Tuesday, August 30, 2011

To Commit or Not Commit...that is our dilemma....

The first of many, many (too many) Christmas catalogs showed up in the mailbox today. A quick review indicates that the marketing world has discovered just how commitment-phobic we have become as a society. Yes, commitment to something or anything for that matter has become an ever increasing issue in our culture. Therefore just so as not to be a hypocrite, I shall commit this posting to commenting about commitment.

Most all of us have been a victim of someone not deciding to do something until the last minute for fear a better offer will come along.  This is not really an issue for an offer as simple as taking a walk, but when it comes to reservations and money on the line, the lack of commitment by others can be downright annoying to say the least. A TV show about brides and their bridesmaids picking dresses is a case in point. The bride did not want to make a commitment, she was just wishy-washy and admitted to never being able to decide about much of anything preferring others to make choices. (wonder who picked the fiancĂ©?) Needless to say, her seven attendants were to each pick whatever dress they wanted in any color and any style just so everyone (but the bride) could be happy.  The bride ended up being upset by all the choices and how they ruined her day and the pictures. Never would have seen that result coming would we?

So it was with great dismay that I found the following examples of products being marketed for this year’s gift giving extravaganza catering to those who just can’t pick and choose with any finality.

Item number one….the 4 pack of mix and match socks. Not pairs which can be traded off, but four individually patterned socks so you wear two different ones at the same time. No more lonely sock in the dryer whose mate has been sucked off into laundry limbo land…now all your socks will forever have a partner. Your real life partner may think you are completely nuts however in that your socks don’t match. According to the ad, “you get to decide which to put together!”  Wow, can’t wait to make that the highlight of my day.

For men who can’t choose between jeans and sweats, there is the “knit jean lounge pants “ which are a men’s version of jeggings (which is a combo of jeans and leggings for women who can’t make choices either).  These “pants” come complete with tears, rips and a button fly whose real elastic and drawstring waist is hidden in the picture by the model’s casual white t shirt. The rips and tears are of course actually just a “clever printed design that gives you a super-relaxed look!” like a dork…(I added that last part).  Now just in case one wants to appear just a bit more hip, there is a version with a printed dropped waist band and faux boxers just like the kids wear them. The crotch does not hang to the knees however so I am guessing that most people would realize the underwear is part of the “pants”. 

Speaking of underwear….would anyone really buy a 10 pack of underwear from the same catalog offering cookbooks, bible covers and glow in the dark footballs? But in case you answered yes, then rest assured they offer 2 styles in “fun and unique prints and colors!”  (The copywriter must get paid by the exclamation point!!)  As far as I learned in English class, the word unique means one of kind or at least very different so I am guessing that whoever put this brief assortment together prefers commando because to those of us in the know, black, white, pink and  polka dots are not really unique offerings as far as under fare is concerned. 

Not to be overlooked is the detachable hood on the convertible hoodie. Ummmm…if it is a hoodie, then should the hood not be attached because otherwise it is just a sweatshirt right? Maybe the writer meant that the hoodie is like a convertible car in that the top comes off, but I think not. It is a sweatshirt.  But if one cannot decide whether to wear their hoodie pulled up or left down (actually the easiest and obvious solution to avoid making a commitment ) then this product  is not for you because if you detach it and then want it on, the choice has been made and the hood on your hoodie might be still at home. Wow, I even confused myself on that one!

One can buy nail polish the changes color just in case wearing only one color at a time is too hard of a decision.  Or how about the three in one shirt for women? (which come in a three pack therefore simulating 9 shirts). It is one shirt that looks like you are wearing a tank, a short sleeve shirt and a long sleeve shirt all at the same time. No need to decide just how many shirts you want to wear at one time! Yet this one is “light and comfortable for those warm summer days!”.   So if I wear a long sleeve shirt on a warm day the really looks like I am wearing three shirts (on a warm day) should I be concerned about people staring at me and wondering why the blond lady is wearing three shirts when it is 80 degrees? This item does no favors for the fair haired set.  All it needs is a detachable hood…..

Okay, only one final example because my Snarky sense might kick in to overdrive and cross the line into just outright snotty. Also, I have to keep my postings shorter because evidently some people don’t want to commit the time to read my whole essay so I am trying to accommodate everybody. Therefore I leave you with the 4 in 1 fleece hood. Sort of like the hoodie part of the detachable hoodie. If you only want the hoodie part then this item is for you! It functions as a hood, a full face hood (just pull it a bit forward), a partial face mask (figure that out for yourself) or a neck warmer….(I know, tough to image but go for it).  Full disclosure, I have one of these bought at a mall kiosk years ago when polar bear camping was a regular activity. I think I came up with at least 4 additional ways to use it.

So there you have it! Hope you got some good shopping tips. If you made it this far then I commend your sense of commitment. If not, then I bet you own the “boyfriend jean lounge pants which can be worn 2 ways!”  (that would be rolled up or not, which is pure marketing genius because goodness knows I would never think to roll up my pant legs now and then!).

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