Then You Is Old: The Sequel

Consumer behavior patterns evolve over time. Over the course of the 20th century, for instance, consumer behavior as well as product development was influenced by the emergence of national advertising, brands and retail outlets.

Certainly, the introduction of digital media prompted huge changes in consumerism. When, for instance, did you last step foot in a store?

But some things, unsurprisingly, have a tendency to persist. More or less.

As consumers age, so too do their buying habits. And often in rather predictable if odd ways.

Another set of less-than-welcome features associated with those in the latter portion of the life cycle are buying habits once thought curious, unusual or just plain weird.

The kinds of behaviors we are quite happy – maybe even eager – to mock when others enact them.

Nonperishable items take on a strange fascination and magnetism as one advances in age. So much so that, apparently, one cannot have enough of this class of consumer goods.

How many containers of dish washing soap are under your sink? How many rolls of toilet paper are stored in your bathroom? And is it ever possible to have enough tubes of toothpaste?

Somehow, an unimaginable number of shaving cream containers has found their way into my house. Under both sinks, as a matter of fact. And this despite the fact that the behavior – shaving – seems so barbaric as to be one relegated to every-other-day status, if one can get away with it.

Facial tissue, one can be certain, multiples faster than rabbits. Even the two tiniest boxes or cellophane sealed wrappers of tissues are capable of producing untold numbers of off-spring.

I’ve run estate sales for the families of recently deceased people. Fifty-year old wedding gifts, in their original boxes and wrapped as though it had been done yesterday, are not uncommon. Re-gifting hadn’t yet become “a thing” a half century ago, I suppose.

Invariably, there will be gallons of motor oil in the garage and more screws, nuts, bolts and nails stored in the basement than will ever be required for any project. Even after a nuclear holocaust.

And soap, paper products and cleaning products for every imaginable (and some that you can’t) chore are abundant.

Check your supply.

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