When I was a kid, I had the worst dry hands imaginable. Every winter they cracked and bled and my dad bought everything he could to help relieve them – corn huskers lotion, udder cream, you name it. What finally worked was Vaseline.
Vaseline became my “go-to” item for burns, dry lips, and make-up removal, and I used it to lubricate the joints of my flute. At some point, though, around the time I became a know-it-all 15-year-old, I was seduced by Maybelline and Cover Girl and Bonnie Bell and Clinique and all their fancy ads with beautiful women with beautiful skin. Vaseline was hick, podunk, so uncool.
Thousands of dollars and 30 years later…
This winter has been particularly cold and I’ve spent more money, as usual, on this lotion and that lotion, trying to combat my dry aging winter skin. Then I remembered the jar of Vaseline in the back of the medicine cabinet – I’ll bet it’s four years old at least – and the days when my dad slathered it all over my knuckles and put gloves on my hands before tucking me in bed. I put some on my face before going to bed and what do you know? I woke up with soft cheeks, and gone were the lines under my eyes that made me look haggard and worn.
Not bad for a $1.29.
You know my propensity to Google almost anything. Well, a quick Google for Vaseline generated almost 7 million results. Vaseline is almost as popular as duct tape (which produced a little more than 7 million results). I didn’t realize Vaseline had such a variety of uses beyond softening skin and making flutes easier to pull apart.
I particularly like this article, written by Charlie Bradley, of a list of alternative uses for Vaseline: Household Hints: Helpful Uses for Vaseline
I thought hint #3 was interesting: “The Cheating Spouse’s Best Friend – Vaseline helps to remove lipstick, makeup, and mascara stains from clothing before the stain sets in. Rub a generous coat of Vaseline over the stain and pat the stain with a soft wet cloth of plain water.”
Vaseline has many non-clandestine uses, however, never ever under any circumstance use Vaseline with a condom or this nurse will find you and kick your ass: http://www.coolnurse.com/sex_faqs19.htm.
Of course the makers of Vaseline have a website: Vaseline – Keeping Skin Amazing. I think the “amazing” part’s a bit much, but the petroleum jelly does keep it soft, that’s for sure.
Vaseline is so amazing that it should partner with duct tape and bring about world peace. Imagine the possibilities!
OK, so maybe world peace is a stretch, but Vaseline has brought some peace to me personally. I often get caught up in the fancy stuff or look for solutions beyond my medicine cabinet, so to speak. Vaseline is a gentle reminder that I find the best solutions in simplicity, by simply breathing and remembering that life is only as complicated as I choose to make it. I’ve got “amazingly” soft skin and it only cost me $1.29. I want an equally amazingly soft soul and heart.
And with that, I want to send out a BIG happy birthday to my dad who turns 77 today! I love you, Daddy! Thanks for finding the solution to my cracked and bleeding hands and for all the other times you mended my body and heart. I’ve been telling you this all my life, but it’s still true: you’re the best dad ever.