Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Going Without Is Not Always the Worst Option

Due to the harsh financial climate of late, many advertisers are gearing their promotions to attract those who are trying to be thrifty which of course means just about everyone. While I think that this strategy, in general, is a good idea, I would also advise these advertisers to take care and - well - have some limits fortheloveofgod.

McDonalds, Tim Hortons, and even Kentucky Fried Chicken (remember that Oprah fiasco?) have offered discounted or even free meals, and every talk show on television presents an "expert" - a helpful hint person who shows you how to feed your family of 5 on $25 a week. Not that you'd want to eat any of this stuff, mind you.

And now, even my beloved decorating has been infected by the discount/do it yourself/recycle virus.

First every holiday edition of the popular decorating magazines offered the obligatory five magazine pages devoted to the best cheap gifts. While thoughtful as all gifts are, none of these made my "must have" list. Now as the season draws to a close, I am forced to watch in horror as interior design people attempt to persuade us to try do-it-yourself decorating projects that look strangely familiar as this is some of the same stuff my kids made at summer camp. (And yes, I kept every one of these jewels, my darlings.)

So while this stuff is cute and nostalgic and folksy, people at Country Living Magazine, I'd really rather not have any of that in my house. In fact, I'd rather adopt the Shaker sparse minimal decorating approach. I mean, at least that style, complete with ladder back chairs hung on the walls, appears to be an intentional attempt at simplicity rather than financially forced downsizing.

So, Country Living Magazine, please do not suggest that I re-use old sweaters and do things like make lampshade covers for them, because first, the "finished" look is about as impressive as that sweater must have looked on its former owner. And also? Have you ever tried to read by the light from a lamp covered in a heavy woolen sweater arm? Well, try it and see how that goes. Also, you might want to remember those knitted toilet paper cozies from the sixties. Seemed like a good idea at the time and gave a lot of grannies something to do, but alas, I have not seen a lot of those around anymore for some odd reason.

Country Living, please do not take offense. You are not the only entity targeted while on my Gripe Roll. Tomorrow I will attack Maybelline. And rightfully so.

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