Designer Generics?

When I was your age…

Just kidding, I have no idea how old you are.  However, when I was younger I recall chowing down various food items that were of the generic variety.  True generic.  White background with black lettered writing stating nothing more than what was inside of the package with no promise of a guaranteed decent taste or quality.  The food my mom usually went generic for was cereal or canned vegetables or potato chips.  And I ate those corn flakes just the same as I would have if they contained a prize inside.  I did not care of the difference.  I knew it was the cheapo version of national brands. I just thought we were somewhat on the lesser side of the spectrum as far as family incomes were concerned.  I was gullible.

Please understand, we were not amazingly wealthy.  However, I think my parents tricked me into thinking we were poor so I would not assume material things were going to be around when they were not.  I did have everything I needed, and more.

I guess, if there was one thing I would say my parents did ‘right’ when my sisters and I were growing up, we did not get handed to us things…ever.  I remember one time, my mother told me I could a new bed to replace the one I’d had since I left the crib.  She took me out and we picked out a FOLD OUT SOFA!  So, I was probably fifteen, and not only did I get a new bed, but a couch in my room! It probably cost her a few hundred dollars and I though I was the most spoiled child in the world.  I felt badly because my sisters were laying around on their daybeds and I had a grown up bedroom!  If only I could have convinced me to get a phone with a cord and I think I would have become Catholic from the guilt I felt for the luxury.

I am guessing every generation feels the same way, so scoff if you like.  But I feel as though I spend more on The Max than my parents did on the three children in my family combined.  He’s into these toys, Bakugan.  And I succumb to his desire.  Why?  Two reasons.

#1 I want him to be able to play with the boys on the block whos parents but them Bakugan to brawl with.

#2  He really gets into the things, and I like buying him things that he actually uses.

But what if…what if I didn’t buy him Bakugan, or clothes I feel are trendy enough or shoes that he considers cool  for walking through the second grade hallways?  My fear is that he would be considered a weird kid.  I mean, he is weird. All kids are.  But, he is ‘in’ enough because of my purchases that I have prevented him from becoming a social outcast because of fashion or play-thing rules?

Why can’t we all, as parents, get together and say, “ENOUGH!”  Let’s not waste our finances on making sure our kid feels hip enough for grade school and buy a decent car for the family or pad college savings a little more or take a vacation or something more worthy or our labor.

How to I start this petition?  Where do I get other folks to sign up for my generic mission?  Even if you head to your local Target, you no longer receive a handsome black and white container of chips, but an Archer Farms bag of coffee or bottle of ketchup.  Possibly, when I decide The Max ought to try his first beer, I will seek out the worst of the worst:  BEER beer.  I fondly remember selling this as a cashier in high school.  It came in beautiful white cans with plain no nonsense writing:

generic-beerThere was a lady who bought a six pack of these puppies EVERY DAY.  At $1.99, why the heck not?

To end this rant of blabber, I understand that society levels and status will be around for eternity.  I just hope for my own son, that even if he participates, he understand that when he was a kid, he too, ate dirt.  And he loved it.

About kristiane

killing spiders with my laser eyes.
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5 Responses to Designer Generics?

  1. Kevin says:

    This is so weird as I do not have a lot of vivid and specific memories from my childhood, but this really struck a chord.

    Our generics were yellow, with black bold lower-case arial black font. In Canada, there was a grocery chain called “no frills”, and it was all yellow and black, just like the can of beer. The front of the store was bright yellow, with “no frills” in that same lower case font. I looked it up on the google, and it appears that they’ve spruced up their look a bit. I never actually went into one, but I specifically remember that we could see one from the highway on the way to Toronto. I would always stare into it as we drove through St. Catherines at 100 kph, with the bright yellow signs everywhere in there. I was always so amazed that there was a store that sold nothing but generic food. It must have been a horrible place to work, with all that yellow and black and bright lights.

    It took quite a bit of googling, but I found it:
    http://mypbrand.com/2009/01/21/retro-cool-or-just-bad-brand-strategy/

    Imagine an entire grocery store full of labels and overhead signs in that color scheme.

    I guess that maybe our generics came from Canada because that’s exactly what they looked like.

  2. Stephanie says:

    i am in the same boat. but, i refuse to give in to the hype! i am so sick of commercials telling kids the things they have to have. or neighbor kids bragging about what they do have. do i want my girls to be unliked? of course not. i just want them to have some scope of reality when being popular is actually going to matter to them. right now, i always remind them that they need to just be kids because soon enough “real” life will kick in. just the other day, my wonderful daughter was telling her grandma that she didn’t think her younger sister should get any more barbies for xmas. she said they had enough and she probably wouldn’t even play with them for that long. she said that it is like that with all new toys. you get get it and you get really excited and happy. then you forget about it.
    i was so proud of her. and me. i think i might be doing something right. well, and i guess she was talking about something her sister wanted and not her. that might have been part of it.

  3. Of all the things to get into, why Bakugan? Granted, I’m no longer in the demographic, but as a player in the toy retail industry for several years, many kid fads in the past decade mostly sucked. Bakugan in general had influences with Pokemon, Digimon and Yu-Gi-Oh, mixed together in one holy mess.

  4. kristiane says:

    Yes. It has taken over all boys 6-10 years old. At least in our town.

  5. Amy says:

    I try not to give in when my dog begs for Milkbones. Instead I get him the cheap bag from walmart with no colors or flavors. Seriously, though, I agree with you 100%. Lately I’ve really understood the appeal of moving to a compound in Wyoming. Not for the same reasons as those that actually DO…but still.

    I would take a bag of blackandwhitegeneric nacho cheese chips over Doritos any day of the week.

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