There are those things in our everyday lives that make no sense but we accept them anyway because, well why do we? Take for instance a small size drink at Starbucks. If that’s what you want, you need to order a “tall” in order to get the smallest size. In what world does that make sense? If you want a medium sized beverage you must request a “grande”. Sounds like you are getting a giant-sized, top of the line whatever it might be, but no you are just asking for a middle of the road, average sized something when you request a “grande”. What terminology could be left for you to order something bigger than the “grande”?
Remember when butter was bad? Well, it’s back, has been for awhile. Now margarine has the bad reputation. Eggs were out, but no longer. They are not only back, they are practically a super food in their own right. And coffee has made a comeback, coffee has crossed over from the “out”to the “in again” list and is now supposed to be associated with good brain health, memory, cognitive function etc. Who can keep up?
State fair foods are fun. You can get deep fried Twinkies (or just about anything deep fried) and specialty items like the doughnut burger, three doughnuts with two bacon burgers in between, topped off with mac and cheese. Who thinks these things up? I think the same people who create and market all the different diet plans available to us for the choosing. Or maybe they’re in cahoots with those who invent, make and market every kind of exercise machine imaginable. As our food choices continue to expand, so the barrage of diet plans and exercise programs grows also, keeping pace.
Remember the fear we were entering another ice age? I guess we got over that one or did we just replace it with fear of global warming? And those wind turbines the ecologists love so much? What about all the birds they are killing? Aren’t you supposed to be protecting them?
And let me just say, its tough being a consumer (of anything). In fact, it’s downright exhausting, not to mention time consuming.(pun intended) The magazine, “Consumer Reports” proves my point, we need a magazine to help us shop for stuff. Personal Shopper is actually a job title, maybe even a career choice. Just try picking out toothpaste when your basic brand doesn’t exist anymore, because every thing is an additional choice; from extra whitening to enamel protection to tartar control to help for sensitive teeth to a flavor and don’t forget fighting plaque or killing germs. (I personally look for the one that doesn’t kill germs or fight gingivitis). I mean, why not just put all the desirable qualities into one product? We’d still have to choose gel or paste, mint or whatever flavor, brand-Colgate, Crest or whatever and size etc. Who has time to sort through it all? Don’t get me started on mouthwash. (This makes shopping for shoes look relatively simple by comparison. You don’t have to read minuscule labels, just find a size that fits and a look you like.)
And food? How do we make a choice? There are so many things to consider. For instance, salt/low sodium/reduced sodium/no sodium, sugar/sugar free/no sugar added/ 1/3 less sugar (less than what?), gluten or no gluten, fat free/ half the fat/low fat/no fat, milk/whole/low fat/skim/soy milk/almond milk/coconut milk etc. Whole grain/multi-grain or what? unwhole grain? Organic/all natural/no preservatives or artificial additives etc. Do you know how many different kinds of apples there are? I remember when Cheerios were just that, Cheerios, period. Now there’s Honey Nut, Multi-grain, Apple-cinnamon, Protein, even Chocolate Cheerios. (is this last one a breakfast food or dessert?) And Oreos? How many different kinds of Oreos do we need? I counted FIFTEEN different kinds of Oreos in just one store. That’s not all the varieties of Oreos available, only those available at that particular store. There is now a “thin” version of many Oreo flavors and for those not content with the “double stuf” varieties there is now a “mega stuf” Oreo also available. I kid you not, I could not make this up. How much is enough?
V-8 juice was just that, a red vegetable juice drink. Now there are too many varieties to count, compounded by the fact that each flavor has its own low sodium and/or “lite” version with less sugar. Usually the original of anything is by far the best, just like the first movie is better than all its subsequent sequels. But marketing dictates we keep trying to reinvent the wheel. Its a wonder anyone ever gets out of the grocery store in a reasonable amount of time and with any amount of sanity left. And to complicate matters further, when we have found a product we like, that works for us, meaning we don’t have to read the label every time to see what we are getting, they change the packaging so we don’t recognize it as the product we’ve been buying all these years. Why did it need a new look anyway if it was selling well?
The only constant is change. My favorite restaurant is long gone. Places I love undergo renovations and remodeling, when I liked them just as they were. Sometimes the new is not better. Why do we “fix” things that aren’t broken? And in the process of “upgrading” so many things, we completely ignore things that are broken and need our attention. These are all points to ponder, but who has the time?
Phones and computers and such are practically out dated by the time they’re available for purchase. We are a consumer driven culture and we are put in the role of consumer whether we like it or not. If we’re not careful, being a consumer will consume us and it often does. Well, this started as a “ponder” but is sounding more like a “rant” by this point. I apologize, but I am a weary and a wary consumer wanting not to be consumed by this culture of consumption. (how appropriate with the holidays almost here)
In this season of giving thanks, I am most grateful for the eternal, abiding, constant presence in my life, of my Creator, Heavenly Father, God. He does not change like shifting shadow, He is from age to age the same. He is faithful even when I am unfaithful. I can count on Him and I do. God is my constant in this ever changing world. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) I can count on that.
Here’s hoping our consuming doesn’t consume us,
sincerely, Grace Day