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Please don't remind me that I'm poor; I'm having too much fun pretending I'm simply "living green" like everyone else these days.


Monday, April 5, 2010

Are you?

Are you the good little consumer doing as you are told?  Buy, buy, buy.  Spend, spend, spend.  You must spend money to keep our economy going ya know.  As "they" tell us; our teeth aren't white enough, our shampoo not specialized enough, our laundry not fresh enough, and our food isn't convenient enough.  We would all be the best, the sexiest, the freshest, the cleanest, the thinnest, the smartest, the healthiest, and our digestive tract the cleanest on the block if we only believe what "they" parade before our eyes. 

Do you carry a box of breath freshners, a full bottle of laxative, and a complete line of femine products in your purse?  You should you know, because "they" tell us that the most important job a woman can have is to make sure she is prepared for any emergency a family member might have.  I hadn't really thought about it much before; but, I alone have been responsible for making sure my families underarms are protected for a full 12 hours, making sure that my family has no clue what's for dinner by washing the air of any hint of cooking smells, and being extra careful that my garbage bags don't break on impact with food waste. 

It's my responsibility to make sure even my dog's breath is fresh, his food fit for a king, and his coat shiny as a new penny.  When my daughter broke up with not the mommie, it was my responsibility to remind her that whiter teeth and a healthy digestive tract might bring him back. 

Hey, I used to believe the tidy bowl man was my best friend when he cleaned the toilet bowl for me and the white knight would magically clean the floors of any yellow wax build up.  Did you know my kids could sing commercials before they learned to say mommie.  "Uh oh spaghetti O's" and "You're in trouble now Birdsong" are two I remember most. 

When my kids were small, buying for Christmas was "the holiday" to plan for.  Their lists were simple.  I grew used to locating presents I couldn't spell, had no idea what they were used for, and had to be put together with an instruction sheet written in Japaneese.  I had a whole year to prepare for that holiday.  Now "they" have invented so many more holidays with presents for us to plan, buy, wrap, and hide until the holiday.  A sticker saying "do not open until National Pancake Day" or "do not open until National Kudzoo Day" somehow just doesn't have the same meaning as "do not open until Christmas". 

Now that the kids are grown, the grand kid's letters have started to read like a foreign language.  No longer do they say "Dear Santa: please leave me a bike or new doll."  Now days the letters show that the kids have been mesmerized by some commercial, right down to the part number, brand, catalogue number or the ebay item number.  Sometimes they feel like helping my budget by giving directions on how to sign up for an Amazon account so I can find it there. 

Commercial companies have spent years and millions of dollars figuring out how to part us from our money.  Now days, even the government is in on it.... telling us that if we don't become hyper consumers our economy may collapse.  Going so far as to give us a tax break or a clunker rebate if we only spend our money.  Everything in a store has been researched, designed, and color coded to make us shell  out our paycheck to buy it.  Several days till payday?  No problem.  Just put it on our credit card and sign away our future paychecks to them for the rest of our life.  Oh, by the way, they also own a company that will help us manage our over used credit card debt too.

I'm tired of being told to exhaust myself shopping so I can take my senior, chewable, plus iron, memory tablets.  I'm tired of listening to comercials for men to "enhance" themselves to the envy of all the neighbors.  I hope and pray none of my grand kids ever get called "Bob" and have stupid grins on their faces.

We're all being manipulated you know.  Stores, internet, tv.... anything media is full of things that have you believing the only tme we experience ecstasy is when we take showers, chew gum, wash laundry,  smell our gym shoes, dance near the garbage can, or have multiple ovens on our team. Just when we finally figure out what new gadget "they" are talking about, that we are told we absolutely must have... a newer version comes out.

An anti-consumer doesn't stand a chance! 


Diana said...

Anita, Just one more excellent thought provoking post from you!!
I came back again this morning and re-read it. The first time I read it, the day you posted it, I think, it really hit home. In fact, I had gotten into a "I'm so stressed and have so much to do, I will just buy this and that to be able to cross one more thing off my list" mode. Automatic spending, without even really thinking about it... except for that nagging guilt in the back of my mind. I really feel exactly as you do, and fully realize we are being manipulated at every turn, to separate us from our money ... but, oh, how easily I forget!
Thanks for the reminder, the wake up call, and the heads up! Millions of dollars are being spent researching how to market everything from our deodorant to what we feed ourselves. It is so easy to forget we can STOP, step back, and make our own rational decisions!
Thanks, Anita, for reminding me!
diana in Illinois

Anita Estes said...

You're welcome. Actually, it was my attempt at humor while also stating a point of view. Did I succeed? Did you see the ironic humor?

Diana said...

Yes, Anita, I did see the irony and I appreciate it.
Just a very clever way to get your point across.
diana in Illinois