The Texture Of Things

A Vitamin a Day

June 15th, 2007

Vitamins and I have never really gotten along. When I was a kid, I coveted Bliff*stones chewables, probably because some neighborhood kid I knew had them, or something. I can remember being about 4 years old, sitting on the porch with a bottle of them my mom finally bought me. She was inside unloading groceries. I think my brother must have opened them for me, and I ate one. It was delicious! It was crunchy and tart and left this residue in my mouth that meant something serious. Medicine, perhaps.

Somehow, the idea of vitamins making one strong resurfaced in the conversation, and I declared that the vitamin I had eaten gave me so much energy that I could run around the cul de sac. My brother, and maybe my mom too, encouraged me. I ran and ran and ran. I returned to the porch, winded. I proposed that another vitamin might give me more energy. My mom said, “All right, but just one more. If you eat too many of them, you could get a tummy ache.”

Um, Mom? Seriously? A tummy ache? It could have been a lot worse, considering that all the responsible parties returned to the house to make dinner, leaving me outside unattended with a bottle of vitamins.

Now. What do you think 4-year-old me did? You bet your ass I continued eating vitamins. I’d eat one, run the cul de sac, return, rest, repeat. I think I made it about halfway through the bottle before it was time for dinner.

I did not get a tummy ache, or any other more severe (and deserved) illness. I do not recall ever eating another one, though, until I got pregnant with the tot.

My OB told me I had to keep taking my vitamins. She understood that the vitamin burps were killing me and that the vitamins seemed to worsen my all-day morning sickness, but I needed the supplements. She encouraged me to switch to Bliff*stones until I could tolerate the prenatal vitamins again, and I once again found myself looking at the bottom shelf in the vitamin aisle.

I stayed on Bliff*stones for a while after the tot was born. Regular vitamins just make me feel ill, but I have tried others. I have. And yet I find myself reaching for the comforting, aggressively orange label. Until recently, when I opened the bottle to find this:


What the..?



check the expiration date.

05/08. Wait. What’s today? Oh. 06/07. 05/08? What the hell is going on here? I know it’s medicine, it doesn’t need to look and smell like flowers, but what the holy hell is that in there?

a closer look…


Holy Jeebus, the smell hits. Blaaarrrgh. I think I’m done with these for a while.

Updated to add: I have yet to call the phone number on the packaging to tell them that their vitamins have hatched something (oxidized minerals, I’m guessing) before the expiration. I think I should do it, but I’d just rather throw them away. If I do call, I’ll let you all know what happens.


  1. KLee says

    You know, at first, the large picture looks like something you might see when a slide is magnified — like something under a microscope!

    It does look disturbing, doesn’t it? Did you ever call? (I wouldn’t have eaten them, either!)

    June 24th, 2007 | #

  2. admin says

    No, I haven’t. Can you believe it? HG says it’s irresponsible of me to have held on to this information for so long when other people’s health is “at stake.” But I fully believe that if anyone opened that container and saw the giant black spots and smelled what I smelled, they would not consume those vitamins. But I have a faith in humans that he doesn’t share.

    June 26th, 2007 | #

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