Wednesday, September 05, 2007

the lure of packaging

Because of the strange malady I brought back with me from Mexico I am currently ~ finally ~ undergoing a rather distasteful exam. Part of this procedure requires that I be on a completely clear liquid diet for 24 hours. So this morning I went off to the super to make a tasteful selection of things to eat and drink. Ginger ale, Gatorade, apple juice, consommé soup, lime jello. Doesn't that sound delicious? Usually when I go to the market I am quite focused on what I am going to buy and don't spend much time browsing. But today, as I wandered up and down the overstocked aisles, I was dazzled by the bright packages, the multitude of choices, the sizes of the giant boxes and bags. And the choices! How many brands of honey mustard salad dressing does a society need? How many different types of olive oil? Toilet bowl cleaner? Shampoo? As I gaped at all this stuff I realized how modest are my wants and, indeed, my needs. I've been using the same brand of laundry soap since I did my first load all those many years ago. The most radical thing that has changed in the last few years is that I buy more expensive coffee. I'm going to have to take stock of the market's shelves and examine all the offerings, once I can start eating again. I'll bet I'm missing a lot!


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