildren and great grandchildren and in general, any caretakers responsible for my well-being, will never have to help me discern the difference between my shampoo and conditioner. My thoughtfulness in these matters will lend to my continued independence. I train myself to handle these little difficulties with grace.
I am certain they (being the grandchildren and the caretakers) will discuss this amongst themselves. "Batty old lady," they'll muse, "needs a million things a day, but refuses to call for help in the shower, even while muttering about how she prevails when the bottles conspire against her."
Why do I write about this?
So that after my death, my grandchildren and great grandchildren will be able to find this commentary and say, "Well, we were right about one thing. But it looks like she was batty long before she was old."