I’m so embarrassed. The following admission will be one of the most self-deprecating I have made to date. But it must be done. By sharing, I’m hoping for a catharsis. Here goes…
I have a love hate relationship with Coles right now. While I am still fuming about forgetting to bring my reusable bags for a shop and totally hating on those impractically cavernous free ones they’re peddling, they have stopped me in their tracks with two words.
An amazing marketing strategy (and distraction from the plastic bag debacle) in the form of tiny, plastic collectable versions of 30 Coles products.
I have lots of things, and then I have two kids and a fur baby, so multiply those many things by 10. I don’t need any more things, and I definitely don’t need mini versions of things. Yet here I am.
At first, I told myself that the cherubs needed wanted them, but when I opened that first little foil packet and pulled out the most adorable jar of Vegemite ever, I was hooked. Who was I kidding? #obsessed.
While my beloved and the cherubs looked on with mixed reactions of disbelief and disgust (that was the 13-year-old, of course. *insert eye roll for good measure) I actually clapped my hands. Yes. I barely found the interest to clap at the cherubs’ last performing arts concert, yet here I was, swooning over mini plastic Vegemite. Every marketer’s dream.
I must have been in denial in the beginning; I told myself ‘I’ll just take what I get’, ‘I’m not spending money just to get a mini’, ‘I’m not fussed on collecting the set’ and it wasn’t a topic I chose when making polite conversation. But just like that, something changed. Why? I’ll use the baby analogy; I mean, mini humans are generally cuter than their larger counterparts, thus it stands to reason that a mini version of pink washing powder is cuter than its larger, more useful version.
Then things turned dark.
My mini nappies were stolen and I was being harassed by a friend to give over minis she needs. I’ve even been accused of not being a true collector as I don’t have the accessories. Pffft. And these people I speak of are all adults. One, who shall remain nameless, shamelessly shafted her eight-year-old niece in an attempt to complete her own collection.
I found myself demanding others collect them for me, I actually asked to swap out a double for something I didn’t have, and then the minis started popping up in polite conversation. Then, on Friday night, I hit my lowest point yet.
I went to Coles and bought items I didn’t need for the sole purpose of acquiring more minis.
Afterwards, I sat in the car feeling guilty about my wanton spending, on a Friday eve when I would usually be two wines down. Who is this person?
The guilt didn’t last long. Still in Coles’ carpark I opened one of the minis, a big smile on my face. See, I didn't have the hand soap yet, and it’s too cute for words.
Don’t judge. The shame is real, and I can’t explain this behaviour. But a problem shared is a problem halved, right? Surely now I will be better able to manage my obsession.
In the meantime, I would love the mini Nutella if you have one lying around...