When I was a child, one of my favorite scents (aside from the smell of a new book or magazine) was the smell of my mother's face cream. I think she used plain old Pond's cold cream, and I recall her slathering it on her face each evening before bed. Often, a smidgen of it would linger on my cheek when she kissed me goodnight, and I savored the aroma as I drifted off to sleep. This afternoon I spent about 15 minutes in the beauty aisle at Target, perusing hundreds of facial skin care products, trying to determine what in the world I should put on my face.
Too many choices.
Should it be Olay Regenerist, or Anti Aging, or Pro-X?
Maybe I should try L'Oreal Expertise, Revitalift, or Genesis?
Or Neutrogena Ageless Essentials, Restorative, or Anti-Oxidant?
By now my head is spinning, and I give up and start looking for Pond's Cold Cream. (They actually DID have it!)
Seriously, for every product I go to purchase, I find myself standing longer and longer in front of the shelves, looking for the item I want, or trying to decide which one is appropriate.
The other day I was standing in the cereal aisle at the grocery, looking for Grape Nuts. Of course, there are Grape Nuts Flakes, Grape Nuts, and Healthy Grape Nuts Trail Mix Crunch - not bad, really, only three varieties. An elderly gentleman was standing beside me, looking rather dazed and confused.
"Can I help you find something?" I asked.
"I just want some Corn Flakes," he said, scratching his head in dismay.
I pointed out the Corn Flakes, and helped him choose between 12 ounce, 16 ounce, or the huge 48 ounce family size.
He put his small box in the cart and sighed. "My goodness," he said. "I remember when the only cereal they made was Corn Flakes."
Ah yes, the good old days when life was simple and choices were few. How ever did we survive without 240 television stations, 97 varieties of cereal, 14 different kinds of dental floss, and 33 different sizes of feminine protection? Have our needs really changed that much, become so much more specialized and intensive? Could we ever go back to the old days, when there were only one or two choices to be made?
Or would we be just as happy with one flavor cereal, one brand of moisturizer, and three of four television stations?
I finally brought home some skin care products, which cost me almost as much as my grocery bill for the week. The night cream comes in sleek little tube, and I wonder if it will last even the rest of the month. It contains something called Helioplex, and is supposed to neutralize 99% of the free radicals, as well as clarify my skin, take care of wrinkles, and "even out" my skin tone.
Whatever. I'm pretty sure it won't smell as nice as my mom's Ponds.