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Posted by Somebody's Mother on 7:26 AM
Relaxation in a bottle…and dishes that sparkle too
Modern technology never fails to excite me with the new tools it comes up with to make my life easier and better. Just last weekend, I was shopping at the supermarket and I realized that we were running out of liquid dishwashing soap. I noticed that one brand, a name brand, was on sale and that it came in a wide variety of scents: cucumber, lemon, etc. Then I noticed the very last one, aromatherapy…and the label said anti-stress!
Now, just imagine the multi-tasking possibilities here! I can actually wash a pot and relax at the same time. Yes, there’s a sucker born every minute but the bottle is on sale and promising me that those scented bubbles will fight my stress. How can I resist? Can this be false advertising? Not in Canada.
Ever since childhood, there’s a side of me that…now, this is hard to confess to such a wide audience, but here goes: there’s a side of me that likes commercials. I’ve always known why. Commercials have happy endings and I want to believe that happy endings are possible.
Sixties commercials never failed to have happy endings. If the lady switches to the right brand, everything is right. If the neighbour’s sheets on the clothesline are cleaner than your sheets, you listen to her advice, buy the detergent and then your family really, really loves you. Buy that whitening toothpaste and you get the boyfriend, the big job, the trip to Florida and the luggage. Commercials make life seem so simple. If you have the money, there’s always an easy solution.
Life is very busy these days so if a dishwashing soap can lull me into a state of bliss two steps up from comatose, why should I resist? Of course, it’s all fun and games till we find out that the secret ingredient in the soap is illegal.
All kidding aside, stress is a very real problem. Just the other day, a friend passed on a news headline to me that says that most teenagers are so stressed out and depressed that if they were in this condition twenty years ago, that state of mind would require professional help. Nowadays, we just accept it.
One journal states that the rate of teenaged depression may be as high as 20%. It does go on to say that many of these cases will be short-lived but if you think of the pressures that teenagers are under between school, sports, extracurricular activities along with the strain in relationships among family and peers, this figure is not so surprising.
After all, we expect sixteen and seventeen year olds to pick an area of concentration in CEGEP. I barely know what I’m doing with my life now. How can we possibly expect kids to figure out what they want to do at such a young age when they can barely decide which jeans to wear to school? That’s stress.
Now I know better than to suggest that if we get teenagers to wash our pots and pans with anti-stress aromatherapy dishwashing detergent, their stress will go down the drain with the grease, dirt and grime. I don’t think this one has a happy ending.
Advertisers will keep stressing our kids and us out because we can never have enough and all the bottles of aromatherapy soap won’t make us stop and realize that maybe, just maybe, there are a lot of whistles and doo-hickies that we really don’t need.
If we’re not stressed, we’re not spending.

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