One of the fun things you can do in the midst of a global economic crisis is to feel the forces of the zeitgeist sweep over you. I know there will always be those who insist that their beliefs and attitudes aren’t swayed by their peers or any other influences beyond their iron wills, but the rest of us can feel our cognitive gears shift creakily into a new place every time we go shopping.
I know mine are. Even though I haven’t been personally affected (I stand corrected) by this financial crisis (same basic income, 30-year fixed mortgage, no money to speak of in the market and a long time—i.e. forever--from retirement) I can still feel a growing sensitivity to the cost of stuff I used to blithely ignore.
Just this morning, I went to the drug store to replenish my kids’ supply of toothbrushes and I couldn’t find one in Rite-Aid under three dollars, which would have me spending 10 dollars on pieces of plastic attached to smaller, thinner pieces of plastic. Admittedly, I also couldn’t find a kid’s toothbrush that wasn’t a licensed character or came with a toy. Which suddenly, after years of overspending on molded plastic toothbrushes had me eyeing the toothbrush aisle in a whole new light.
The 100’s of SKU’s came with different sized bristles and a variety of interestingly contoured handles which suggested some special ergonomically designed shape presumably to improve our tooth-brushing efficiency and protect ourselves from wrist fatigue (not to mention the various powered versions) but 3, 4, 5, dollars for a toothbrush?