Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Bifocals and Junk Food

I have some new information that will no doubt be very important to the world of marketing!  Now I know why all the sugar-infested, fatty, delicious, super-gooey food is arranged on the middle shelves of the super markets!  It's not what you think - no, it's not for those short people in our lives that are made into zombies for a few seconds each time they see a package of Sponge Bob or Fred Flintstone snarfing down something crunchy, chocolaty, or sticky - no, I've got the answer!  Those middle shelves are reserved for ... people with bifocals!!!  That's the only damn shelf we can see!  Except, the experts are totally misreading their audience - they need to place items like "Super Smart Vitamins for Middle Aged People" and "Chocolate Cookie Sandwiches that Make You Look Younger" in those hot spots!  Heck, they could put anything there that looked edible or age-defying - and whatever it was would be flying off those shelves like hot-cakes!
Yes.  I am wearing and adjusting to my new "progressive-lensed" eye wear.  When choosing my new specs, I really tried to find something funky that would somehow "young-up" the trauma of ordering bifocals.  The new pair are quite fine.  I just didn't anticipate the inadvertent nodding and swaying of my head.  I may have needed to consider purchasing a head strap or something. When I first put them on in the eyeglass clinic, I was ecstatic - I could see!!  Later, I went for a walk with my bifocal sunglasses, and I had a very odd sensation.
When I was a kid, we used to hang out on Friday nights in the basement (rec. room) of whosever parents were hosting the Bridge party.  We kept ourselves busy with activities like pretending we knew how to play pool, making shrinky dinks, or shocking the heck out of the "Operation" guy.  One of these friends had a Hams Beer sign in their rec room that lit up.  What was different and "cool" about it though was the fact that it had some scenery of a mountain and river that actually changed from season to season - all within a five minute period.  It did this over and over again.  One time, due to some 1970s lighted sign malfunction, the sign broke and would only change from winter to spring, winter to spring, repeatedly - kind of quickly.  If you let your eyes settle on it too long, it would eventually make you want to vomit.
And this my friends, is how it feels to one day be skipping along in a harmless, half-blind fashion wearing single vision glasses - to walking along a path being strapped up with your first pair of bifocals - shamelessly asking fellow walkers where the nearest rest room is.
So once that pleasant sensation subsided, I found myself in Target... again. As I was looking for something that was half healthy, didn't contain peanuts or tree nuts, non-dairy and gluten free for school snacks for my children, I was shocked and amazed at the visual clarity of that middle to low shelf.  The Kashi Wonder Twigs were not nearly as visible as the Avatar Air-Bender Fruit Snacks!  And the colorful Danimals Crush Cups were far more eye-catching than the plain ol' Market Pantry tubes of lemon yogurt.
So, either the marketers are feeling sorry for the middle-aged, visually impaired and want them to feel more youthful by allowing them to only be able to read the labels of the Toy Story Easy Mac - or - they are just banking on the fact that we will only buy what we can read.  I just know the response from my seven and ten year old after helping me bring in the groceries was much more enthusiastic than usual.  I actually heard one of them say, "Dad must have done the shopping - this stuff is way too good!"

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