Prior to beginning our home renovations, I had never been in my wife’s bathroom.  It wasn’t that I didn’t want to pay an occasional visit to her private domain; I just didn’t know the combination to the lock.

Once construction began, I assisted Mary Ellen in clearing out all the bathroom cabinets so new vanities could be installed and fresh paint applied. As I deposited items into cardboard boxes, I realized that many of the toiletries and cosmetics did not have expiration dates, thus providing Mary Ellen with the perfect excuse for having squirreled away so much stuff over the years.  Tossing out a 30-year-old jar of anti-aging cream would be an insult to the product itself.  How could it possibly get too old?
Under the sink I found refreshers, vitalizers, restorers and scrubbers. I am sure Mary Ellen has not used any of these products over the years, not because she doesn’t look refreshed, vitalized restored or well-scrubbed, but it was all tucked away in double zip-lock bags where I assume it was being readied for the eventual apocalypse.  Living in a bunker for four weeks with no food or water is frightening enough, but you can’t ask a woman to go a month underground without a moisturizer. 
I did a quick grocery-list inventory of my wife’s stash. There were jars and tubes containing mint, avocado, lemon, pineapple, almond and cucumber. A woman’s bathroom is very different from a man’s, where most of the facial products are meat based.

In one drawer I found 16 tiny tubes of toothpaste, all different, each from a different hotel where we once vacationed. I was going to give Mary Ellen a hard time about taking all these free samples, but I have 400 old USA Todays in the basement, so I totally understand compulsions.

Of course, I also have my own cabinet full of goodies that have piled up over the decades. The biggest supply was old vitamins and minerals, all purchased about 15 years ago when I had serious leg cramps and decided to take everyone’s advice on how to stop them. The problem was that everyone had different advice. Let’s see: magnesium, zinc, vitamin E, turmeric, potassium, vitamin C, folic acid, and calcium. I finally discovered the quinine in tonic water helps a lot, although I think it’s more apt to be the gin that makes the pain go away.
In my wife’s bathroom, I also discovered Ultimate Flora, a product that claims to have 100 billion different types of bacteria cells in one bottle. And this was the travel size. There was Kiss My Face Deodorant, obviously for people with really bad aim. Then there was Absolute Eye Serum for people who love their premium vodka, but want to cut down on their drinking.
I thought I had pretty much rounded up all my wife’s cosmetics when I noticed a tube of something called liquid grout colorant that had rolled behind the door. I am hoping that this was left by the workmen replacing the floor tiles, because if it fell out of Mary Ellen’s cosmetic draw, she has a lot of explaining to do.

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Things I learned at my 50th reunion! ( with a few name changes)

If you wear the wrong name tag, most people won’t know the difference for at least an hour.
The group I hung out with in 1965 didn’t take drugs. Now, we all do.
All the girls who said they once had a crush on me should have mentioned this five decades ago.
“So, how have you been?” is a really stupid question to ask someone you haven’t seen in 50 years
People will remember stuff about you that even you don’t remember. This is not anything to be concerned about. I hope.
I hugged people I would never have hugged in 1965.
I swear there were three guys gobbling down the shrimp at the buffet table who were not in our class.

A few people thought I was Dick Wolf, who produced the hit show Law and Order, and that I had simply shortened my name from Wolfsie. I let them think they were right.

I told many of the women they looked great for 68. Larry Leventhal told them they looked great for 48. Guess who did better with the ladies in high school?
All the women at the reunion admitted to having a crush on the math teacher, Mr. Walsh. And so did two of the guys.
It was great see some old faces, although some of us had new faces over the old ones.
Despite a good cross-section of race and religion, we all had two things in common: Social Security and Medicare.
It was great to see Michael, although he’s Madeleine now.
Some people danced, but there wasn’t nearly as much making out on the dance floor as 50 years ago.
I am the only alumni now living in Indiana. Henry Rosenbloom lives in Ohio. If you knew Henry, you’d know that’s close enough.
After a few glasses of wine, a very youthful looking Francine admitted she got some “work” done before the reunion. Funny, in high school she never got any work done before class.
Half of the attendees thought the men aged better than the women. Guess which half thought that?
No one left the reunion intoxicated. But Chuck and Wally arrived that way.
A few people brought their old yearbook and wanted me to sign it. All I could think of to write was: “Good luck in college.”
I asked the class prom queen Cindy to let me know when it was 9 p.m. Just once, I wanted her to give me the time of day.
There was some talk at the reunion about sex in high school. Back in high school it was all talk. 
Carl Corvino no longer has a neck.
My prom date Yvonne gave me a big kiss hello. It wasn’t the first time we’d kissed in 50 years, it was the only time—and that includes the prom.
A lot of people said things to each other like, “We sure had fun together,” but it was hard for some of us to come up with specifics.
There was very little interest in forming a 75th reunion committee.
My friends in high school laughed at me 50 years ago when I said I would be a humor writer one day.  I gave a few classmates copies of my most recent book. Sadly, they’re not laughing now.

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