I am, Therefore I Buy

December 3, 2008 at 9:33 am Leave a comment

The holiday catalogs mailed to my home have not yet reached critical mass, so I’m still able to sort through them easily to find my perennial bathroom faves. Harry and David is a reliable staple, if only because of the reverie involved. Each year, between Xmas and Chanukah, the same orange slip appears in my mailbox, facilitating the same hour wait at the post office to pick up the same Harry and David micro package of cheese n’ meat treats with the same greeting; To Roberta and David: Happy Holidays! Love, Mother.

How six separate items can total a mere 4.5 ounces is a Christmas miracle. How my 85-year-old mom with no discernible income is able to buy them on credit makes me believe both Harry and David will be next in line for a bailout. Or selling government cheese. But looking at full-color photos of boxes upon boxes of little stuff piled on top of each other to make one big edifice- H n’ D’s Tower of Treats©– still gives me the same thrill it did as a child, only with a more laxative effect.

And then there’s Gaiam, a portmanteau of Gaia, the Greek goddess of the earth, and the narcissistic “I am.” Decades ago, Robin Williams said, “Cocaine is God’s way of telling you you have too much money.” Gaiam is the 21st century manner in which the big guy informs you your credit is burning a hole in your 100% organic fair-trade cotton yoga pants. I want to throttle the broad in the photo, sitting on the beach in lotus position, lost in the contentment of knowing her clothing is, to quote Gaiam, “designed for healthy, active lifestyles and people who care about the environment enough to be conscious of the impact their clothes have on the rest of the world. Made from natural and fair-trade materials like soy, organic cotton, bamboo, and leather-alternatives, our yoga clothing and accessories are eco-conscious, socially responsible and stylish at the same time.” I must be more spiritually evolved than these folks. I feel that way about my Target sweats.

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Roberta Gale

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