Sunday, May 24, 2009
Is there a cure for product junkieism?
Also known as PJism, this condition is rampant and growing among women in general and with curly-haired women in particular. Treatment is still in development: cures have been elusive and there is no 12-step program for this problem.
First, though, let's define this condition and its victim. A Product Junkie (PJ) is someone who keeps purchasing products despite:
* lack of funds
* an abundance of existing product
* hair that already looks great
* having found products that are compatible with her hair
Most PJs recognize that their conduct is a little abnormal. For example, they know that other people do not:
* hide their purchases from other family members in an attempt to avoid the inevitable intervention
* buy products they know will not work for them
* repurchase products that failed to work for them
Oddly, Product Junkies are not ashamed of their buying habits. On the contrary, many are proud of their overflowing medicine cabinets and wear their unbridled consumerism like a badge of honor, especially when talking to others who are similarly afflicted. If you have a PJ in your life, you would be wise to note this personality trait because it means your attempts to alter their behavior will be futile. The average PJ does not wish to change. Trying to modify their behavior is like putting lipstick on a pig: it doesn't work and it only annoys the pig.
If you are a PJ, take note: nobody believes your halfhearted promises to go straight and stick with a handful of products. When you use the swap board at naturallycurly.com just to ensure that no company name appears on the package that gets sent to your house, you aren't fooling anybody who lives with you.
When your purse is extra heavy, nobody thinks it's because your wallet has more money or you've acquired a few new keys -- they know you're carrying around a new jar of something to eradicate frizz in the afternoon.
And when you're in a drugstore, it's obvious that the hair care aisle is your real destination, even if you force yourself to meander there after picking up ant traps and tampons.
Everybody knows. And I know too, because I'm right behind you in that aisle.