This is not about how dizzying it can be in a supermarket, music too loud, announcements about sales interrupting a classic John Denver song, "Rocky Mountain High", and all you are trying to do is choose a shampoo that smells good and is on sale. I'm not your typical female in this regard; don't go to beauty salons, don't get my nails done, don't get sucked into the money machine that preys on helping you look younger or blonder or less wrinkly than you are. In fact, I'm an Oprah make-over show reject because I wouldn't agree to them chopping off my waist-length hair so I could look more "professional" and TEN YEARS YOUNGER. (A well meaning friend gave them my name two years in a row.)

But back to the choice of shampoos, so I'm still at my mother's until they get her blood pressure and heart medications in balance, just trying to take a simple shower and wash my hair. Looking at the array of bottles, I can tell which family member bought or left each one. Small sample size of physIQUE, created expressly for COURTYARD Marriot Hotels, smells like cucumber and that ship has sailed (the physique ship, I mean, for me).

PAUL MITCHELL clarifying Shampoo Three, which removes chlorine and impurities in five languages, smells like something you could clean your floors with, if you do that sort of thing.

Then there's Herbal essences, drama clean, refreshing shampoo with a fusion of berry tea & orange flower. It actually says "I'm so good; I'll put clean thoughts in your head". And that's just on the front of the bottle. On the back, it says "It's so refreshing to meet someone like you! Come clean with my formula fused with orange flower & berry tea- a combination of berry extracts and tea extracts- for hair that is renewed, refreshed and ready to go. Get light, lush locks with all the lather, but without all the gunk. This little soap opera isn't over yet. Try my fresh-headed conditioner. use me: work your hair into a lather-frenzy. rinse and repeat- just for the joy of it." Below this rather disturbingly intimate invitation, there's an herbalhead games question, "On average, who do you talk to more than anyone else?" Below that, the "conditioner answer: Pants." By this point I'm so thoroughly confused, I don't even smell it, which is my primary way of choosing a shampoo.

The final choice is good old "no more tears- Johnson's baby shampoo, As gentle to eyes as pure water." I decide to go with this, knowing without even opening it, exactly how this will smell. Anyone who ever was a baby, has had a baby, or has held a baby, knows the scent I mean. When I'm done, I notice the bottle looks older than the others, so I check the expiration date. 1972, this shampoo was probably a bottle I bought almost forty years ago for my daughter.

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