Friday, November 30, 2012

An Open Letter to Santa and/or Marketing Executives (Alternative Title: Sassyfats Rages Against the Machine)

Dear Santa:
You bastard. How dare you put such high expectations into the minds of children and then expect their parents to put forth all the effort and expense while you sit back and take all the credit? What the hell kind of operating model is that? You know what, you greedy bastard? I’m gonna eat your cookies this year. Yep, I’m gonna help the girls choose two or three cookies to put out on a plate for you on Christmas Eve – which they do with love and concern for you, dammit!! – and as soon as they go to bed, I’m gonna eat ‘em. The cookies, not the children. You will not see even one crumb on the plate, you two-faced dream stealer!

Wait. Maybe I'm addressing the wrong person. Let's try this again.

Dear Marketing Executives:

What the fuck? Are you serious? Do you really think the average person buys luxury cars and diamonds for Christmas? When is the last time you got your heads out of your collective asses long enough to take a look around? People are struggling. Hard. Not the lazy, shiftless people we hear so much about when politicians start talking about social reform. (Sorry. Leftover twitch from election year.) I’m talking about honest people. Hard working people. People like me, who make what would have been a damn good living a few years ago but whose money just doesn’t stretch as far as it used to thanks to our old friend, inflation. Just because you’re sitting pretty doesn’t mean the rest of us are.
I’ve heard some wealthy people on TV say the recession is over, but those of us who continue to live paycheck-to-paycheck despite cutting our expenses down to the quick still feel the sting of a bad economy every day. I realize you have merchandise to unload. But realize this: I ain’t got no money. And I have two little girls who are constantly bombarded by your amped-up toy ads, both of whom believe all that crap will be brought to them by some magical philanthropist in red velvet who breaks into our house and eats all our cookies on Christmas Eve. They have no concept of money – they think saying, “I want that!” means there's no other outcome but for them to get whatever useless piece of moulded plastic is being hawked. 
Ok, I can hear all the backseat parenters out there telling me to just tell my kids “no.”

Newsflash: I do. A lot.

Updated newsflash: That doesn’t stop them from demanding the stuff they see around them (whether on TV or at Walmart or at their friends’ houses) and then proceeding to whine about how unfair life is when the answer is no. 
However, they're not nearly as deprived
as they would have you believe.

I know your dirty little secret – commercials are scientifically designed to make people believe they need whatever crap is being sold, thereby creating a yearning that wouldn’t exist without said commercials. (I’ve never heard of a wonkadubfarterthingy before, but now that I’ve seen the commercial, by golly, I CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT IT!!!! Ooh!! It comes in different colors, too!)
The Intended Result
If such trickery works on well-educated adults (and cute kittehs), imagine how helpless the sponge-like, impressionable young brain is against the advertising assault that is every-fucking-where this time of year. All of that sensory overload filters through the young mind and comes out of the young mouth with the exclamation, “I WANT THAT!! PLEASE-MOM-PLEASE-MOM-PLEASE-MOM!!!!”

But I think you already know that, Marketing Executives. And you are counting on my children having the ability to wear me down with their demands until I part with my money so that you can buy luxury cars and diamonds for the people on your shopping list, just before leaving for your vacation in the Bahamas.
"Ahhh. Six months away from here was just too long."
Guess what, Marketing Executives? I can’t go to the Bahamas. I can’t even go to Ocean City, and that’s within driving distance. I’m too busy using my hard-earned money trying to make ends meet so that my kids can have what they need. This time of year it’s nice to go beyond their needs and get them some things they also happen to want. But the expectations you create in my children run counter to the reality we live, which is that Santa’s sleigh is going to be light this year. Don’t get me wrong, my kids are still going to have a nice Christmas. Just not one that is going to live up to the litany of i-want-thats I’ve been hearing since your ad campaigns kicked into high gear in September.
I realize your job is to sell the fantasy of how great our lives would be if we just owned XYZ product. You need to realize that my job is to keep my kids grounded in reality – despite your best efforts. You know what mo-fos? Let the games begin.

Butterfly Kisses and Glittery Hugz,

1 comment:

  1. Love your blogs. They're always righr on.

    Since Tim and I gave up cable a year ago ....we really notice the adds when we get the opportunity to watch commercials.

    You're not alone ....I don't even have little ones to hound me about their wanrs ....but I can't imagine being a parent and being bombarded with wants on top of the parade of adds.

    I keep hoping that the gas prices continue to decline ....but something tells me they won't ....but hopefully ....

    Big hugs and happy holiday's to you and yours from one of your equally broker friends ....who still makes about the same before the recession ....but now it doesn't seem to be enough .....


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