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Who knew bubbles went bad?!

Who knew bubbles went bad?! Who knew bubbles went bad?!

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They may be sticky, they may be a useless endeavor to pass the time, they may be a waste of money, but bubbles are fun! Not the kind you pour to soak in the tub, but the ones you take outside and blow through a plastic wand.

When I was little, it was a treat to get the round-shaped pink or blue bottles, which came with the blowing wand inside. Sometimes, if you were really lucky, you got both colors of bottles – not that it mattered, the bubbles were the same – but it made you feel rich to have both.

I don’t think the bottles were very much, I seem to remember the price between 60-90 cents, but hey, we weren’t made of money and you made every drop of those count each summer! Now, you can buy a package of 3 for $1.

We tried making our own solution out of dish soap, but those did not pan out. Mr. Rogers made it look so easy with his rubber band, but all I got out of the deal was a wet rubber band, and Mom mad that I wasted water and dish soap.

Looking back, the store-bought bubbles then weren’t ideal either, because the wands weren’t attached to the lids, they just were stuck down in the bottle. So, you had to reach in to grab them, which left your fingers sticky and since it had been completely submerged, when you brought the wand near your mouth, the solution ran down your arm.

As a kid, I just accepted that’s how it was. As an adult, I was pleasantly surprised to find that wands come attached to lids now!!! That effectively eliminates the sticky factor (unless you count the times I’m clumsy and spill it all over my body), but you never have to worry about fishing down in the bottle for the wand.

The new wand styles also seem to produce bigger, shinier bubbles and they are even scented in many products. Plus, the bottles are no longer one shape. They come in all sizes, shapes and scents.

My favorites are the ice cream cones. Back when our lungs were better and times were leisurely, Mom and I would end our summer days sitting in the yard, blowing bubbles out of the ice cream bottles. We liked to see how many we could get at one time, while I sometimes blew slowly, to see how big I could get my bubble.

We also had races to see whose would outlast the other before it popped, or to see how far they would travel. I’m sure some of the neighbors probably wondered why they suddenly had random bubbles floating through their yards.

It was relaxing, a time to talk and watch nature. But, all good things come to an end and as our lung capacity went downhill, we stopped our nightly ritual. Weeks, sometimes months, went by before we would blow a few bubbles, run out of breath and call it a night.

Eventually, we stopped altogether. I kept mentioning we should go out and do bubbles, but it didn’t happen, and the unopened package of dollar store ice cream bubbles got shoved in the back of the cupboard under the sink.

I actually forgot it was there, until recent plumbing work forced me to clean out the cupboard. While pulling things out (including a paddle board and ball that the string had broken off, and a squirt gun for Mom to shoot at squirrels on the bird feeder), I discovered the long-forgotten bubbles.

It took all I had not to rush out and blow some, but prevailing sense gave way to desire. My lungs are shot and I’m afraid my bubble days are over.

However, I knew just what to do with them. My friend/ co-worker’s little boy would love them, so I took them to the office to give to her to take home to him.

Thankfully, before she let him blow bubbles, she opened each bottle to smell the fragrances. Unbeknownst to me, bubbles apparently go bad. I knew the solution got a little “flat,” but I never imagined what she’d find inside two out of three of the unopened bottles.


If you made a face or gagged, you aren’t alone! She threw those away and toted the remaining unmoldy bottle home with her. Since that was kind of a bust, I plan on getting the inquisitive two-year-old some fresh bottles in the future.

In the meantime, I hope little Warren has fun with the inherited bubbles and looks back fondly one day, on the memories he creates.

Even though I can’t blow a bubble to save my life, I still get excited when I see them in the store. And isn’t that the point of something designed for fun?

That, and if you’re mad at someone, slinging a wand of solution in their face is a good form of revenge. Or so I’ve been told.