Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Remember the good old days, when everything you ever needed to buy was crammed into the one and only General Store in town, and you could just ask the storekeeper Mr. Byrnes for a quilt and he'd disappear into the back room and magically reappear with the quilt that you wanted? No? Well, neither do I. However, I do remember shopping to be a far less complicated venture when I was younger, and when consumer demands weren't so lofty so as to drive up the number of choices available to us for just about anything.
Yesterday I went to buy a pillow and a duvet. Easy, right? Not really. This was no simple "I need a quilt, Mr. Byrnes" sort of task, because consumer demands have made possible a vast and varied selection of pillows and duvets for shoppers to choose from. Pillows now come in different materials (down, down alternative, foam, memory foam...) with different material covers (cotton, microsuede, etc.), in different sizes and shapes. Duvets also come in various sizes and materials. I spent nearly an hour in the store making my decisions; do I go with microfibre fill, or polyester fill? Is the 250 thread-count really going to be much better than the 233 thread-count duvet shell? Should I opt for the double/queen size, or should I go with an actual queen size? Is it hypoallergenic and machine-washable? Will the filling gather and bunch? Would Hubbs prefer the memory foam or the super-memory foam cervical pillow? Is it better to have a heavier or a lighter density of memory foam?
I was literally going batty trying to make a decision. It was more like 25 decisions, actually, and I had to use a lot of brain juice comparing and contrasting and evaluating the merits of the different products on the shelves, as well as execute a cost-benefit analysis of each product in my mental computer.
In the end, I settled for the following: a standard memory foam cervical pillow with a cotton cover, and a double/queen-sized, 250-thread-count, microfibre-fill, quilted down-alternative hypoallergenic duvet. I was exhausted. I also longed for the days when I would have only had one or two choices: to buy or not to buy, and in what colour? Unfortunately, supply-and-demand laws work against my desire for a simple shopping experience for bedding. Since other shoppers demand a selection, I must pay the price of having to weigh out the pros and cons of each alternative, investing a good chunk of my time and mental energy in the process.
No wonder Hubbs hates shopping. Overwhelmed by the selection and decision-making process of this ordeal, I am beginning to, too!