Meet our writers

 







Opinion October 2015

The Old Gal

Life Unlimited

By Anne Ashley

How spoiled have we become that, not only do we expect 8 for the price of 6, buy one get one free offers on everything from clothes to sofas, money back coupons and unlimited text, talk and translate on every communication device known to man, but now we can’t even slice our own bread?

You know what word I never heard as a child? Unlimited. In fact, I was a fully grown grump with grandchildren before I even used the term, let alone had it relate to me.

But today it applies to everything from food to time to technology – and it’s the equivalence of the buy-one-get-one-free seduction of previous years. The word unlimited is meant to entice all ages and intended to imply that you should expect more than you paid for, more than you deserve, nay, more than you actually want – no matter how cheap or expensive the purchase.

Not only did I not have unlimited anything in my youth, had there been an unlimited supply of something, I wouldn’t have been allowed it. As for BOGO (buy-one-get-one-free), the only item I ever got two of for the price of one was vegetables at dinnertime! Hell, by today’s standards, I was downright underprivileged by having to make do with my fair share of food, toys, clothes, hugs, etc.

You might be wondering what’s caused this month’s insightful contemplation. Simple – a woman’s complaint while my better half and I stood in line waiting to pay for our groceries.

Just an aside here … but isn’t it odd how close we all stand, pretending not to notice the other person, saying nothing but judging each other’s purchases – and at this I am guilty more than most.

On another occasion, waiting in line I watched as the man ahead of me placed cans and cans and cans of dog food on the conveyor belt and then two loaves of bread. Now, certainly he wasn’t planning a Purina double-decker lunch for himself, but it made me chuckle (silently, of course) to envision such a thing. I can’t help it, if I'm standing behind you at the grocery store, I'm speculating on what you’ll be doing with the grapes, batteries and toothpaste you just unloaded! Not that any of those items are particularly odd or even exceptional but the combinations people shop for captures my imagination. Or maybe I'm just jealous. The most irregular items we ever place on the conveyor belt are dented cans of soup!

Anyway, while we – and by we, I mean I – stood judging silently, waiting for our turn to pay, the woman ahead of us suddenly realized that she had unwittingly picked up unsliced bread rolls. How I know of her error is because she said out loud, “ugh, these aren’t sliced!” and after quickly scooping up her displayed items (two toothbrushes, one pack of black shoelaces, aluminum foil and a magazine. I know, I told you, I can’t help it) she trotted off to the back of the store to retrieve her more preferred sliced variety of roll.

It wasn’t enough that it was baked, shaped and bagged for her by someone else – she also needed someone else to run a blade down the middle? See what I mean? How spoiled have we become that, not only do we expect 8 for the price of 6, buy one get one free offers on everything from clothes to sofas, money back coupons and unlimited text, talk and translate on every communication device known to man, but now we can’t even slice our own bread? Where will such lethargy end?

Don’t get me wrong, I can see where getting something for a song could be put to good use. For example, BOGO on education, unlimited fair play, and money-back world peace deals … but unfortunately, that’s not what society demands! People want free “stuff,” they want cut-priced “goods,”and they expect more of it …

It would do us all a lot of good to go back to the days when you got what you paid for – no more, no less. It would profit our characters greatly to have what we need, not always what we want. That way we’d learn to recognize the true value of things … including the value of ourselves.

 

Be sure to follow me on twitter@anneashley57.

Meet Anne