Tuesday, 30 September 2014
Am I the Only One? Of Vegemite, Weet-Bix and Shopping
There are many, many days in my life when I know I am "not like the others." It began when I was a child, I think. I hate Vegemite and I detest Weet-Bix. These are two Aussie breakfast staples. Vegemite on toast or Weet-Bix with milk and sugar are pretty much what my father and brothers had every single day, between them. Weet-Bix with warm milk....gag. My Dad used to tell me I'm not a very good Aussie kid, because "Aussie kids are Weet-Bix kids", you know. In that ad (click on the link) you even see a man eating Vegemite on toast. Really, I should have been born in some other country at some other time in history!!
A couple of recent conversations have reminded me I'm not a normal 'girl' either. Not when it comes to shopping. I shop like a bloke: Get in, get the thing you need from the place that sells it, and get out. These are decisions made well before you even enter a shopping centre of any kind. When our senior pastor's wife begins a sermon talking about needing an inordinate number of shoes and that one shops for these at whim, my eyes glaze over. I'm sure it is a form of torture. Shopping tours, therefore, are the ultimate torture. A whole day of shopping for things you don't need as a form of entertainment? Oh just kill me now! My kids know they get about a two-hour window of opportunity for shopping, first thing in the morning, when we need a whole bunch of stuff. After that I start murmuring things like "why are we here" and "I can't do this". If we go in the afternoon that window of opportunity significantly decreases. Like, there is no window in the afternoon.
Living in a "third world" or "developing" nation as a child has surely contributed to the way I view shopping. Where we lived you only shop for what you need. If you can get it. Chances are what you need isn't available and must be ordered from "down south" (aka Australia) and you had to wait a long time for it to arrive. This idea of shopping for entertainment was simply not part of my world until I was nearly 15. By then it was too late.
I have passed some of these things on to my children. Only one eats Weet-Bix. Only one eats Vegemite (not the same one). None of them are inclined to shop for fun unless one of their friends insists this is essential for spending time together. That's rare. It takes half an hour to get to this version of entertainment from where we live so it's not all that enticing after all.