Saturday, July 5, 2008

My Love/Hate Relationship with Consumerism

Its true. My relationship with consumer products is tenuous at best. The marketing forces that be simultaneously repulse and attract me, so I'm sorting through the rubble of our once productive relationship. (Productive primarily for the GNP) In the process, I felt the need to compile, just for you, a brief catalogue of products I love and pretty much hate. I'll open with LOVE because hating stuff is funnier, so I feel that I should close with that.


1. Method cleaning products. A little trendy, yes. But the packaging is attractive enough to leave it out on the counter, they smell fresh and not at all like cleaning products and they don't irritate my asthma in the least. It is definitely love.

2. Yoga balls, or whatever you'd like to call them. They cost about a third of what they did when they were gaining popularity a few years ago, so its not ridiculous to have one for the kiddo, who will love its relative hugeness, and one to actually work out with. Marketing dream come true that it is, its not hype, its an excellent fitness tool and it really is great to sit on while typing. I'm doing it right now. Okay, I'm not, but I should be.

3. ipods. What did we do before them?

4. The Samsung Instinct. Its a phone, and so much more. Its true, the sound is less than stellar, which is sorta lousy considering its primary purpose is to be a phone, and there's a bit of a learning curve when it comes to the right way to touch the screen without accidentally calling people or hanging up on them, but the browser really is fast, the qwerty keyboard is very convenient and one-touch access to movie schedules, followed immediately by reviews,etc., the voice navigation, the really decent camera, I could go on and on. I'm a fan. A big one.

5. The very cheap hardbound reprintings of classic novels. Sure, its a little like buying the store brand of milk, but who cares? A literary girl needs a library, but reading doesn't pay very well. Five bucks for Crime and Punishment, Anna Karenina, Jane Eyre - that I can do. Bring on the Sunny Meadow Farm Literary Milk.

6. Gazillion Bubbles. Moms, you know what I'm talking about. I don't have to hyperventilate to blow, well, a gazillion bubbles for my guy. If there was such a thing as Toddler Xgames, Gazillion Bubble Chasing would be the marquis event.

7. Maybelline Great Lash Mascara in Blackest Black. And how.

8. Brilliant Brunette Hair Care by John Frieda. A long and sorta inflated name for a drug store shampoo? Indubitably. But oh so worth $4.50 each for the shampoo and conditioner, for the scent alone, not to mention the hair shininess and the brilliant brunettiness.

9. Tiffany's. For all my anti-materialist posturing, I'm still a girl. And I loved Breakfast at Tiffany's, so its a natural extension.

10. Grocery store sushi. Its like sushi for dummies. Its yummy, inexpensive and like most things I really like, convenient. And you don't have to feel like an idiot ordering stuff you don't really know how to order.

1. Words written across the heiny on sweatpants. Whether its PINK or JUICY or the always apropos LOOK AT MY BUTT - its terrible. Admittedly, that last one would require a vast expanse of real estate, but in my experience, that only makes it more likely.

2. Che Guevara t-shirts. Seriously, 18 year old white girl, do you know who he is? I have one word for you: Wikipedia.

3. Attitude t-shirts in general, but especially toddler and small children's sizes. There's a blog in the works for this one, possibly a joint effort with Leaky Jar, so I won't explain further.

4. Bratz Dolls. I already had a few issues with Barbie, but in my effort to not be a feminazi, I tempered that. So some genius developed a doll with lipliner and unfilled lips, glittered hotpants and midriff baring tube tops, faux-lucite platform stilettos and every ghetto scandalous accessory you can think of. The boy dolls wear eyeliner in a very not Good Charlotte way, and, again, midriff baring tops. Basically, they look like a cross between 90's club kids and millennial strippers. I could do a list of the top 100 things I hate about Bratz dolls, but I won't because it is most likely preaching to the choir.

5. Abercrombie & Fitch. Soft porn catalogues filled with 14 year old girls, a fragrance assault just walking past the store, the size "double zero", $100 dollar shredded jeans with double popped-collar pink polo shirts. 'Nuff said.

6. Pink Polo shirts, while I'm at it. I saw Taye Diggs in one on some show, and it looked good. So if you look like him, go for it, otherwise: to Marshalls, please.

7. Oprah's Book Club. Sorry, but I'm sure her majesty would approve of me being "true to myself." There are notable exceptions, certainly, but I probably won't ever read them if they have her sticker on them. On principle.

8. Baby clothes with NFL themes. I don't know why, they're just creepy to me.

9. Women's underwear that looks like men's briefs. Also creepy.

10. The Baby Phat Brand. Everything looks like Bratz doll clothing for grown ups. Only worse.

I could probably go on and on, but I won't promise a continuation. I do that from time to time, ignoring the possibility that anyone might actually read it and then anticipate a second installment, which I am rarely able to provide, because the Blog Muse is a fickle creature. Fickle, but not much of a stickler for grammar, so we forgive her flightiness. Have consumer bipolar disorder too? What do you love and hate? I think I have a roughly 2% comment rate on here and I want to know what the other 98% of you think. Or who you are. Or something.


luckykris said...

Things I love: Your witty comments on every day items we witty consumers take for granted. (You must try Maybelline's new Soft and Lush mascara.) Your witty comments on every day items and purveyors of such items that less witty consumers should not love or touch with a 10 foot pole!
Things I hate: Please see above for the most awesome description possible.

Sam said...

Love: Balsamic vinegar. Any and all balsamic vinegar. It makes almost everything better.
Garlic. That says it well enough.
Arizona Ice Tea, because it is only 99 cents for a big old can. Always. And it comes in flavors like Southern Sweet Tea and Raspberry which are each a culinary delight.
Dollar store torch lighters. A Zippo will set you back tens of dollars, but not one of these babies. I don't smoke and never have a lighter on me to offer cool smoker people, but I still use up all the butane in about 2.5 weeks because it is fun to play with when I should be doing something else.
Moon Pies and Home Run Pies. Remember when your uncle bought you one that one time? You probably haven't had one since, but only because you forgot how good they were and spend too little time in gas stations.
When they sell Arizona Ice Tea at the dollar store. They are charging one cent more on it than anywhere else, and it even says 99 cents on the can! Not only that, but no dollar store puts them in a cooler. Twenty-four ounces of warm Watermelon tea, anyone? I didn't think so.

NancyPants said...

*Nestle Tollhouse cookies (in a tube.) If you ask me it should be called "Pre-packaged Happiness" or "I've slaved all day to make you cookies now take me to dinner to show your" hehehe!
*Senseo individual coffee pods-Paris Blend (for those of us who cannot make a pot of coffee)
*Coffee Mate French Vanilla creamer- So anyway can make "gourmet" coffee
*Extra Virgin Olive Oil- Big Costco Size (everything you cook is healthier and taste better)
*Listerine Whitening Mouthwash (So I can blind people when I smile at them!)
*Cans of veggies that cost $1.00 more than the store brand because they have a "name" label on them
*"Fancy toilet paper"- Seriously, like I'm going to spend $10 extra on toilet paper because they've commercialized it with a cute bear in the package. You're just gonna flush it anyways!
*I can't really think of too many more dislikes, because if I don't like them I just don't buy them.