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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A New Marketing Demographic, or Those Bathtubs With the Doors on the Side are Looking Pretty Good These Days

There are many ways by which I judge how quickly I am aging.

Here are just a few of my many criteria, in case you’re heading in that direction yourself.

Can I identify music created after I graduated from high school?

Do I still have all my own teeth?

Has the AARP sent me anything expressing concern regarding how well I’m planning for my retirement?

Do I see myself being attracted to the suspiciously frisky-looking “middle-aged” men touting the prescription drugs that have put the “fun” back in erectile dysfunction?


But I’ve come to recognize something else, something I’d not considered before but that seems to have dropped me into another demographic.

Don’t tell my parents, but I ordered labels yesterday.

What? A grown woman can’t order labels?! All the other adults get to order labels!

But like the disdain my mother has for the paper towel, I suspect she may harbor the same feelings for labels.

“What? You can’t write your own address? What are you, feeble? Gettin’ old, Pearl? Want me to do that for you?”

All right! All right! So I ordered address labels! It’s not like I bought disposable plastic cups or paper plates!

And yes, I could avoid all this by paying my bills on line, thus ending an era of bill-paying through the mail. I suspect that I am among the last of those paying by actually writing checks and mailing them anyway.

Problem is, I need to write it down. I need to subtract. I need to feel that I have more control over my money than I actually do.

And dagnab it, people, someone’s got to keep the mailmen working! I just cannot be responsible for packs of wild mailmen roaming our streets, slinging catalogs at stray dogs.

And I am happy with my labels. Why write your home address over and over when you can peel off a label?

But you know what comes with your labels?

Advertisements. Advertisements for more labels.

I find this peculiar. How could they not know that I am flush with labels, now that they’ve shipped me 500 of them?

Along with the labels that I ordered, I received the following:

• Twenty – yes, 20 – advertisements for more labels

• Three advertisements for personalized pet collars

• A ‘Love’s Journey” birthstone ring for only four easy payments of $24.75. As if these “easy payments” are not enough to entice you to buy jewelry by flyer, it comes with a “Certificate of Authenticity”. What, exactly, is authentic we have no way of knowing. Not the gemstones, which assure us are “100% colored crystal”. Perhaps the authenticity refers to the fact that it’s a genuine ring and entirely circular?

• A chance for me to “display your love and support for our country and for those who serve it with our Military Emblem Address Labels and Mugs”. No where here does it mention any of the proceeds from your purchase going to an organization “supporting” the troops – so I’m not sure how drinking hot cocoa out of an Air Force mug will help the troops – but okay! If you’re sure! Oooh, and look here. I can have it personalized. The product shown has been made specifically for “Col. Thomas Lancaster”. Hey! I’ve wanted to be a high-ranking military person ever since I first saw this flyer. “Staff Sergeant Pearl”. What do you think? It says “I’m stern, but I’m fun”. No? What about “World’s Greatest General”?

• And, of course, the piece de resistance, an offer from the AARP for $15,000 in life insurance once I hit 50. Apparently there’s “no obligation”, which is kind of a relief. Whew!


I feel vaguely threatened by these flyers, although I can’t exactly put my finger on the “why” of it.

All I wanted were address labels. And now, I’m faced with thoughts of stray pets, genuinely authentic rings, the military finding out that I haven’t supported them through the purchase of a personalized coffee mug, and my own mortality.

Sheesh but life’s complicated, isn’t it?

28 comments:

Emily Jasper said...

I order labels too...I still send snail mail. If it costs me $4.95 to pay online for my $11 bill, not going to do it...

I get stuff from American Diabetes Association all the time...

MJenks said...

I suspect drinking coffee from an Air Force cup probably supports the troops about as well as the cup I use to rinse my son's hair during a bath supports Notre Dame.

Charlotte Ann said...

Don't even GO there on those tubs with the doors unless you have about 8,000.00 you don't need!

Pearl said...

Emily, I do love the labels...

MJenks, but do they support the troops as well as the magnetic ribbons?

Charlotte Ann, Yikes! Really? They DO look like something you'd need to be wealthy for, don't they?!

Lizzy and Elle said...

I love labels!

btw took stuff

Jodie Kash said...

I love addy labels and have had 'em for years. It's sport to perfectly place the comic sans lettering in the pre-lined return address "space".

Kevin Musgrove said...

I keep receiving mail-order catalogues and advertising fliers for Comfortable Shoes (you know what I mean); hearing aids and those big slippers into which you put your entire body up to your hip.

Makes it very difficult to maintain my fresh-faced boyish image.

Something Happened Somewhere Turning said...

I worry about all the mailmen, too. I am fortunate enough to live on a street where the mail is delivered right to my house, and not to the corner where there are 200 cabinet boxes that you have to go to everyday to get it. The way of the mailman is slowly disappearing. I support this label thing, I mean we already peel our stamps, right?

Courtney said...

Packs of wild mailmen are indeed a frightening thought. Perhaps we could keep them busy re-distributing the 8 lbs. of junk mail I receive each week.

Douglas said...

I realized that as soon as you wrote "dagnab it" that you were on the precipice of what I like to call my golden years. Yes, I have labels also. But, in my defense, it is not I who ordered them. It is Faye, the practical side of this particular duad, who sees to these things. She, of course, is the one who sees that our bills are paid on time, the house is clean, that food appears magically on the table in wonderfully edible form at just the moment that I am made aware that I should eat something, and takes care of those other pesky things of life. I, of course, am quite capable of writing out my return address without misspelling either the name of the street or my own name more than 10% of the time.

But I have always coveted a cup which is emblazoned with Your Name Here.

Kr√ęg said...

"Life's complicated..."

That's why I drink.

Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

At age 52, I am definitely looking at the frisky looking men in the commercials, but unfortunately, human nature being what it is, they are looking at girls who are 25. That magic pill gives them delusions along with...well, you know. I tried e-harmony and they sent me the line up for the Will Geer look alike contest. Sigh. The Disabled American Vets send me my labels~!

It is odd to meet someone who still mails their bills. I think I can find my checkbook somewhere. All my damn mail man gives me are letters from the IRS, so he can go blow.

The Good Cook said...

Young, orphaned indian children send me address labels in the mail. I can't use them with a clear conscience unless I send them a donation - so my address labels - even though my name is misspelled - cost me around $479.00 per year... God help me.

Jose Enrique said...

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Title: Get paid for your opinions
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Description: Crowdology is the website where you get paid for your opinion by completing online surveys.


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This is just a link exchange request, but if you feel uncomfortable receiving these kind of requests, please let me know at stop@nomoremails.com, or just register at www.nomoremails.com so we avoid contacting you again. Thanks for your attention.

Jimmy Bastard said...

Sweet Christ alive Pearl, mah wee hen.. first cooties, and now "dagnab it". Is it a different language we speak over such a small expanse of water?

Whatever happened to real words like 'feck' bollix, and shite, and not forgetting my all time favourite 'bawheid"?

Happy Hour...Somewhere said...

Oh, Pearl, make Jimmy keep saying things~!

The Jules said...

No obligation?

Lying gits.

You're totally obliged to die to get it you know.

mrwriteon said...

Labels only become problematic when you find yourself checking one just to remember who you are and where you live. Otherwise, you're still OK, dear.

GregoryJ said...

When we moved, I ordered address labels well ahead of time. I irrationally have a phobia of writing my return address. I did not even realize this. I just knew I had to have those return address labels. [BTW is irrationally having a phobia redundant?]
I mean, I was leaving behind over 20,000 labels of the old address!

So, now I get labels nearly every day from some one wanting money. I am on every one's list of suckers.

And it is soooooooooo hard to not keep every one of those labels. I've gotten rid of some (tearfully) because they all just won't fit in the drawer or the room. It's like throwing out a dear friend. (so now you know how lonely I am)

I forget where this started and I hate to reread so I'm just gonna quit.

Love your words, Pearl.

Anything Fits a Naked Man said...

OK, I have the address labels too! AND I write paper checks AND buy stamps AND do snail mail when I pay bills. In my defense, I really DID try the online banking thing, but I kept forgetting my frigging PASSWORD!!

Nuts to that!!

Secretia said...

I get those "free" labels in the mail all the time, they usually have a mistake on them and they ask for a donation.

Secretia

Jeanie said...

Labels don't mean you are old, lazy maybe, but not old. I am a big fan of labels, but never seem to have any except the ones that come asking for a donation and I feel bad using them if I don't donate. And you gave me a whole new view of going postal.

Reddirt Woman said...

I get labels because I shopped on-line in 1997...or was it '98... I can't remember. I do not feel bad about using them when I haven't donated to whatever their cause may happen to be because they do not contribute to my income therefor making it possible, budget-wise, to donate to them. I figure if they need more money they can quit sending out the labels along with the trips to guilt you into sending whatever small amount so children won't starve or trees won't be cut down to make more ads and labels...

Cloudia said...

label this post: fun!



Aloha, Friend


Comfort Spiral

Jayne Martin said...

I've never actually purchased labels. Organizations that seem to know where I live and want me to give them money always send them to me for free. I know I'm supposed to feel guilty because they sent me a gift and all, and said guilt is supposed to get me to send them money... but I never do.

♥ Braja said...

Somehow I feel that Liza Bean Bitey has the stray pets thing covered....

O.G. said...

By ordering labels you are admiting that you send actual mail which is underlying problem and the true sign that you are getting old.

CatLadyLarew said...

I love labels! But then, I also like going to Staples and Office Depot for fun. But I don't buy life insurance... If I'm dead, why would I care whether or not I have money? Makes no sense to me.