Posts Tagged ‘marriage’

To the Inventor of the Plastic Toothpaste Tube

September 1, 2008

I don’t know why I was thinking while brushing my teeth this morning, I just was. Of all the moments when we put our mind in neutral, tooth-brushing must be towards the top of the list. So to find my mind going places was something out of the ordinary.

For a moment I thought it was the toothpaste tube that did it. Got me thinking, that is. But that toothpaste tube has been silent for many a year. It was, however, the toothpaste tube that I was thinking about. Or rather, it’s inventor.

Back in 1975 I was reading about marriage. It was the year we married and I was reading everything relationship related that I could lay my hands on. I wanted this marriage to work.

1975 was also the year that somebody invented the plastic toothpaste tube. They were metal before that, remember? Lead alloy. Poisonous. And major marriage busters.

One of the commonly listed causes of marriage breakdown back then was the squeeze of the metal toothpaste tube. Husbands complained that their wives squeezed the tube near the cap. The paste got squeezed out the folded end. It required re-squeezing and re-folding and meant cracking the metal and the paste squeezing out the side. This, at least, was the wisdom of one of the books on making marriage work that I was reading at the time. I forget what the wives complained about. Oh yeah, something about their husbands forgetting things. Have I got that right? It’s so long ago now.

As a newly married husband I was terrified of that lead alloy toothpaste tube. Because it was true. Wives did squeeze near the cap. I was having to fix it. Re-squeeze it. Redistribute the contents. Flatten the back end. Fold it neatly. Make it right. Make it work. And then salvation. Somebody invented the plastic toothpaste tube. Within a year of being married the problem had been solved by some un-named production engineer, probably somebody’s husband.

And this morning? Well, I was thinking of how successful that invention has been. Thirty three years and still counting. That invention has obviously saved our marriage.

Who was that man? We didn’t get to thank him.


November 20, 2007

Bit of a hurried post here. I’ve just listened to the morning news and before going to work I have to get this distraction out of my head.

I’m a bit aware of wedding anniversaries at the moment. My wife and I celebrate 32 years tomorrow. My wife is a saint to be able to put up with me. But I knew that 32 years ago.

Back to this morning’s news. It was of Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip celebrating 60 years. Good on them, I say. She’s the first British monarch to reach such a long lasting marriage. That’s because her predecessors were married to men like Henry 8th, I suppose.

OK, back, again, to the news report. They listed some of the things the royal couple got for wedding presents back in 1947, the years of post-war rationing. Among the presents was that of the Queensland Government. That’s not where the queen lives, Queensland, it’s a state of Australia.

Apparently the official gift from the Qld government was 500 tins of pineapple. I don’t know about you, folks, but I reckon that is one very unusual wedding present.

So as the news finished I said to my wife, “Do you want me to give you a tin of pineapple tomorrow?”
“Tomorrow? What’s tomorrow?”
I looked to see if she was awake. She was. Then she woke up.
“Oh, tomorrow. Is it our anniversary tomorrow? Is today the 20th? I’ve lost track of the days.”

So there you have it. Rack up one point for the male of the species to remember the day ahead of his wife.

Now that I’ve got that off my chest I’d better get going to work. Nobody ever forgets the day there. The guys I work among in the prison know their release dates and how many days to go no matter how far off.

I can see the conversations coming up already. “Thirty two years? You don’t even get that for murder.”

With pineapples you get either the rough end or the sweetness.

That’s life for you.