If you've followed news over the past several months, you've probably heard stories about the devastating economic conditions of Haiti. The poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, the average family income is $300 (USD). Rice, which is normally a staple of the Haitian diet, has become so expensive, that many Haitians have taken to creating "dirt cookies", where they mix mud and let it dry in the sun. Evidently, there is some minimal level of nourishment in the dirt, which quells the hunger for a brief period of time.
I mention all of this because I came across a post on another blog that spoke to my heart. We in the USA are in the midst of serious economic issues. Food and gas prices are through the roof, home values are plummeting. And yet, in the midst of it all, most of us can still afford to put food on the table every night, and take a raspberry-scented shower...
"Well, I thought it was my imagination... I opened my new pack of ladies disposable razors before getting in the shower the other day, and could have sworn I smelled raspberries.
"Nah," I thought, but put the handle under my nose and drew a deep sniff anyway. Sure enough, it was coming from my razor handle. It smelled like raspberries.
Not real, fresh, edible raspberries; more like something scented like raspberries that has no business being scented like fruit at all- like Play-doh, or markers, or nail polish. More like a cross between rubber, paint, and raspberries. With wax mixed in.
I grabbed the package in confused astonishment and search for an explanation. I looked at the front, I saw nothing. I looked at the back- nothing. Just:
"Triple blade comfort."
"Aloe and vitamin E."
"Soft feel grip."
Then, in the corner where I had ripped the package open, as if put there as an after thought, it read: "New berry scent."
Now I've seen everything.
Apparently, Bic thought my bathroom needed yet one more smell. All the shampoos, all the conditioners, all the shower soaps, hand soaps and mousses and hair sprays- it just wasn't enough, you know?
It wasn't enough even when added to my deodorant and body lotion. And toothpaste. And all other manner of scents I layer on daily just in the process of normal hygiene. No. My razor handle should be -must be- scented as well. Because they are not in the business of selling a good shave anymore. They are in the business of selling a good shaving experience.
One razor company actually advertises that we should use their brand razor to "release our inner goddess."
Sometimes a razor is just a razor. Or at least it should be.
All of this is right on the heels of the National Day of Prayer; traditionally for me the one time of year where I am quite sure the end must be near. I may not think of end-times all year long, but when it comes to this one day set aside to pray for our country and it's leaders, I get confused as to which direction I should pray.
I am caught between asking God to heal our nation and asking Him to "bring it on and Jesus come quickly." Grim, huh? I thought this blog was called "The Beauty of it All," Suzanne.
Yes, I know, but indulge me this one dark and gloomy post, if you please. You see, as I roll up my sleeves to plan out my children's curriculum for the coming year, I usually ask myself these two questions:
What would I teach my children if I didn't have to worry about reporting to the state? and
What would I teach them if I only had one year left with them?
These two questions serve to bring me back to what's most important, to simplify everything and to calm my concerns that I might not have the right grammar program or something.
This was combined with a disturbing piece of reporting I caught on the world food crisis- did you know we are having one? You might not, because America is busy following the democratic primary race and scenting razor handles.
But apparently, Haitians are eating dirt- and have been for a while. So long, in fact, that I'm not sure they're even complaining about it. I almost cried.
But even after the sobering report, the pundits went right back to their usual speculation about whether or not we will really enter an economic recession. I just sat there thinking, "It's Rome all over again."
You see, I would rather the best and brightest minds got together and found an alternative to foreign oil, rather than just try to out-do one another in disposable razor sales. But they can't, because our nation is drunk on it's own prosperity, to the point that's it's unaware of it's bankruptcy.
Don't get me wrong- I'm no stoic. I like a good chocolate bar and a long, hot shower just as much as the next person.
But I don't think I'll be having that great, shaving experience hoped for by my razor company. That raspberryish scent will remind me that someone, somewhere, is eating dirt. And I will wonder how we will avoid fainting should a day of adversity ever come to us."