The Only Tonic I Need Goes With Gin

, , , , , | Related | March 21, 2019

(My elderly aunt still lives like it is the 1940s or 1950s. She doesn’t understand how the world today operates and still thinks that what worked then works now. My younger sister just announced that she is pregnant with her second child, and the following exchange occurs when I tell my aunt why I don’t have children.)

Aunt: “What’s the matter with you? Why can’t you have a baby? Your sister is five years younger than you and is pregnant with her second already!”

Me: “[Aunt], you know that [Husband] had damage to his male parts while he was deployed to Afghanistan. The VA says that he is sterile.”

Aunt: “You—“ *referring to me* “—should take two tablespoons of Mrs. Tinsley’s Tonic every night before bedtime. My mother said that if you take two tablespoons of Mrs. Tinsley’s Tonic every night before bedtime, you are guaranteed to get pregnant!”

Me: “Uh, the problem is with [Husband], not me…”

Aunt: “But my mother said that Mrs. Tinsley’s Tonic is a miracle cure! She used to give it to all the women in our neighborhood to get them pregnant when they had trouble conceiving! And guess what? They all did!”

Me: “[Aunt], did you know that no one takes tonics anymore?”

Aunt: “Go to Walmart’s!” *she insists on calling Walmart, “Walmart’s”* “They have to have it! I’m sure all of your friends used Mrs. Tinsley’s Tonic to conceive their babies! Everyone takes tonics!”

Me: “Uh, no one uses tonics anymore. Vitamins and herbal supplements, yes, but tonics, no. If Mrs. Tinsley’s Tonic is such a miracle cure when was the last time you bought it?”

Aunt: “I think that I last bought it in 1956 when I conceived your cousin.”

Me: “You know that was over sixty years ago?

(My aunt just kind of froze up and finally dropped the conversation.)

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