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I keep two kinds of salt in my house: table salt (cheap, white, comes in a box with handy spout) and water softener salt. Since the softener salt resides in the basement next to the tank, it is easy for me to forget about. I frequently do — until one of my delicate-skinned offspring enters the room scratching and moaning about how inflamed they are.This game usually serves only to irritate me since I can’t hoist the heavy bags up and get the contents into the tank by myself. I try to quell the urge to say, in a vaguely sarcastic tone, “You have arms, no?” And since my skin is old, wrinkly and scratchy anyway, I have little vested interest in making sure an adequate supply is on hand. Often the tank will be empty of salt long before it occurs to me to check it and order more.

The kitchen salt is less of a challenge. Although I have slightly high blood pressure and don’t use a lot of salt in food, I still have occasion, almost daily, to open the cupboard and note the presence of the salt box. These days, it is difficult to find it. It has been pushed to the rear by other salt, salt I had no idea even existed — not just in my cupboard, but existentially. Leave it to my two kids, Crazy D and L’il Sis to bring it home. We have blue salt, pink salt, sea salt, probably salt from the tears of angels. Next, they’ll be taking a spiritual pilgrimage to the Middle East to gather salt from the Dead Sea. Really? We really need all that salt?

I love it when we sit down for dinner and the conversation gets going. “Where is The Salt?” one of them will ask.

“It’s right there on the table in front of you — as it has been for the past ten years,” I snark.

“No, I meant the pink salt, Mom. It comes from the Himalayas and it’s very good,” Crazy D will explain.

“How can salt be good or bad?” I challenge. “It’s just salt, no more, no less.”

“Oh, no, you don’t understand. This salt is full of special minerals and trace elements your body needs.”

“My body is too old to need traces of anything — except perhaps the alcohol from a fine wine. Besides, I take a slew of vitamins and minerals in pill form each day. I think I have everything covered, thank you. I’m not wasting my money on gourmet salt. It’s like your fancy water. I can’t taste the difference and I’ll be damned if I’m going to pay extra for something I can’t taste. Heck, if I could get away with it, I’d consolidate and use the water softener salt for cooking. It might be cheaper…the rocks are bigger so I wouldn’t need as much!”

Crazy D and L’il Sis gave each other a look. Gill, the one that I figured would side with me in denouncing their gourmet choices, commented: “Don’t look at me. You’re the ones stuck with her now. I left the country. Good luck to you…”

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