How do you feel about name brands? My mother was a name brand mama. During my childhood, she worked nights and slept days. She was a private duty nurse. Both my parents worked hard—there was no social life other than church affairs and family gatherings. All this to say, my mother had very few dresses, but those she did have were quality, bought at the best stores—Fedway, Riffs and Perkins—in my hometown. Mom knew and recognized designer names. I never did unless those brands had to do with a pair of jeans—Wrangler or Levi. Or a pair of boots—Justin or Tony Llama. (My mother bought me a pair of black leather pants once. Yep, I took them back to the store.)
My mother and I were/are very different. While she was meticulous and strived for perfection, I didn’t, and still don’t—except in my writing.Anyway, the necessity and importance of brand names spilled over into the daily products we used. Take fruit punch, for example. Mom bought Hawaiian Punch, and nothing else. I didn’t realize Hawaiian Punch was so old. Did you know that in 1934 A.W. Leo, Tom Yates and Ralph Harrison developed the first Hawaiian Punch recipe in a converted garage in Fullerton, California? I didn’t either. I have no idea if my mother knew, or why she insisted that brand be the only brand we purchased. I remember we had quite a little disagreement about Hawaiian Punch back in the early 80s. Yes, I returned the off-brand I'd purchased, but we won’t reminisce about that, we’ll move on.
I’d like to say I purchase generic brands, but I don’t. I make very few substitutions.
Dial is the ONLY soap for me. Yeah, I know most people use the liquid bath washes these days (or whatever they’re called) but in my mind they’re totally insufficient and do little more than leave a colorful film on the shower walls. Do they even lather?
Dial for Men has even won me over, and I know my mother would have loved it. Dial for Men might have been created especially for my dad to use on those summer days he came home from work all hot and sweaty. He was an electrician in the oil fields.Scott Bathroom Tissue was another ‘only’ in our house, and I find myself following that family tradition. I hate it when they make several different textures of the same product. Soft Scott just isn’t the same as the regular Scott. And what's the point?
I used Cheer until recently. I became really angry when 'they' decided to make Cheer for front loaders. I don’t understand why a liquid detergent will work in one washing machine but not the other. I’ve switched to Arm & Hammer but I’ve considered making my own detergent. I mean, really—how hard can it be to get dirt out of a tee shirt and jeans?I won’t go into all the other products I use and those I’ve decided to ban. But I’ve come to realize, I really am like my mother. With the exception of Hawaiian Punch, that is. She had her reasons for being a brand name mama, and I have mine. There's no right or wrong. Just preference.
Do you have favorite brands you absolutely can’t do without? What are they and why? Do any of them take you back to your childhood?