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Our recycling bin is filling up fast, and it’s heavier than usual because of all the thick, shiny ad inserts in the newspapers. The Thanksgiving Day paper, filled with Black Friday opportunities, was about three times as fat as an average Sunday paper, and we get more ads every day, in the paper and in the mail.
There is a lot I don’t understand about the ad business. It’s hard for me to see how a retail store, already struggling to stay ahead of the internet onslaught, can justify almost daily booklet ads filled with special buys and discount coupons, but some do.
Nor do I understand furniture and hearing aid ads that are ubiquitous and often take up the double page in the middle of the newspaper. Who reads them there? Seems to me that two separate pages opposite reading matter would get more attention but apparently not.
Then there are the TV ads that are often clever and make me smile but leave me completely baffled about what they are selling. Perhaps that is better than the ads so obnoxious I know the sponsor and vow never to buy from them.
Although I occasionally flip through ads to see what’s out there, I’m not an impulse shopper or store browser. I go when I must, generally for one or two things, and escape as soon as possible.
We recently visited a couple, only a little younger than we are, who have a big house each in the Midwest but have bought a smaller place in this area so they can visit with an adored grandchild for extended periods of time.
We got a tour of their newly furnished home, impeccably appointed in coordinated furnishing and accessories, down to picture frames and napkin rings and two decorated Christmas trees — and they bought it all in 16 days.
It gives me nightmares!
Jean McCamy is a Wake Forest artist.