Pent up demand
say the economists
Is what we experience
when a recession ends.
Consumers who’d held buying instincts
Are letting go
Giving way to an upswing in purchasing.
This happened to me late one night
at Whole Foods Market Princeton
I walked through the aisles
filling my cart
with high antioxidant balms
handmade scented soaps and bath salts
that make me sneeze.
And there it was, the impulse purchase
I’d restrained myself against for so long
right there at the checkout counter.
I had to give in
because the business news proclaimed it so.
The packaging, so pretty
My budget, my wallet
The covers so romantic.
A couple in Paris,
she in a checkered beret,
sips coffee and holds her head high
While he serenades her with his guitar
Facing each other, their legs barely touch.
Or, in a Cuban cafe
He in his straw hat claps hands
As she dances with maracas.
Nearby, a trumpeter and guitarist
Play with eyes closed.
A soulful moment
aided by a little tequila.
Or, in Spain
A wavy haired beauty
wends her way along cobble-stoned streets.
A full-lipped guitarist fingers his instrument
under a celestial orange orb.
These CD covers transport me
to foreign lands
for only $15.99 each
and end the recession in one fell swoop.
“Captivating guajiras, trovas and boleros
take you to a musically rich island,”
promise the liner notes.
“Flamenco, rhumba, catalana and pop
blend in a vibrant musical tapestry.”
I throw one, two, then three
into the cart.
My sons’ voices in my head:
“Muzak for Boomers.”
I throw caution to the wind.
This is my pent-up demand.
In the grocery store, anything is fair game.
It’s all allocated to the food budget.
Sustenance from consumer goods
to fill my desires and longing and unmet needs.
Ilene Dube is a frequent U.S. 1 contributor and West Windsor resident.