This morning, just before getting into the shower, I finally remembered to add “shower gel” to my shopping list. Then, in parenthesis, I wrote “Dove Cucumber.” Which made me feel kind of guilty. After all, I don’t have much in the way of income and am living stipend check to stipend check. Which then made me think back to all those people who find pleasure in degrading people on food stamps who have the unmitigated gall to purchase *gasp* name brand products.
All my life…(cue Miss Sophia’s speech…) It’s no secret to those who know me that I grew up in a family that relied on food stamps, gov’ment cheese and hand-me-downs/thrift store clothes. But being poor doesn’t take away your taste buds. While some generic/store brand products are just as effective as their name brand counterparts, there are differences. Capt’n Crunch has a distinct flavor – and crunch that store brands have not yet been able to match. One exception that I must mention: Kroger brand Cocoa Dots is the BIDNESS, SON! (Yes, I used all my vernacular for that one.)
Anyway…when it comes to shower gels, I used to be pretty flexible and just bought whatever was cheapest. But over the years, I have developed a fondness for and loyalty to Dove’s Go Fresh Cool Moisture line of body wash. While they have a few scents I like, I especially like the Cucumber and Green Tea scent. I’ve tried the Walmart brand…even the Aldi brand – which almost rendered me blind when I accidentally got some in my eye.
I may be babbling now, but what I’m trying to get at is this: being poor in the United States can quickly dehumanize a person. If you earn a particular income, it’s okay to exercise your brand loyalty. No one questions your ability to be frugal and make decisions. It’s your money, spend it how you want! But don’t fool around and be poor in this country. All of a sudden, everyone has a say about your spending habits but you. So because I’m barely scraping by and have to fundraise for trips and ask for contributions to cover book costs, I feel guilty if I put Cheetos, Pepsi and some Dove body wash on my grocery list…