Quilting, Farming, Variety

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

So Many Choices

Have you ever gone into a store to buy something, only to be totally confused by all the choices available to you for that particular thing? It seems nothing is simple anymore when it comes to making decisions. Not only are there many different brands of each item, but each brand has several choices also. Take for instance these two staples found in my cupboard: tea and crackers.

I don't know how many brands of tea one can choose from, this just happens to be what we use, so, that's the first decision. Now, notice there is regular tea and green tea, another choice. The latter has three new choices: orange, passion fruit and jasmine -- lemon gensing -- citrus; we chose citrus. The orange, passion fruit and jasmine tasted like perfume to me and we haven't tried the lemon.
Here again, I don't know how many brands of crackers are on the store shelves, but these are the ones we usually buy; another choice. Now we have to pick, original, multi-grain, or whole wheat. And it's the same with milk; pick a brand first, then decide, do we want whole milk, 2%, 1%, skimmed, or lactose free? Pull into a fast food place and there on the chart is a great selection of sandwiches, burgers, fries, tots, sundaes, cones, slushes.

That's just in the food category; it gets worse in the shampoo, deodorant, and toothpaste aisles! Do I buy unscented, scented, roll-on, spray, or maybe powdered spray? Which would be best for my hair? a generic brand or the "real" thing? They're mixed together, you know, same color containers, same wording; maybe the manufacturers think I won't notice and pick up the real thing since it costs more. There's a bottle for dry hair, another for oily hair, one for dandruff and flaking scalp, one with conditioner; maybe one for regular hair? But the toothpaste shelves are the worst! One choice on top of the other! no end to the brands available: gels and pastes, some claiming to whiten the teeth, some to have tarter control, and others to have cavity protection. Others go so far as to add a breath freshener. Just pick up one and go on! I asked the dentist once to recommend a toothpaste and he told me it didn't matter, because toothpaste is to teeth, what soap is to hands. The main thing is to use it daily!

These choices have invaded the clothing world too. Now when I want to buy a pullover shirt I have to pick from crew necks, turtlenecks, V-necks, and hoodies. Jeans are a real problem when it comes to buying; do I get cords or denim, stretch in the fabric, low rise, mid rise, or fits at the waist? And don't forget the leg styles: boot cut or straight.

I've come to this conclusion: it takes all kinds of people to make the world go around, and we in America have come to expect several choices when purchasing an item. However, I can't keep from thinking about the little main street cafe, Frank's Cafe, where we would occasionally stop in to buy a hamburger. You didn't make a decision about what you wanted, but ate with gratefulness, the plain bun and meat patty, topped with two or three dill pickle slices, called a hamburger.

So, the next time you get behind some little old woman, blocking the toothpaste aisle, just be patient; she's having a hard time making a choice.


  1. LOL - yes it is hard to make a choice at times! I think I have stood in front of the tea for a good five minutes or more at times and you know I think I have tried at least 10 of them and have decided I really do not like tea I will stick with coffee with sugar and cream - there lies another problem - at least 3 or 4 different brands of the fake stuff - I like International Delight sugar free French Vanilla - took me quite a few tries before I settled on that one.

  2. This was delightful. I can absolutely identify. I think I like simple better - despite all those great choices.

  3. We were talking about this in my advertising class on Monday. It was part of a discussion of brands.

    What I hate is when I've finally made my choice, use it a while, and then theychange the package so I have to actually look at the stuff again to find what I want!

  4. Been there and done that.....when I find the one I like and buy...... then the store decides not to sell it anymore or does not have it on the shelf.......I have to stand there "AGAIN" forever trying to decide which one I want to buy or not. Sometimes I think they do this on purpose......

    Have a great day!

  5. My first hamburger (not counting the ones Mother made at home) was at Frank's Cafe the summer I worked in the peaches. I can still hear the squeak of the screen door (it was painted green), Frank wiping his hands on his white apron, and the wonderful smell that wafted through that screen door out onto the street. Rosetta and I sat at the counter while others sat at tables. Oh, those were the happy days!