Panic in the Toothpaste Aisle


OK, I’ll admit it. Decisions have never come easy to me. The concept of keeping all my options open always strikes me as the best option of all (which may just have some obscure connection to my perpetual singleness…but I digress).

It was during a seemingly innocent trip to the neighborhood grocery store that my decision-phobia came face-to-face with its greatest nemesis: the toothpaste aisle.

Stretching as far as the eyes could see were tubes, bottles and canisters of every shape, size and variety. Pastes. Gels. Powders. More than 20 varieties of Crest alone. Sheer lunacy.

As I surveyed the bewildering landscape, I wondered how ANYONE might be able to thoughtfully hone in on the ideal choice for his teeth and gums. How could any choice NOT lead to some level of buyer’s remorse (“I think I should’ve gone with the 6 oz. tartar control striped gel pump…DAMN!”)

I also considered if having dozens of toothpaste choices might just stoke a sick demand for even more choices. A bottomless pit that no dental aid could ever satisfy.

Realizing I was getting needlessly worked up, I cooled off by taking a quick stroll down the adjacent aisle and then high-tailing it home. As I left the store – marshmallows in tow – I understood why shopping for toothpaste would always rank right up there with having a root canal. Or perhaps an extraction. Or maybe just a good old-fashioned scaling.