Thursday, November 20, 2008
desperation is seriously unattractive
We have all learned this lesson (some of us earlier, some of us later, some of us more brutally than others). But it's true: The more desperately you try to convince someone of something or sell them something or promise you something, the less likely you are to get your wish accomplished. There is just nothing appealing about desperation.
I wish someone would send that memo to retailers all over the country, who are flooding my inbox and mailbox with coupons and shipping promotions and special sales and doorbusters and online-only deals and all of these discounts that, instead of being enticing, make me feel nervous and creeped out. There are always holiday promotions, but it just feels different this year. It's like the theme for the 2008 holiday season is "Tension and Anxiety." I mean, if they are trying so hard to sell their stuff, it just kind of makes me not want it. It makes me feel like nobody wants it, so they have to give it away, their desperation thinly veiled by a great big cheery, smiley, holiday-themed advertisement. It makes me think that I, and every other American, would be better off saving money instead of spending it.
Which of course is a huge part of the problem, right? Consumer confidence and all that. I get it. And I feel terrible for the retail industry and job situations and the whole mess of it. all of that stuff. One of my BFs (that would be best friends, not boyfriends) works in retail and I know it stinks right now. I'm not saying that they haven't fallen on hard times and I'm not saying that we shouldn't spend any money at all or that there is something wrong with those of us who are looking forward to holiday shopping and getting some bargains. I'm just saying that there is a keen odor of desperation wafting through these advertisements. And it's a serious turn-off.