Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Commercialism (rant)

It's not just a matter of Hallowe'en stuff coming out in the dollar store in mid-July, and Christmas stuff out as soon as Hallowe'en is over in most stores, the whole idea of getting ready for a whle new season when the current season has just begun just makes me go bonkers sometimes. Like I want to be checking out swimsuits in the middle of winter!!

What really drives me bonkers is when I really need something, like a new pair of mittens for my kids, in the middle of winter, and THERE ARE NO MORE MITTENS anywhere, at least not any more good ones, or none the right size, because THEY ARE OUT OF SEASON. How can they be out of season if there are at least two more months left of winter? Kids always lose their mittens, shouldn't there be mittens in stock until at least the end of winter? It just doesn't make sense. Unless it's marketing sense. I guess the whole conspiracy is there to make us buy stuff "just in case we need it later and there isn't any left". That way, we buy regardless of need.

Some people love shopping and preparing things ahead. Some people pack their luggage a whole week before leaving. I pack the night before. I am a buy it as you need it person. I rarely plan way ahead of time, unless I need to. I have learned my lesson for mittens. The past two years or so, we have started buying extra pairs of mittens right off the bat, because we KNOW our children will inevitably lose them.

Ah, but it doesn't make it any easier when, in the middle of summer, you need a new swimsuit, because the old one is getting worn rather thin on the buttocks, and there isn't much left in your size on the racks anymore. And even less in a style you'd be willing to wear...

I am ranting today, because I am currently in the middle of a desperate search for a large cooler with wheels that you can pull, because we are going camping (for the first time in four years) and our family has grown by two since then, and some of the others eat significantly more than they used to. In short, our old cooler holds enough for a day, but definitely not for a whole weekend. We want one with wheels because of course that would be much more practical. I have been to Canadian Tire, Zellers, Maxi, Rona and even Walmart, and there are NONE. None like what we want. In the first four stores, there were big coolers, but none had wheels. Walmart had one with wheels but it wasn't much bigger than the one we already have if at all. I will now have to try to find a place that specializes in camping gear, (if that exists here) and try to find one there.

True, planning ahead might have avoided this trouble, but since I did not know if Marc even had vacation time, and since neither of us expected to go camping at all, and since the other cooler is fine for day trips, it never crossed our minds to buy a bigger one while they were "in season" although logic could have told us that even if it didn't serve us this year, it would have served us sooner or later.

And then again, if we weren't such a consumerist society, so eager to buy and sell, maybe stuff like this would actually be "in season" in the right season.

With this latest battle of the "seasons" (surely not my last), I am inspired to go through all the stores now, and buy them out of anything and everything that I MIGHT need this winter. Maybe I should make a list and check it twice?

Don't get me wrong, some things I do buy way ahead of time. For example, when I see the perfect gift for someone and it isn't their birthday or Christmas yet, I'll buy it anyway and keep it, for months if need be. I just think that stuff should still be sold even during the season in which it is meant to be used. I think our society is way too consumerist. I think it is too easy to get caught up in the "magic" of shopping.