OT: The origin story

I’ve been doing these Operation Toothpaste posts for a while now (this is my twelfth I think), but I still haven’t told you why they’re called Operation Toothpaste posts. If you aren’t aware, my OT posts are about those little mundane details of my everyday life that don’t really give you the means to stalk me. These are things I normally wouldn’t post about (because they’re not really post-worthy as they happen everyday). Because of this, you get a better picture of me over time. I did promise that, no matter how mundane, I would share it with you, but the thing about the origin story of the name ‘Operation Toothpaste’ is that it’s so mundane I haven’t yet shared it with you.

I would like to say that I have finally given in to popular demand, but no-one has even attempted to ask me via the comments. I guess you must have assumed that I called these posts Operation Toothpaste because brushing your teeth is a pretty mundane, and somewhat lacklustre way to start your mornings. The real reason these are called OT posts is that there is an even more mundane story behind the word ‘toothpaste’. It’s not even a proper story… but it was the first thing that came into my head when I considered what to name this feature.

I’ve tried to make this as interesting as I can, but it’s still kinda boring. There are lots of moments where I pretend to be excited, but this is just sarcasm. So without further ado… you have been warned.

***

My family used to get all our toothpaste from Amway. This wasn’t really because it was cheaper, but more just out of habit. (It’s not too late to back out!). It wasn’t a particularly bad brand of toothpaste, but it was quite plain and wasn’t really very popular. I suppose you could say we were toothpaste hippies – while all of you mainstream families were using your tricolor Aquafresh toothpaste, you businessmen were using Oral-B, and 9 out of 10 dentists were using Sensodyne, we were battling against consumerism and using good old fashioned Glister (we didn’t actively try to do this, don’t worry).

But then our seasoned brushing habits began to change. First my youngest sister got a egg timer from the dentist that showed how long to brush your teeth for. This was good in the beginning, but eventually, because we all brush our teeth at different times,  there were squabbles between me and my two younger sisters (my older sister stayed well away from the egg timer).

For example:

(Me and my sister are brushing my teeth).

OTHER SISTER: Hey! You’re using the timer without me! I need to brush my teeth too!

FIRST SISTER: Yeah, well we can’t turn it over now can we! We’ve already started brushing.

(Other sister forcibly turns the timer back around and the bathroom descends into madness).

Eventually the situation got so bad that my mum half-banned the use of the egg timer (more discouraged). I still use it occasionally, but it’s kind of chipped and continuously falls on the floor.

Then things got really exciting! One day, I saw that rather than the usual Glister toothpaste, there was an Aquafresh tube. Most of us liked it, and everything was fine and dandy…

Or so we thought. Our family must have been in an experimental mood, because the next time we needed a toothpaste tube, we used Oral-B. None of my younger sisters liked it, but my older sister preferred it to the Aquafresh. We now had two separate toothpaste tubes. This is starting to take up a significant space in the toothbrush holder, but it’s OK, nothing too drastic…

Until my youngest sister went to the dentist again, and got a sample toothpaste. She liked it so much that she got her own toothpaste tube.

We now have three separate toothpaste tubes, each used by one of my sisters. I like to be a bit bold and use all three whenever I feel like it. I know – rebel. To top it off, my mum and dad’s room has an en suite, which my dad always uses in the mornings… and while he always used to use Glister too, now he just uses anything from the shop.

EDIT: No, we don’t waste a lot of money on toothpaste. Because less people use each tube, overall it takes a lot longer for each one to run out, so it all works out just like usual spending wise. It’s the whole taking up space thing that is annoying.

It may also interest you to note that before recently, we just used an old cup as our toothbrush and toothpaste holder, but now we use a shop-bought one… but details, details.

So congratulations for making it to the end of the post! I promise next week will be more interesting…

Joe.

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