Updated: Jan 14

The current U.S. life expectancy is now almost 80 years. As a result, many of us are in the “ Sandwich Generation.” We are the ones in the middle, actively caring for our children and our aging parents at the same time. Notice that I did not say “stuck in the middle.” This is because I consider it a blessing and a privilege to have my parents ( in-laws included ) and children close to me for as long as possible, and to be able to help them in any way I can.

From what I have observed, it seems to me that we may be genetically programmed to become preoccupied with the subject of CONSTIPATION once we hit our seventh decade.

Not only are we preoccupied with that subject, but we also feel obligated to offer advice to the younger folks, whether they want it or not. This type of gastro advice is given with the best of intentions, but as a frequent recipient of said advice, I can say that I always get far too much information than is really necessary.

As for a perfect gift, your teenage kids will probably not care for anything you pick out, so go with cash, if possible. Your parents and in-laws probably already have multiples of the things they use all the time. Do they really need more slippers, bathrobes, umbrellas, photo albums, etc.?

Well, here’s an idea…

By now, you should understand the importance of regularity, so why not give a gift of some really good, plump, delectable PRUNES!! Don’t worry about the four large canisters of supermarket-quality prunes that are already in the kitchen cabinet. They will end up being stewed. The ones we are talking about are not destined for the stove top. These will be eaten as is, maybe two or three at breakfast and then again in the evening. As prune connoisseurs, your parents will immediately notice the difference in quality between these babies and the supermarket ones. They will appreciate your thoughtfulness and the fact that you’ve actually been listening to them about gut health.

Are prunes an appropriate gift for Mother’s Day or Christmas? Maybe not. For those days stick to the robe and slippers, or maybe some expensive cigars for the Old Man. But, for a “Just Thinking of You” gift, a package of some great prunes and dried apricots in a simple cut glass bowl might be just what the doctor ordered.