Ep18: When I paid heed to expiry dates for both, thoughts and tubes

  • Time 4 min
  • Date September 12, 2020

“While I had been nursing paranoia, the competition had surged ahead.”


My eyes jerked open to the sound of screaming and screeching — the screams were mine and the screeches were the brakes! The startled driver was looking at me, wide-eyed and confused. Shucks… It was a nightmare! OMG! Wiping my dripping forehead with shaking hands, I gave a feeble smile to the driver and asked him to take me to my destination.

Shams and Becca were quickly informed of what had happened. They just couldn’t stop laughing!

Yes, it was funny, but God, did I feel stupid! I had let my family and ND and everyone around get to me. I had to stop mulling over this, it would all be okay. I felt better… but the feeling did not last.

A week later, I was still wary of travelling alone. I made fake excuses to my squad to skip Zumba. I was unable to snap out of it. Poor sleep and lack of exercise was showing on my skin.

The next day it showed up at work.

So, DoYou receives samples of various skincare products launched across the country (to stay up-to-date with the world of beauty and to study claims/efficacies/designs etc.) and we have this beautiful tradition where, once we’re done with it, the samples well within the expiry dates are sent to an NGO for under-privileged girls. I loved this generous act and it had given me an idea for my next research topic. Expiry dates!

I know people who use perfumes and creams way past their shelf-life, probably assuming they have been reborn LOL.

If only thoughts too came with an expiry date, I’d be more than happy to dump mine. Sigh.


“This was something I had done a million times before but today was different, anxiety kicked in.”

Mallika and Ruchi offered to segregate the products into two lots based on their expiry dates. With a truckload of samples, I promised to help once done with my research.

In the meantime, my creative juices were flowing and I designed this:

Ep18: Cheat Sheet

I was just done when Ruchi came in. “All done”, she chimed. “Really?”, I was surprised. Smiling, Ruchi said, “That Mallika is something, babes. She is a pro. I was going cross-eyed locating dates while Mallika, with one look at the product, could pile it.” So, while I had been nursing paranoia, the competition had surged ahead. I had to catch up.

It took a lot to keep the sarcasm out of my voice when I thanked Mallika and told her that I would dispatch the products. I found miniature bottles and tubes of exclusive branded products in the box for the girls. How happy they would be, I thought!

By lunchtime, I was done with the dispatch box and the office boy had left for its delivery. I informed the NGO about their incoming parcel. The genuine gratitude I heard warmed every cockle of my heart. I honestly felt happy and lighter than I had in days.

It was while I was getting a well-deserved coffee that I saw the box of discarded products lying outside the pantry. The box looked surprisingly similar. A closer look showed that the products were ‘good for another year’! I had mixed up the packages and sent out the wrong box!


Mallika and Ruchi were both aghast but we all quickly got into action. There was no time to waste. The office boy was not reachable. Ruchi suggested I drop off the box personally. Mallika booked a cab. There was no other way… I would have to go out alone… to an unknown place. Something I had done a million times before without so much as a thought. But today was different, anxiety kicked in. Ironically, like the tubes, my unwanted thoughts had moved past the ‘best until’ date and needed to be dumped. I had to choose between my conscience and my fear.

My conscience was stronger… I picked up the box and left.

Kissing goodbye to skincare formulas:

  • The clock starts ticking when you open the seal (yep, mark that date)
  • Change in colour, texture, smell = time to say bye
  • Pick tubes or pumps over jars