Friday, August 30, 2013


I don't know what to believe anymore.
Won't we save our planet and the landfills and our children’s future if we don't consume so much? I thought less is more and downsizing is better than supersizing.
Are you as confused as I am?

Procter and Gamble have a new commercial which promises that “caring for your clothes just got easier”. All you have to do is buy Tide detergent plus Downey fabric softener plus Bounce softener sheets and use all three for every load of clothes you wash.
I’m no math genius, but it looks to me like that should increase sales revenue for Procter and Gamble by fifty per cent.  And goober up your clothes with one hundred per cent more chemicals than necessary, leaving an oily film on your undies and preventing towels from absorbing water. And won’t all those empty Downey bottles and Bounce boxes make the landfills fill up with . . . less land?
That’s not the worst of it.
My firefighter husband told me loads of laundry ago that I should go easy on the liquid fabric softener because it makes clothes more flammable.  I may or may not have taken his advice. But I did look it up today, and what do you know? He’s a pretty good firefighter.
Using fabric softeners makes our clothes softer by bonding a chemical finish to the fibers, and that makes the fibers work like a wick when they get too close to a flame. Experts recommend using dryer sheets only, and only on every third wash.
On the other hand, Procter and Gamble wants us to double the amount of softeners in every load of laundry. And the kicker to their ad is this—they say if we follow their advice, it will make our clothes last longer. “Tide, Bounce and Downey together keeps our clothes looking newer 50% longer – they’re greater together,” the ad promises. Using both Downey and Bounce will save you money, they gush.
Unless you stand too close to a flame. Or spend twice as much money on fabric softeners as normal.
That’s the way advertising works, though. Remember the directions on shampoo bottles? Honestly, who needs directions to wash their hair? Lather, rinse, repeat.  That last little word doubled the sales of shampoo and secured the need for hair conditioners for all our dried out locks forever.
I wish I could think of one word to write that would double my income.
The whole thing gives me heartburn, to tell you the truth. Thank goodness I’ve got Alka Seltzer in the medicine cabinet.  A little “plop, plop, fizz, fizz, oh, what a relief it is!” should take care of all this stomach acid. Except the truth is you only need one tablet, not two. They doubled our pleasure and doubled their fun in the 1960’s with that little jingle and their pre-packaged packets of two tablets.
Maybe they’re just too smart for the rest of us. Every mom on earth knows you’ve got to tell your kids something two or three times before they’ll listen to you. So if a little fabric softener is good, twice as much is better. If one heartburn tablet is good, two is fabulous.  If it says Libby's, Libby's, Libby's, on the label, label, label, I will like it, like it, like it, on the table, table, table. And every time she Meow, meow, meow, meow, Meow, meow, meow, meow, Meow, meow, meow, meow, Meow, meow, meow, meows, it hits me like a ton of bricks—even my cat is a sucker for ads.
Okay, I don’t have a cat. That was just a bunch of baloney, and if my baloney had a first name it’d be O-S-C-A-R. Like my dog. Cuz my dog’s better than your dog, my dog’s better than yours. Okay. Actually my dog’s name is Sydney.
What can I say. Sometimes I feel like a nut.
Sometimes I don’t.


  1. You are HILARIOUS!!!! I'm doing laundry at the moment so I will be sure to follow your advice - only 1 softener sheet per 3 loads! Thanks for the chuckle!

    1. Aw, thanks, Kim! I checked out a couple of websites while I was writing this and found the trick I know you use about drying clothes on the cool setting for a few minutes and then hanging them to dry so they keep their color longer. You're a genius - and a great judge of humor! ;)

  2. Ah, ads and jingles... One day, your daughter and I walked through a mall and sang every ad song and motto we knew for the products and stores we passed. It was both amusing and scary how many of those were stuck in our heads.

    1. Now I'm scared. After all the money we spent on music lessons, too. ;)

  3. That is hilarious. I love a well written and executed ad, but it is kind of scary how easily taken in we are by a snappy jingle. Fortunately for our clothes, I shy away from softener so that it doesn't build up in my machines and ruin my diapers' absorbency. It isn't like you'd notice how soft they are or aren't when they get multiple "fluff" dry cycles so that I can procrastinate on folding them. Thanks for the hilarious post.

    1. We've been taken in by a lot, haven't we? This one was pretty glaring, though. I had to do my civic duty and deprive Procter and Gamble of more money, though. I am a pretty sad firefighter's wife, though. I can't make myself stop scenting our wet laundry with fabric softener. I'm looking for a mutual detox facility that addresses Starbucks and Downey addictions. Stay tuned.