Fancy Soap

You grab the grandma soap and hustle out of there, wedging yourself into a checkout line. You proudly show your prize to the lady in front of you and she nods absently and turns back to her own sordid affairs. She clearly doesn’t get it. You want to shake her and scream, “It’s useful! And it’s cheap! And she smells weird sometimes! It’s perfect!”

You buy the soap and grin the whole way back to the house. Your dad helps you wrap the present, but seems oddly quiet as you excitedly pepper him for information how exactly how much she’ll like it. After all, the guy’s known her since pretty much the dawn of time. But he’s quiet.

You’re too excited to let your lame dad stifle your good cheer. The days blur past in a whirl of cookies and cousins and caroling. Your excitement has reached a fevered pitch by the time Christmas morning arrives. You drag your parents up to the tree and push your present into your mother’s hands.

She opens it, all grins and suspense, and then laughs in delight. “Aww! A little cake of soap! Thank you, sweetheart!”

You grimace. “Uh… that’s not cake. It’s not for eating.”

She laughs again. “Okay, I won’t.”

Your dad clears his throat and hands her a large box, saying, “Uh, you may as well open this, too.”

You’re a little confused as she tears away the paper and reveals the Ultra Spa Deluxe Package. She gasps, reading the strange words faster than you can. “Thirteen fair trade organic soaps made from renewable resources and free range goat milk? Twenty-seven bath salts from the Andes and the Pyrenees that were hand produced by woman entrepreneurs working their way out of crippling poverty? Umpteen lotions guaranteed to make you healthier, happier, and younger? An eight hour massage at the Parfait Dix beauty parlor? And a new loofah? Oh, honey!” She reaches across to hug your dad, and your little bar of soap falls to the floor.

It smells like a hundred grandmas all spritzed their perfume into the room, and they are way prettier than the grandma that your soap smells like.

Thanks, dad. Ya jerk. You shuffle over to the tree and quietly kick his present under the couch.

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