About Me

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I taught for several years at a residential school for children with emotional disabilities before staying home after the birth of my second daughter. I returned to teaching, finished my Educational Leadership program in May of 2012, and now work as our district's Writing and Social Studies Coordinator. I have always loved writing and find constant inspiration from my family. Maybe someday, I will get to see my name on the cover of a book!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

A Shout-Out to Peppermint Soap--and Great Gift-Giving!

During March, I am participating in the Slice of Life challenge, hosted by twowritingteachers.wordpress.com. Bloggers from around the world are posting daily, committed to the practice of sharing, reflecting, remembering...writing! Feel free to stop by this incredible March happening and check out other posts or even join in--there's no rule that says you have to start on March 1st!

This morning's post is in honor of Amy, my wonderful sister-in-law who gave me my favorite birthday present--a bar of soap.

Last year, we lost power for a few days and we were not able to take hot showers at our house. My husband's brother and his wife live nearby, so we trekked over to their house with our towels and flat hair. Amy always has shampoos that smell good and exotic hair treatments, but during that shower, it was the soap I loved. It tingled. Really, positively tingled.

I asked Amy about it and she agreed that it was pretty special soap--not your average Dove bar, which had been my bar of choice, up until that shower. Amy frequents many organic grocery stores and had discovered this peppermint soap at Trader Joe's. I made a mental note to buy myself a bar the next time I succumbed to my craving for the chocolate covered pretzels with peanut butter inside them that I can only buy at Trader Joe's. Peppermint soap. Dessert Essence. I vowed to remember. I forgot.

Fortunately, Amy is not only a great stocker of bathroom luxuries, but she is also an amazing gift-giver. She has the knack for giving not the most expensive presents, but the presents that you don't even know you are coveting. Guess what was at the bottom of my gift bag, underneath the new Jhumpa Lahari book and the new Aerie undershirt?!? Dessert Essence peppermint soap!

Since I don't have my own shower--I have to share with my husband--I had to share my soap. Garth also likes the peppermint soap. (Remember--it tingles!)  I winced when I watched him lather it up and he is a big latherer. I think he was inspired by the Irish Mist commercial as a young boy. (Anyone remember that commercial?) I really wanted my soap to last forever, so I finally told him that it costs $5 a bar. That's all I needed to say-- his lathering decreased. I offered him the option of having his and her soaps in the shower if the price tag was more than he could handle for a bar of soap and he declined. In fact, we ran out of not only Dessert Essence last month, but also Dove--we were left with only a mustard colored bar of Dial to use. I splurged for my peppermint soap and I had to laugh when the Dial remained dry and untouched in the shower, once the pricey soap bar showed up. Garth likes the peppermint soap, too.

I hope that I haven't offended any Dial users out there--it's funny how we bond with our toothpastes and soaps! What I also hope is that I have inspired gift-giving. While I value my peppermint soap (remember--I have independently replaced the bar that Amy had placed at the bottom of my gift bag), I value the reminder of the love and friendship that the soap also represents. Gift-givers pay attention and remember and spend time tracking down that perfect present.

Enjoying my soap and thinking about my gifts...


  1. Makes me want to run out and get this peppermint soap! I love the many things going on in this piece! Dessert essence - what a description! The love of the soap, the appreciation for Amy and her gift giving thoughtfulness, your husband's lathering and his attention to price... Really cute slice with so many thoughts about such a necessity.

  2. Funny that you should mention tingling feeling with a soap, I've had that experience and did not care for that tingle. My son gave us some mint body wash, we were not a fan of the tingle all over. Our neighbor loves the body wash.
    I love it when I can surprise the person getting the gift with an item they love. It takes listening and watching all year to find that perfect item.

  3. We just lately have Trader Joe's Melanie-I have some of those chocolate-covered pretzels, & will certainly look for the soap. I love organic soaps of any kind-makes a good souvenir on a trip! I laughed when you talked about the Dial rejection-other soaps even lather better! Happy that you have such a sweet sister-in-law!

  4. That was some gift bag,Melanie! Something to nourish the body, mind and soul. You are right - she's an excellent gift giver.

  5. Ah Melanie, your piece is a demonstration of the joy a writer can find in celebrating small things in great detail. Student writers often overlook the potential of such things. This gift has resulted in you paying it forward with this writing piece.

  6. What a beautiful gift-giver she is.

    Laughed at the part.. "I really wanted my soap to last forever, so I finally told him that it costs $5 a bar. That's all I needed to say-- his lathering decreased."