Sharon’s Choice

Yesterday when I went to Target to buy deodorant, I thought about my husband’s cousin who’d visited us from Germany a few years ago. I’d taken her with me on a routine trip to the grocery store, figuring she’d enjoy a slice right out of our all-American life.

As we strolled down the packaged cheese aisle, her eyes went wide and she said, “How do you choose?”

I was surprised by her reaction. “Why? Don’t you have a lot to pick from in the grocery stores in Germany?”

Cheese AisleHer gaze drifted away from the numerous selections of low-fat, no-fat, yes-fat, sharp, mild, medium, aged, “real”,  shredded, blocked, yellow, white, single slice, *deep breath* extra sharp, crumbled, individual-sized packaging, extra large blocks, sticks, etc…. all hanging off pegs or stored on the refrigerated shelves below them. “Nein. Not this many.”

I’d almost chalk it up to a fluke, but my daughter is currently in graduate school studying international relations with several students from out of the country. She took them to a grocery store in upstate New York and told me, “I had to explain to one guy what all the choices were.”

I increasingly find myself overwhelmed when I go to purchase items that I’ve bought for years without a problem. The Target trip that took me down this path was an attempt to buy Secret Power Fresh deodorant,which is what I’ve used since the 1980’s. Yet for some reason yesterday, I saw everything BUT Secret Powder Fresh.

And it’s not just the deodorant. Shampoo, oatmeal, peanut butter, orange juice, pasta, ice cream–you name it…if it’s not fresh, it’s been transformed into some AD2014-4variation of the real deal. Oh dear lord, I almost forgot toothpaste! You can’t even send your husband to the store and say, “Pick up some Crest” without getting a call home asking which one he should get.

So I ask you, is it me or are the sheer number of choices out there completely out of control?

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19 responses to “Sharon’s Choice

  1. I agree. The worst is ice cream and yogurt. It used to be chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, pistacshio, the reg favorites. Wow, not any more. Yogurt now comes in Key Lime Pie, Apple Pie, every combination possible. It’s exhausting 😉

  2. So true, don’t forget you now have to pick between greek and regular, fat, no-fat, low-fat besides the flavor! Thanks for stopping by, Deb!

  3. Absolutely out of control. And it’s all just marketing BS. They don’t really change things…..

  4. Beg to disagree. I love all the choices! Especially Key Lime Pie yogurt. Just wish Stop & Shop would bring back my coffee ice cream sandwiches.

  5. Terri-Lynne DeFino

    TOTALLY out of control. I’m all for choice, but holy crap–so many! And the difference between them is sometimes undetectable. Marketing–sometimes, too much is just tooooo much.

  6. Well, it’s when you go home with the wrong thing cos you were bamboozled by what’s on the shelf. And sometimes you just want plain whatever.

  7. I had to chuckle and appreciated this post. I only shop the peripheral of the store — where the fresh “real” food is and make the rest (including ice cream) And for personal care items, I only buy the items that I sell which is the same brand of natural products I have been using for 40 years. I am afraid that if I went into Target and started looking around, I would be like your cousin from Germany. Wish more people would choose real food and natural products then the choices would drop dramatically 😦

    • Our local grocery story is ginormous, bigger than Target. That’s where I found the long, long lineup of cheese for my poor visitor. But I know what you mean about the parameter of the store, where most of the fresher food is. Yes, I agree, if we ate less processed crap, we wouldn’t have this issue–like with the cheese. I try to buy from the farm when we can.

      But my deodorant, my options are limited.
      Thanks for stopping by Carol!

  8. Oh, God! I’ve had that happen too! Fodder for another post, for sure! Thanks for the comment, Shey!

  9. OMG, deodorant! YES. I spend way too much time in a grocery store deciding what I want in general. I’m one of those people that probably needs my choices limited or else I get flighty and distracted, lol.

  10. GREAT post! We had a similar experience when a young man visited us from Denmark and my son took him to Home Depot. He and his fiance were redoing their home (in Denmark) and he couldn’t believe everything was available in such variety in one place.
    By the way, what drives me crazy about so many choices of foods, deodorants, makeup, etc., is that when I finally decide on one that I like, the manufacturer discontinues it! Then I have to start all over again.

    • Hi Sandra,
      I can relate! I have a long list of products I have loved and purchased with great loyalty. Then suddenly, they disappear! The replacement is never satisfactory, either. Thanks for sharing!

  11. Those choices reflect our consumerist society, which has no duplicate in Europe, for sure. Whenever it feels like too many choices I’m always afraid my faves with be discontinued.

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