Writer’s Block: Shopping Around and Around and Around

By Corinne Wnek

It’s amazing the things I learn reading magazines in the salon as I wait to get my highlights redone. It made my day to know that Angelina Jolie is not expecting another child and, big surprise here, the Duchess of Cambridge is among the best-dressed women in the world. The things I’d miss if I decided to go gray!

But during this time, I also came across an article that asked an interesting question: “Does religion matter to Americans anymore?” I was shocked to find out that the answer was a resounding “yes”! But it’s what came next that got me thinking about the unsettled nature of human beings and, specifically, our national character.

So on the question of religion, it seems that Americans have become God-directed ‘shopaholics’. Apparently we demonstrate how important religion is in our life by a steady search of the different brands that are out there until we ultimately settle on the religion that’s best for our needs.

I’m thinking heaven must have a high-powered marketing department because I also learned that the majority of Americans no longer identify with the religion into which they were born. Family tradition be damned!

Political parties have their share of ‘shopaholics’, too, but they’re called independents. And within a particular party there might still be more independents, only now we call those people ‘the tea party’, not that there’s anything wrong with that. It’s just that ‘status quo’ is not in their vocabulary.

There are many shopaholics in the field of education, too. Gone are the times when most students applied to a college, got in and finished there four years later. Now it is not unusual for many transfer requests to come in as early as October of the first semester so that a student can transfer by January to another college, this time to the ‘right’ one that ‘fits’.

Is this what is meant by a mobile society? Or as Americans, are we becoming more dissatisfied with our lives? Maybe we have ‘entitlement syndrome’, a feeling that we might be able to get a better deal somewhere else. Whatever the case, our lack of commitment to something, says something about us. I’m just not sure what.

But maybe we are all looking for that ‘blue light special’ that promises us something for practically nothing. The problem is you usually get what you pay for. And dissatisfaction with one’s life always comes at a price much higher than expected. Even Kmart can’t help us with that one.

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