life: super powers not included

The Great Listerine Challenge

Lion underwaterphoto from we heart it
Yeah, the challenge is kinda like that.

Just a reminder, if you write a letter to your teen self, let me know. I’m posting all links in the original post (there are some great ones up already), which is now located convenient in the left sidebar.

← See?

Also, a story with a point:

Early on in my relationship with The Man (at the time, he was just The Boy), he spent the long weekend at my parents’ house. We’d been seeing each other for two months, during which time I spent a month in Europe then moved to Massachusetts, which is about eight hours from Baltimore, where The Boy lived, on a good day. Since good days never happen on the Jersey Turnpike, the trip was always upwards of 10 hours.

Anyhow. We were doing the whole long-distance thing and racking up minutes on our primitive cell phones, which dropped calls every other minute. It was cute and we’d talk about things like how the nubs on the insides of socks are pretty annoying and the fact that both of us were more or less addicted to Listerine. (Incidentally, this is also the time when we found out neither of us like onions. I’m pretty sure The Boy went ring shopping that day.)

Right, he was visiting my parents’ house, where I was living until I could find a job right out of college.

So there we were in the bathroom. A bottle of Listerine on the counter. Two Dixie cups ready to be filled. The Boy looked at the bartender:

“Hit me.” I poured him a shot then filled my own cup.

“Are you sure you’re ready for this?” I asked.

The Boy nodded.

“I’m a pro. I won’t think less of you if you back down,” I lied.

“Don’t think I dislike you just because I force you to eat my dust,” he said. I snorted.

We raised our glasses. Tapped them together. Tilted our heads back. The Boy and I drained the cups, slamming the empties on the counter. Green liquid splashed as a cup collapsed.

Underwaterphoto from we heart it

For a minute, I didn’t move. My theory was that the mouthwash would burn less if I didn’t swish. Wrong. I figured swishing just spread the burn. Holding the liquid in place would centralize what burn there was. Wrong.

The fire started in the middle of my tongue. Expanded to my cheeks. Burnt the roof of my mouth. My lips hurt. My teeth ached. I’m pretty sure I blew smoke out of my nostrils when I dared breathe at all.

One look at The Boy and I knew he was struggling, too. His face became red. His eyes bulged. We waved our hands out of sync with one another just to do something other than swish burning mouthwash around our mouths.

One minute in, my tastebuds were gone. Burnt clean off, I thought. It didn’t matter. I knew that if I could swish for just one more second The Boy would give in.

He looked at me.

“Mmmmmwp,” he said. I nodded.

“Mmmne,” I said.

“Mmmoo,” he said.

“Mwwwe,” I said. We spit.

I shut my eyes and panted. I imagined my mouth smoking like a fired gun. My mother walked by and rolled her eyes. I think she mentioned that we were the biggest dorks she’d ever known. I think we ignored her and let out short screams.

My teeth were clean.

That, my friends, is how much I used to love Listerine. So take it from me when I say that Tom’s of Maine’s natural, burn-free mouthwash tastes good and leaves my teeth feeling clean. As you now know, that clean feeling is of utmost importance to me.

Tom's of Maine

In case you were wondering.

Are you a mouthwash person?

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23 comments

1 Amy @ Second City Randomness { 01.06.11 at 8:12 am }

Definitely. I usually use it in the mornings… to make sure I get that “extra clean” feeling. Which I will inevitably knock out anyways with coffee breath about an hour later…

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Tracey Reply:

Yeah, coffee tends to kill anything good you do to your teeth. Too bad it’s necessary for coherent thinking.

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2 Estela @ Weekly Bite { 01.06.11 at 8:44 am }

I’m an on and off mouthwash person. I ned to do it more… but I have to admit, its not my most favorite thing to do ;)

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Tracey Reply:

That’s because you’ve never been part of a Listerine Challenge, of course. That’s where the fun is. ;)

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3 Heather C { 01.06.11 at 10:28 am }

I like mouthwash at night so I feel sparkly clean going to bed but I hate it in the morning because I feel like it makes everything I eat for the better part of the day taste minty fresh. Minty fresh oatmeal, not so good; minty fresh turkey sandwich, not so good; minty fresh Diet Coke, horrible.

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Tracey Reply:

What about mouthwash + fruit? Sick!

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4 Nicole, RD { 01.06.11 at 11:46 am }

Haha, I so hope that story is true. In which case, you are both very big dorks…who have very good oral hygiene.

I use mouthwash sometimes. I’m not good about it. But I always use it after I floss…it leaves my mouth feeling sooo fresh!

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Jill Reply:

That’s a great observation. As her sister I can say that they are dorky enough to do that even if it was made up :)

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Tracey Reply:

Yes, that story is most definitely true. I admit to utter dorkdome. :)

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5 Lu { 01.06.11 at 11:55 am }

I am a mouthwash person! I love it. It’s the first thing I do when I get up in the morning, before I even shower. I don’t like to feel like I have a family of walruses living in my mouth.

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Tracey Reply:

A family of walruses living in your mouth … that’s a hilarious visual. Good thing I wasn’t drinking anything when I read that.

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6 Shanna, like Banana { 01.06.11 at 12:19 pm }

I so know that feeling..it’s horrible! Maybe I’ll check out Tom’s!

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7 RunningOnCoffee { 01.06.11 at 1:31 pm }

I was a Scope person growing up; hubby introduced me to Listerine while we were dating; now I’m a Listerine gal. Will have to try out Tom’s next time we’re out.

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8 Lisa @Thrive Style { 01.06.11 at 4:32 pm }

I used to be a listerine person…not now! I like Closys and ACT….clean but not hurty :)

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Tracey Reply:

“Not hurty” <– hehe

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9 Bick { 01.06.11 at 4:39 pm }

Just found your blog in some pinging around the interwebz. Bookmarked it. Will be checking back frequently. Thanks!

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10 Katie @ peacebeme { 01.06.11 at 7:59 pm }

Love this, so funny! I HATE onions too and so does my boyfriend, so it’s SO nice to cook for us and not having to worry about ever buying them at the store!

I don’t use mouthwash much. I will have to try Tom’s. Any tiny amount of artificial sweetener bothers my stomach so much so I switched to natural toothpaste and usually by Tom’s of that.

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Katie Reply:

*buy….hate when I have typos!

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Tracey Reply:

You’re forgiven. ;)

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Tracey Reply:

I like Tom’s toothpaste, too. We just switched over in case fluoride is contributing to my problems. Slim chance but, you know, when you’re in pain you’ll try anything.

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11 Wei-Wei { 01.07.11 at 2:30 am }

I’ve never really found Listerine to be that spicy but I’ll take it from you. I’m not a regular user, because I end up eating after I brush my teeth so I don’t see the point.

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12 Katie { 01.17.11 at 2:46 pm }

Your posts are so fun and creative :-) I could definitely see you and The Man doing this, too. Hilarious!

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Tracey Reply:

Thanks, Katie. And, yes, we totally did that. That was 100 percent truth right there.

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