after dating for several years, my boyfriend (now husband) and i decided to take the plunge and move in together. it was a big step. if we could successfully cohabitate, find common ground, build a life together—without annoying the hec out of each other—then surely we were meant to be together.
for the most part, we were blissfully happy…but that’s not to say that we didn’t have our differences. he’d hang the toilet paper under, when we all know that it should be over (believe it or not, there is a “science to toilet paper orientation”). he’d squeeze the toothpaste from the middle rather than rolling it up from the bottom of the tube.
typical, little, inconsequential, yet highly annoying pet peeves that challenged our world view, our individual sense of order, the way we perceived things were “supposed to be.”
nowhere did these pesky little battles play out more than in the aisles of the grocery store. clearly we had enough in common to fall in love…yet there we’d be on a sunday afternoon, duking it out in aisle after aisle of the store.
“we need toothpaste.”
we’d stand in front of the shelf, arms outstretched. i’d grab the colgate, while he’d reach for the crest.
“my parents always bought colgate.”
“well my grandparents always bought crest.”
and on and on…
our snippy supermarket ventures were eye opening. never before was i so aware of the power that brands wielded on my life. i bought “x” brand because my parents did. it’s what i grew up on. it’s what i knew…and it wasn’t until i went out into the world and was confronted with the question: “why did i buy?” that i even thought twice about it. was the product truly better? or was it simply a potpourri of familiarity and nostalgia that led me down the purchase path?
ultimately, we met somewhere in the middle, each one compromising to the point where we felt our preferences were adequately represented. yet slowly, our priorities started to morph. it’s become hard to ignore the constant battery of press about the perils of corn syrup, additives and preservatives in food, pesticides in our fruits and vegetables, for god’s sake FDA-approved melamine in baby formula and toys made with lead paint!
partly due to my practical side (was this all just alarmist mumbo jumbo?) and the other part based on the fact that i was simply overwhelmed, i clung to the brands that i knew. but little by little, we started to accept the reality…
there is a new normal. no one is going to look out for your or your family except for you. you can’t necessarily trust labels or organizations that supposedly exist to protect you. it’s up to you to make changes in your life—however big or small.
think about your facebook feed this past summer. how many friends and family members posted photos of fruits and vegetables grown in their own gardens? how many comments did those pictures illicit? we’re all feeling the frustration of not knowing what to change or where to start. but simple changes can have a tremendous impact on your life and your well-being. on your ability to feel empowered.
if this blog is about inspiration, what is my point? i’ve never considered myself an activist. in fact i still don’t. i just believe we owe it to ourselves to ask the question: why do i buy?
it’s something i’ve asked myself often enough in the last year—about everything from food and beauty products to any other random thing you can think of—that i’ve finally been inspired to take action. in this age of mass production, cost-cutting, and all-around crappy products, i have reached a tipping point. brand loyalty and nostalgia have taken a backseat to my quest...
for products that delight. excite. inspire. products of quality. with integrity. products that work. and last. products that i love enough to share.
i’ve started a blog called “why i buy” as a way to talk about products that i love. it’s not that i think i have any deep insights to share. it’s not glamorous or thought-provoking. it’s simply a place to think out loud and share positive experiences, pleasant surprises, products that actually worked how they were supposed to, made life easier, were created with integrity or purpose…
we’re all on the lookout for things that can make life better. hopefully you’ll discover finds along the way, and also share your own experiences.