I, like many others, love to look at the sales flyers that come with my weekly newspaper. Who doesn't love the idea of a sale and seeing what's new in the retail world. However, lately those flyers have been making me a little envious as I stare at the $3,500 bracelet touted as the "perfect gift for mom". The subtle message being relayed is that there is no limit as to how much you should spend for a gift and that it is actually the norm, most people out there wouldn't hesitate to drop that kind of dough on a piece of jewelry; and therefore, you are somehow lacking because you can't.
Reality is we can't afford that and most others can't either. How must our men feel though? They work hard to put food on the table and a roof over our head. Most of our men these days are "metrosexual", involved in just about every aspect of house and home. They love their wives. They would love to be able to buy us everything our little heart desires. But can they? No. Then how must these advertising messages be affecting them? Do you not think it would be somewhat demoralizing to be confronted on a weekly basis as what is and is not the norm to buy their sweeties no matter what the cost. To know they will never be able to afford it. I feel sorry for the impossibly high standard being set for our men.
It doesn't just stop there though. I recall another familiar big store commercial where this supposedly average women is doing her Christmas shopping, including a $2,000.00 laptop for her brother. Seriously, who can afford to buy computer equipment for a sibling never mind their own child for Christmas. I once bought my brother a $200.00 VCR and he was choked. You see he couldn't afford to buy me a $200.00 gift, he had a young family while I was single with a good paying job. I hurt his pride even though I just wanted to give him something I knew he needed. I will never do that again.
We are inundated with messages to spend, spend and spend some more. No wonder North Americans are suffering under an ever increasing debt load. Our children are growing up expecting to be handed their every desire to them on a platter. Witness the young girl throwing a tantrum on Oprah because her mother wouldn't buy her a different cell phone. She already had several.
I don't know what the answer is. The media is not going to suddenly change their ways and cut down their advertising. Retailers are not suddenly going to drop their prices and make these things more affordable for the everyday joe. Society will continue to be obsessed with celebrities and their fashionable lives. We must, however, strive to instill into our children decent work ethics and that money doesn't just fall from trees. You have to work for what you get and sometimes you have to work very hard, sometimes for very little. Teach them the value of a dollar and one day you will see them become the successful people they were meant to be.
Okay, I sound like my grandfather but it really rings true to me.
So I no longer read the flyers, they stay in the newspaper and make their way directly to the recycling bin. Hey, most days I don't even read the paper at all. If only I could some how get those darn cell phone commercials to stop playing, I'd be more content. Cause right now I'm lusting after one of those phones that you can blog on the internet etc with. How cool is that? *Cough*
My husband doesn 't say much, but still I wonder if it does really bother him.