I encountered a little bit of America yesterday when I went shopping. My cold (I brought the damn cold home from Britain- now Mom thinks she's getting it) had deteriorated to a nasty, racking cough, and I was looking for something that would help without bringing tears to my eyes or tasting of medicine. Mom had found some cough syrup in the back of the cabinet- cherry flavoured. You remember cherry flavoured? The stuff that tastes nothing like cherries? I hadn't forgotten how it tasted, as it turned out, and Mom *still* says 'Oh, what a face!'

Anyway, I hit on the idea of eating peppermint candies, and picked up a bag of Lifesavers because I vaguely remembed that they were neither too strong nor too sweet. And they worked pretty well. The true horror only came when I opened the bag.

Each Lifesaver was *individually wrapped.*

I don't get it. I mean, I really, *really* don't understand what marketing gimmick, packaging craze, or simple dose of common sense could have come up with the idea that I wanted to work my way through a layer of cellophane (which is not easy to open, by the way) to get to every. Single. Bloody. Lifesaver. Not to mention the sheer *waste* involved- all this plastic. It's an appalling amount of packaging in a country that's in serious landfill trouble, and for what? So I can wrestle with tiny packages around my Lifesavers? For this we're ruining the environment?

Individually wrapped Lifesavers. I must be home.

I'm still going through a pretty weird stage. Last time wasn't so bad, because we were very busy then, and so I kinda got chucked into the deep end with a shovel and had to work my way out. (I am, I would have you recall, a farmer. When I visualize a 'deep end' I'm *not* thinking of the local swimming pool). I didn't have time to think, and by the time I did, I was re-adjusted anyway. There's a lot to be said for this state of affairs.

Now, however, we're not near so busy, and I *do* have time to think, and it's all kind of... depressing is the wrong word. Overwhelming, perhaps. I seem to have grown up when I wasn't looking. I don't like fireworks or zoos or fairs half so much as I used to. I have my own car, my own credit card; I have had my own job; my long-delayed final semester of school is coming up; I'm seriously thinking about what kind of job I'm going to end up in, not because I have to, but because I'm actually looking forward to the idea of settling down a bit. A solid income would be pretty cool, too. It's, I don't know, *weird*.

I wish I had more work and could stop thinking about this sort of thing.

posted at 09:03 AM on 07/07/02 by kat - Category: Place - Comments closed because I was getting enough spam to run over my bandwidth limits. Sorry guys!
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I guess it just doesn't look very heroic to sneak up behind somebody and shoot them in the back. I can't help thinking it would be more efficient, though.

Lois McMaster Bujold, "The Warrior's Apprentice"

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