When I was 8, we visited my grandmother’s ranch for a big reunion. All of the cousins were there. In the middle of a table a huge strawberry pie took center stage surrounded by apple, cherry, and pumpkin pies. The strawberry one made my mouth water. My cousin wanted me to eat the pumpkin and suggested a pact. We could eat the pumpkin first, then the strawberry. I relented and took a slice of pumpkin. It was good but I still imagined biting into one of those big strawberries. I finished my pumpkin slice and went back to the pie table. The strawberry pie was gone! Everyone else had taken a slice. To this day, strawberry pie seems magical.
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I never failed to find the most unusual item at the dollar store. Walking the isles would always display something I needed. And I always seemed to find what I needed.
Now when you go to the store, you find rows of the same stuff sold by different people. Variety stores no longer showcase variety.
Take this item.
You’d think it would be with the combs. Nope. Or the hair products. Nope. The only place I found it without walking miles was Amazon. The new variety store is located in Seattle and two clicks from my desk.
Ever notice how the old childhood dynamic returns when you meet up with your family? If you spent your childhood tormented by your brother, likely the torment will continue at the family picnic. Memories of the sibling squables return, then the resentment, then the strange outburst about how he always finds a way to torment you whenever he is around. Then the silence as mom and dad try to put everyone back into a happy state.
No matter what the 50-year-old becomes 5 again and the old patterns return. Old children become babies lashing out, screaming, and pouting. Then the picnic ends and the memories tucked away to be brought out again another time. Everyone warmly hugs each other; tormentor and tormented. All is forgiven until the next picnic.