Strawberry lip gloss
Yesterday as I came out of Wal-Mart I saw a tube of Carmex lying in the parking lot. Uh oh, someone is going to be sorry they lost that, I thought to myself. Then I found myself wondering how it got there. Had some lady dropped it when she took her keys out of her purse? Had it fallen out of a shopping bag? It is a small item, perhaps it had been overlooked when the groceries were being loaded onto the conveyor belt. Or perhaps a little one had picked it up at the checkout counter when mama was busy paying for the groceries and had dropped it on the way to the car. It could be unopened; in that case a perfectly good tube of Carmex would go to waste. Too bad.
But maybe a child would spot it, pick it up, and put it in his pocket so that, new or used, it would not be wasted.
I had done that once. My family was at an event in a big arena; the kind with lots and lots of seats and each row of seats set a step or two higher than the row in front of it. I don't remember if we were at a circus or a show or a concert, but I think we were there with another family because I remember other kids being there. The event must have been over, because my mom was chatting with friends and we kids moved back behind the grownups to play in some empty seats. That's when I found the lip gloss. It was in a little glass bottle with a screw-on lid and a tiny plastic ball was under the lid so the slick, sticky liquid could be rolled on. It would not be likely that I would find it's rightful owner so I unscrewed the lid. It smelled like strawberries. It tasted like strawberries. It was super shiny. I would look so grown up wearing it. I put it in my purse.
I wonder why my mother never made me throw it away. I didn't keep secrets from her so she must have known where I got it.
That bottle of lip gloss lasted a very, very long time.
As I continued to my car with my cart of groceries I thought to myself how horrified I would be if one of my children or grandchildren tried to pick up that little tube of Carmex lying on the black top. Just think of the diseases that little tube could contain. We have so much more understanding of disease today than we had back then, thank God. Then I imagine the germs that could have been spread by that one innocent-looking shiny bottle I carried for a couple of years in my little zippered purse. I considered how fortunate that I had not caught any diseases from the strawberry lip gloss. Then I wondered if I had caught a disease and just don't know it yet. Don't go there! I warned myself.
The young are so blessed in their ignorance.