I miss the old days. You know, when you would go into a chemist for a bottle of shampoo and your choice was Dry, Normal or Greasy. Now there are shelves and shelves of the stuff, and it’s a nightmare finding one to suit that doesn’t cost the earth. I have long hair, hair that tends to get greasy on the top and dry at the ends. It’s naturally wavy, brown but greying naturally. There is no bottle for that combination apparently. Throw into the equation the thoughts of conditioner, and you have to do a juggling act to make sure that your secondary bottle doesn’t counteract the job of the first. Of course you can always go for a two in one, but that’s on another shelf of course. These days I pick up a bottle containing a creamy gloop with a trace of coconut and lychees simply because it smells nice. It does the job, doesn’t bring me out in a rash, and best of all, it’s cheap.
Now let us take that little scenario to another level. Light bulbs.
A few years ago, filament bulbs were to become obsolete and we all had to change to energy saving bulbs. Except they weren’t bulbs as we knew them. You still had the varying wattage albeit on a different scale, but you also had the coiling variety, the dumpy variety, the long ‘fingered’ variety, small bayonet fitting, large bayonet fitting, small screw fitting, large screw fitting, to consider. The only things they all had in common was the colour of the packaging and the fact that they were all white.
We were given an energy saving pack by our electricity provider and I attended an energy saving ‘talk’ through the local Ladies Group and got another 4 pack free. We bought our first bulbs though for 10p each as they were on promotion in the supermarket. We got ten and replaced every bulb in the house. We were then prudent enough to get in a few spares, especially as those in the bedroom fitment weren’t the same as those in the lounge, and one pair of bedside lights were bayonet and the other pair screw fittings.
Ha! Try replacing one bought 5 years ago today. The first thing that smacked us in the face was the price…. £6.98 EACH. I don’t give a toss that it’s supposed to last 1000 hours. Would I get a refund if it didn’t? How would I prove it? I’m hardly likely to have the damn thing on 24/7 for 42 days to test it am I!
Yes! We could get a four pack for £14! Hurrah…..not. Wrong fitting, and those with the fitting we needed were £2 more, and surprise surprise, out of stock.
There were just so many to choose from, and you couldn’t even go by familiar packaging any more, because you needed to check what you wanted the light bulb for. For example, some weren’t recommended for rooms with sensor lights or dimmer switches. All I wanted was a simple LIGHT BULB, one to put under a shade, switch on and voila, there was light. As we moved along the rank of shelves, we had a choice of colours now, still with a variety of fittings and wattage though, so I suppose some things aren’t allowed to change.
Each time we went shopping, we checked out the selection of light bulbs on offer. The variance in price was amazing, but it was still very much a minefield, and by no means as cheap as five years ago.
We finally settled on a special offer of £2.95 each or 3 for £3 (doesn’t make sense does it). The interesting thing? These weren’t energy saving bulbs, but filament bulbs, you know, those that were supposed to be obsolete??