In this issue

Jonathan Tobin: Defending the Right to a Jewish State

Heather Hale: Compliment your kids without giving them big heads

Megan Shauri: 10 ways you are ruining your own happiness

Carolyn Bigda: 8 Best Dividend Stocks for 2015

Kiplinger's Personal Finance editors: 7 Things You Didn't Know About Paying Off Student Loans

Samantha Olson: The Crucial Mistake 55% Of Parents Are Making At Their Baby's Bedtime

Densie Well, Ph.D., R.D. Open your eyes to yellow vegetables

The Kosher Gourmet by Megan Gordon With its colorful cache of purples and oranges and reds, COLLARD GREEN SLAW is a marvelous mood booster --- not to mention just downright delish
April 18, 2014

Rabbi Yonason Goldson: Clarifying one of the greatest philosophical conundrums in theology

Caroline B. Glick: The disappearance of US will

Megan Wallgren: 10 things I've learned from my teenagers

Lizette Borreli: Green Tea Boosts Brain Power, May Help Treat Dementia

John Ericson: Trying hard to be 'positive' but never succeeding? Blame Your Brain

The Kosher Gourmet by Julie Rothman Almondy, flourless torta del re (Italian king's cake), has royal roots, is simple to make, . . . but devour it because it's simply delicious

April 14, 2014

Rabbi Dr Naftali Brawer: Passover frees us from the tyranny of time

Greg Crosby: Passing Over Religion

Eric Schulzke: First degree: How America really recovered from a murder epidemic

Georgia Lee: When love is not enough: Teaching your kids about the realities of adult relationships

Cameron Huddleston: Freebies for Your Lawn and Garden

Gordon Pape: How you can tell if your financial adviser is setting you up for potential ruin

Dana Dovey: Up to 500,000 people die each year from hepatitis C-related liver disease. New Treatment Has Over 90% Success Rate

Justin Caba: Eating Watermelon Can Help Control High Blood Pressure

The Kosher Gourmet by Joshua E. London and Lou Marmon Don't dare pass over these Pesach picks for Manischewitz!

April 11, 2014

Rabbi Hillel Goldberg: Silence is much more than golden

Caroline B. Glick: Forgetting freedom at Passover

Susan Swann: How to value a child for who he is, not just what he does

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Financial Tasks You Should Tackle Right Now

Sandra Block and Lisa Gerstner: How to Profit From Your Passion

Susan Scutti: A Simple Blood Test Might Soon Diagnose Cancer

Chris Weller: Have A Slow Metabolism? Let Science Speed It Up For You

The Kosher Gourmet by Diane Rossen Worthington Whitefish Terrine: A French take on gefilte fish

April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review May 30, 2007 / 13 Sivan, 5767

Welcome to Manipulate Mart

By Marybeth Hicks

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http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | It was bad enough while the renovations were under way. I couldn't find slippers, toothpaste, candles, garbage bags. It seemed every time I went looking, whatever I needed had been moved to some obscure corner.

I can only imagine how stressful it must be to have your house renovated now that I have lived through the rehab project at my grocery store.

It all started innocently enough with signs posted at the entries warning, "Excuse our dust while we renovate to serve you better."

The dust seemed like a minor inconvenience because the goal was my ultimate happiness.

However, more than dust began to fly as the store's reconstruction continued. Entire departments seemed to up and disappear, only to resurface weeks later with new flooring beneath their shelves and snazzy new signage hanging from the ceiling.

In the interim, shoppers like me wandered across the acres of our neighborhood superstore, looking in vain for housewares or health and beauty products while thinking, "How could they hide five aisles of small appliances? And why is the makeup next to the motor oil?"

Of course, the hidden message in this renovation project was, "You, Mrs. Consumer, aren't spending enough money here in our store." For this reason, the designers reorganized the place in an effort to force me to make more unplanned purchases while pointlessly meandering through misplaced merchandise.

At one point, I thought maybe I would track down the store manager and complain, "Who do you think you're kidding? I'm on to your tactics, and you can't make me impulsively spend money just because you spread the merchandise from here to East Gyblip."

I never made it to the manager's office because I was too busy noticing the wool socks on clearance, right above the Easter decorations marked down by 75 percent.

The store has been manipulating me this way for years. Back when my children wore diapers and drank formula, I walked the equivalent of three city blocks making my way from Isomil to Pampers. Baby wipes? Those were next to the shampoo aisle, conveniently located in the next county.

Naturally, searching for all of these items forced me to cross repeatedly through — that's right — the baby clothes.

Who could resist fresh bibs and booties while crisscrossing the store to find necessities? It was retail trickery.

I have to admit, though, the renovation really did improve things. When the dust finally settled, I realized the store had added a Starbucks and a nail salon — not that I'd ever have my toes done at the grocery store. For some reason, that takes "one-stop shopping" a bit too far. Still, it looks nice.

So why am I still honked off about the retail renovation project? Two words — words that mean my shopping experience is irrevocably changed, words that further illustrate the point that marketers will not leave me alone: video screens.

That's right; enormous, flat, high-definition video screens have been hung from the rafters throughout my grocery store. The programming is disguised as "health and nutrition information," but seriously, how many folks need to watch a video in the produce department to know how to identify a ripened cantaloupe?

The screens throughout the store aren't even the worst, most offensive marketing ploy incorporated into the renovation plan. No, that distinction would go to the video panels that have been installed at every checkout lane.

And what emits from the 37 screens perched in a perfect row above the checkout lanes? More ads, as if the overflowing grocery cart on which I lean isn't indicative enough of my willingness to buy stuff. In between the ads aren't TV shows but promotions for TV shows from ABC via its new "retail channel."

Worse yet, while standing in line waiting to pay more than I should for my cart full of items — many of which I didn't intend to purchase when I walked in — I'm subjected to mindless celebrity chat from such noteworthy yet "down-to-earth" folks as Jennifer Garner discussing how she juggles her roles as wife, mother and working woman.

Um, Jennifer? One way you juggle those roles is that you're not standing in line at the grocery store checkout watching inane videos of celebrities while waiting to pay for the food you won't unload from your van and place in your kitchen cupboards.

To be fair, before the installation of the annoying video monitors, I seem to recall seeing tabloid photos at the checkout of Miss Garner leaving a convenience store, so maybe she does shop occasionally. Nevertheless, her life is not exactly representative of the working-mom experience.

I guess I just have to accept that there's no escape from the media monster. Even at the grocery store, I'll endure previews of "Grey's Anatomy" and recycled segments of "Good Morning America," punctuated by commercials for more items I don't need. I know I'm being manipulated, but there's nothing I can do about it.

Then again, I can always wait in line at Aisle 20 — the only lane that didn't get a video monitor. It's not candy-free, but in a cost-benefit analysis, I think I'm better off putting junky food in my body than junky media in my head.

Now if only I could find the photo department. Oh, well. It'll turn up one of these days.

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"The Perfect World Inside My Minivan -- One mom's journey through the streets of suburbia"  

Marybeth Hicks offers readers common-sense wisdom in dealing with today's culture. Her anecdotes of her husband and four children tap into universal themes that every parent can relate to and appreciate. -- Wesley Pruden, Editor-in-Chief, The Washington Times
Sales help fund JWR.

JWR contributor Marybeth Hicks, a wife of 20 years and mother of four children, lives in the Midwest. She uses her column to share her perspective on issues and experiences that shape families nationwide. To comment, please click here.


© 2007, Marybeth Hicks