Sunday, January 24, 2010

It's official: we're thinking WAY too much about laundry.

God help me. I am clearly missing something here. Let me explain and then please, please tell me where I went wrong.

On a ‘normal’ day, or in a ‘normal’ week (and I use that word loosely), here are the kinds of things I have on my mind, in no particular order of importance: my kids, husband, and Mom, the rest of the family, my friends and keeping up with what’s going on in their lives, my job, my boss, paying our bills, trying to lose weight but still eating chocolate, getting on the treadmill more than twice a week, keeping up with my writing work (the blog and the column), thinking about what’s for dinner and possibly preparing it, running errands, picking up around the house, reading a book, watching some television I really enjoy, checking my email and other electronic connections, maybe taking in a movie, and trying to get to bed before midnight.

That’s just the personal stuff. International and national news also commands our attention and response, whether it’s to the tragic outcome of the quake in Haiti and the billions needed to counteract it, or to the tragic outcome of our elected officials in Washington and the billions needed to counteract that. In between those stories, you have little time to consider things like the tragic outcome of James Cameron’s or Kate Gosselin’s hairstyles.

I hear you. That sounds like just about every life you know, including your own. Fair enough. We have dozens of time-saving, money-saving, portable devices designed to help us be more efficient and more organized. We hop online to read headlines, newspapers, and magazines because we can click, read, comprehend and bookmark. We download news, use our apps and DVR everything until we have time for it. Fine. I don’t think I could cram one more factoid into my head on any given day.

Which means there is really no explanation for the following. Somehow, someone somewhere ran a focus group and now believes we have the time and energy to consider this. Go ahead and watch it if you want to feel confused. Then come back and let’s discuss it, shall we? I’ll wait.

Question: You’re kiddin’ me, right? It’s not enough that I’m faced with an entire wall of fabric softener in a grocery store? It’s not enough that I have to make a choice about the right scent for the fabric softener I think I need for my rough, scratchy clothing, which, by the way, I don’t even own? Now I’m supposed to match my mood with my fabric softener?

Answer: Yes. According to Downy, we (read: women) can now choose from a line of products called “Simple Pleasures.” Why? Because according to Downy, every woman has many sides. True enough, I suppose. I just didn’t know every one of them needed its own fabric softener. “Lavender Serenity” = Calm. “Spice Blossom” = Daring. Elegant =… oh I don’t know. I stopped listening. There are two more scents available and I have no idea what they represent. I did hear that every one of them contains “scent pearls.” Thank God for that.

You can’t miss the gorgeous beach house where all these moods appear to be taking place; or the adorable husband who enters the scene just as the woman models the sweet little black dress in the mirror. Their equally adorable children peek in through the window and watch mom and dad canoodle, wrapped up in the Downy magic no doubt.

The black dress, by the way, is the same dress she wears to frolic on the beach with the Mr. and their perfect little girl and boy at the end of the spot. She has her silky lavender wrap around her shoulders as well. As we now know, wearing those two pieces indicates she is feeling both calm and elegant.

And by the way, since when did fabric softeners become a ‘woman’s only’ product? Doesn’t a man have “sides?” Doesn’t he want to have the fabric against his body to reflect his state of mind?

Answer: Nope. Because he knows it’s ridiculous and good for him.

On the other hand, since they’ve already launched the campaign, they may as well expand the line. Otherwise, I’m a little concerned. Question: What Downy scent should I buy when I feel pretty darn cranky? Which one for those times I feel fat? Or how about exhausted, or weepy? These are also some of the many sides women have and as of right now, they are not being addressed by my fabric softener.

I swear to God, if someone opened a retro grocery store with about 7,000 fewer SKUs in it, I’d shop there. I need every bit of my brain and energy to put toward thinking about things that matter, not the serene/daring/elegant nature of my fabric softener. Who’s with me?


Dawn Stang said...

Yeah, but that stuff really does smell good. I'm all over the lavender scented one. Call me shallow, but I gravitate towards people who smell good. With three kids, I spend a fair amount of time doing laundry. If it is clean AND smells good? Well, then I feel as though I've done a decent job.

Ok. Ok...I think too much about this and maybe that's why there are some days I open the the laundry room door, sigh, turn around and close the door behind me. I just can't deal with it.

Dawn Stang said...

Call me crazy, but I like when my laundry smells good and gravitate towards people who smell good. Yep, that lavender scented fabric softener rocks. With three kids, laundry consumes a great deal of my time so having it smell nice is sort of a treat for me. Of course there are days when I open the laundry room door and promptly turn on my heels and close the door behind me. Some days laundry is just too big of a hill to climb. Hopefully those are the days I am thinking about world events.

renee said...

Hi Dawn - Welcome! And thanks for your comment.

It's not that I have any objection to great scents and fresh-smelling laundry. (Lavender is a particular favorite - what's not to love about lavender?) I have an aversion to Downy's markleting team trying to connect the emotional aspects my life to my T-shirts. And only the positive ones at that.

But I hear you. Some days, the laundry room door needs to remain closed for reasons that are best left unspoken.

Thanks again for your comment.

Lori J said...

I'm with you, and to be totally honest I prefer my scents coming from something other than my clothes drier!

renee said...

Welcome Lori! Thank you for joining the voices of sanity. Whatever happened to perfume? Or Cologne? Or lotion? Thnigs that exist in large part to actually provide a scent?

If we added up everything in our homes that adds fragrance, we'd probably come up with 20 things. (And need not one of them, by the way.) And now we have laundry scent to match our moods.

I may have to poke needles into my eyes. It would be less painful than sitting through commercials like this.

Thanks for your comment!