As I walk through the expansive carpark at the “Homemakers Centre” I spot barely a soul. The formula here is quite simple. Park, jump from shop to shop, buy, leave. From outside you can barely see into the stores. Their front windows cloaked in vinyl stickers comprising copy fastidiously written to compel even the most unsuspecting would-be to penetrate those automated doors. What might be held in this beast’s guts? Who knows? Something nice, maybe? Onwards, solider. There are lifestyle pictures emblazoned on any available surface showing the could-be. A lady reclining on a brown leather couch, at-ease smeared on her face with an artificial, photo-shoot-cobbled smile. Families barbequing. Kids fishing. Husbands and wives doing. Rarely being. At the central of all this, a consistent insistence for things to make it all happen. Not any things. Expensive things. Usually made in China or South East Asia. Usually from unsustainably sourced materials from all over the world. Usually by companies that have larger marketing budgets than inclination for social responsibility.
What of the patrons? The fools that park their indebted 2012 model in the listless car park. The fools that look upon the messages and lifestyle pictures as something to be clagged into the scrap book of wants and must-haves. The fools that spend too much and then feel guilty. The fools that care what their stupid friends think. The fools that hate their jobs, drink too much, eat badly and dread the gym. The same fools that will soon regret not being there for the best parts of their children’s lives.
But, they don’t know any better.