Many years ago, when I first began shopping at Trader Joe's, I noticed all the lovey dovey, cutesy, artsy signs that are supposed to make you feel coddled, loved, understood, and appreciated. Signs like, "We've tried it, we've loved it, but if you don't like it just bring it back." It is a shtick of course, good marketing, but one not to ignore.
Years ago tissue packets were unassuming, white and grey plastic pouches that disappeared into the bottom of my bag, utilitarian, completely functional, and without a thought lost on them. Not too long ago the little plastic pouches began to sprout colors. Now they came in vivid lime green and fluorescent pink-orange. Color makes me happy. I thrive on color (see a post on glorious color, and another one on color your life). When I pulled one of these little tissue pouches out of my bag I actually noticed its color. Just ever so recently the tissue makers went a step further, the Trader Joe's way, the feel-good-way. "Believe in Yourself" on turquoise; "Seize this Moment" on midnight blue; "Summon your Strength" on a light gray, dotted background; and "Find your Fearless" on orange.
Now it's become a cultural phenomenon to write a blog post about because it fits into our shifting cultural values. Away from the standardized global culture, and being an underappreciated corporate cog in the wheel. Meaning! Being appreciated and loved! Being special and worthy! That's what we crave. Big corporations took notice of our emotional needs in a global culture. Seven billion people! Returning to the individual, the personal, the meaningful. We are tired of standardization and globalization. Individually owned bookstores are making a comeback, farmers markets and CSAs have been taking off like crazy, main streets are back, and all the small towns in the middle of nowhere we have visited for college visits over the past five or six years have cool individually owned coffee cafés, and unique lunch and dinner places with blackboard specials, style, and flair.
Meaning is in! Now you can even find some on your tissue pouch.