We temp children with lollies and chocolate bars. In supermarket checkouts and convenience stores. Petrol stations and newsagents even. Right there where they can see them. See the brightly coloured wrappers and shiny foil cases. Right there where they can touch them, can reach them.
Rows and rows of gooey chocalately goodness. Enough sugar to send our children into blind hysteria. The inevitable request comes. A plea. The child is staaaariving, or desperate for the treat. They have been sooo good. They deserve it.
Remember the feeling as a child, where the thing you longed for most was in a bright Cadbury or Hersheys wrapper? Where you would dream and ponder over what treat you would get if in fact you were allowed?
Today I realised that adults are tempted the same way. Wife-Candy, or even girl-candy!
For us the temptations come in magazine form.
Right there in supermarket checkouts and convenience stores. Petrol stations and newsagents even. Right there where we can see them while standing in line. What else is there to do?
They shimmer and shine, all glossy and perfect. Airbrushed glamors with perfect teeth and perfect hair. Airbrushed homes with perfect gardens and perfect kitchens. Airbrushed meals with perfect caramelization and perfect presentation.
These magazines tempt us away from what we know is good in our lives. Suddenly the outfit we chose to run errands is dull and passe. The table setting we creatively fashioned is vulgar and silly. The meal we prepared for our husband is amateur and insulting.
We pine over what these magazines offer us. Designer bags and clothes advertised right there! In the $3 magazine in Woolworths. See I am the target audience. I should aspire to a Gucci or a Prada.
Real people smile at us from those amazing homes! Jenny works full time in publishing, has three amazing children and two dogs and still has a house that looks like a feature in Home Beautiful. Wait a minute - it IS a feature in Home Beautiful! If Jenny can do it, why is my house so pathetic and average? I have no children and no dogs. Why doesn't my house look like that?
You know - my husband does deserve cordon bleu cooking. He loves me and works hard. If I leave work early I can get home in time to prepare the casserole, and it cooks for 5 hours...I could race home at lunch and start (a round trip of over an hour), could I start it the night before and just stay up late to cook it?
Why do we pine for these unrealistic things?
As an adult I look at the candy shelves and see through the fake glitz. I see empty sugar and calories, supermarket chocolate that is cheap and nasty and has likely been sitting on that shelf a while.
I hope I can train myself to see through the magazines the same way and call out the empty false promises for what they really are. Just that.