a Monday morning mystery

Over the weekend, after noticing our glass cleaner was nearly empty, I looked under the kitchen sink for a refill bottle I thought I remembered. Score: a big bottle of The Blue Stuff was, in fact, at the back of the supplies.

While refilling the bottle, I noticed the label:

Hmm. Let’s take a closer look, shall we?

Please join me for a profound moment of “What the heck…?”

How on Earth did this come to be with us? Because I can assure you, in 1985, I was racing home in the afternoons to watch cartoons. (Actually, I was still doing the same thing in 1999, but this is hyperbole, not science.) ¬†And my disposable income when I entered high school was disposed (as I’ve said before) on books and comics and cheap hair doo-dads, not on cleaning products.

Similarly, although I take digs at my Patient Husband for being Patiently Older than I am, he too was not of an age in 1985 to be collecting glass cleaner refill bottles. (Which indicates that this was the SECOND purchase of said product, since you need something to refill.)

Well then…where’d it come from? And wherever it came from, it’s managed to survive — unopened — at least five moves across three or possibly four states (depending on which of us generated this specimen).

Please don’t deduce from this that we never clean glass. In fact, we do, which makes this one’s survival (nay, its longevity) all the more surprising.

Did it come with this house? Perhaps the previous owners left it behind? And I’d almost agree, except that this window-cleaner is older than the house.

Color me stumped. I’ve run to the end of my archaeological knowledge.

Anyone would justify it for having a snit. “Oh SURE, don’t think about me until you need me. Why not put me back under the sink for another quarter-century? See if I care.”

But it still works just fine. I just hope it doesn’t have any friends lurking unknown in random cabinets or closets…


  1. Laura Diamond

    Oooooh, eerie!!!!!

    1. philangelus

      On another forum there’s at least one person betting my guardian angel is pranking me, but I don’t think so. It’s just too bizarre.

  2. Lindsey

    LOL Did your mom give it to you?

    Once, my mom gifted me with a bunch of spices because in her cross-country move, the movers refused to pack any food for her. I did not look closely at what she gave me. Only a couple years later did I pay closer attention, when I noticed the lemon-pepper just didn’t really taste all that good, and it was clumpy. And then I saw the date on this McCormick bottle: 1971. That’s well before I was alive!!

    1. philangelus

      My mom didn’t give me any cleaning supplies. I didn’t actually move out for real for another ten years, so I think she’s unlikely to be the source.

      Now it might theoretically have come from my husband’s family, but he moved out East in 1991 or thereabouts, so the thing would have been six years old already. And then if it got shuffled in with his stuff, it might have moved into our first apartment when we got married and then tagged along through four locations.

      That lemon-pepper story…wow. Yeah, I imagine it would have had no taste whatsoever by then!

  3. Lydia Kang

    Eww. Well, the answer is obvious. You have a time portal in the back of your supply closet.

  4. Illya

    Did it come from the house you moved from? Was that house built before 1985? It might have been stuck in the back of the cabinet when you bought the previous house and you just didn’t notice. In the flurry of packing for the new house, it just might have tagged along.

  5. Marie

    Someone there’s an older (because she was buying stuff like that in 1985) woman saying “Where’s that last bottle of glass cleaner I bought on sale with all those two-for-one coupons the nice man at the newspaper stand saved for me? I should still have one left.” It might even be my mother-in-law who has saved a lot of money that way over the years.