JUST THINKING: I’m a sucker

Just Thinking | Julie Stafford

I’m a marketing professional’s dream come true. Especially when it comes to the check-out lane at the grocery store.

You’ve probably heard about how they purposely put certain items near the counter in hopes of attracting young, whiney children or desperate housewives. How many times have you heard those arguments between parent and child about some kind of candy bar the child “has” to have but the parent knows will “ruin their appetite”?

Well apparently, I’m the marketing industry’s target market. Take my trip to Wal-Mart last weekend. Got all my groceries and was checking out listening to the chatter between the clerk and customer in front of me, minding my own business when I spotted these cute little containers of Nutella and bread sticks just above the gum. First of all, we are a Nutella family. Love the stuff and can eat it by the spoonful if given a chance. As a matter of fact, I haven’t been buying it because it seems to disappear so quickly.

But these containers were so cute and tiny and, I justified, would be a clever snack or dessert for my kids, who think they’ve seen it all. I bought the last 10 in the box.

I’ve also been taken in by novelties such as oversized containers of giant Tic Tacs, those itty bitty mini Reese’s Peanut Butter cups and Bubble Yum — not even the sugarless kind — which takes me back to my high school days.

I’ve been known to buy magazines not because I needed information from them, but because I had to wait in line and found myself compelled to find out whether Jennifer Aniston really was pregnant, or what those gorgeous movie stars truly look like without makeup, or where Big Foot was last spotted.

And always, whether I’m thirsty or not, I’m drawn to the beverage cooler for a water (even though I’m five minutes from home) or a Fresca (because I haven’t had one in a long time) or a can of Starbucks coffee (because all of a sudden, I feel a little sluggish).

When my kids were little, I vowed not to become that mom standing in line waiting to pay for my groceries while my children cry and carry on because their mother won’t buy them a ring pop or Matchbox car or stick of jerky. And I got lucky because they never really did that. Good thing they didn’t know that deep down inside me lives a sucker for whatever is being sold in the check-out lane.

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