Packaging – A Sign of Aging?

Am I the only one who is starting to hate packaging? You know: all the stuff that contains the things we actually bought and want to get at.

Is it a sign of aging that I have to use scissors to get into my cereal? I can remember opening a box of corn flakes in a manly and robust way. Yes, I can still get through the cardboard box part. But then the poly-whatever bag that stands between me and my breakfast just doesn’t want to give, no matter how much I pull and tug. Once I tried popping it. The bag opened with a pleasing “Pop”. Unfortunately, it also rained cereal all over the kitchen. So, now I’ve resigned myself to cutting my way in with scissors.

Or how about CD’s and DVD’s? OK, I understand the need to wrap them in a big plastic container so I won’t slip the thing into my coat pocket and sneak off. But once I cut my way into that, why is it necessary to have the case sealed with invisible tape? My daughter can operate the tape, but I can’t. It’s so frustrating I finally gave up buying new CD’s and DVD’s all together. Now, I either get them at the library or buy used, after someone else has gone through the trouble of opening the box. I’d rather risk a scratched disk than spend the day fighting that tape.

And what about my medications? Do they really think people with the ailments my prescriptions are for still have kids in the house? Those child-proof caps are probably the most effective gadget we have designed in this country since the can-opener — kids can’t open them, but neither can I. Why not have some sort of disclaimer I can sign at the pharmacy which promises there are no children in my house and if any visit and they find my med’s lying around and they take them, it’s my fault. Blame me, ’cause guess what? If I leave my medicines around and a child gets into them IT IS MY FAULT!

I can remember a time when opening a purchase was part of the pleasure, like gift wrap. You zipped your finger along the side of an album and the cellophane wrapping parted to reveal your record. Cereal boxes opened with ease and the smell of the toasted flakes greeted you like a familiar friend. Packaging enhanced the experience instead of being an obstacle.

So, is it me getting older and a bit grumpy? Or was packaging really friendlier in the good old days?

Aging in Place, it doesn’t happen by accident.

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About the author

Scott Funk has specialized in Home Equity Conversion Mortgage reverse mortgages for over a decade. He is a recognized Aging in Place advocate in his home state of Vermont. His monthly newspaper column Aging in Place has run for 7 years in 24 papers around the state. Scott is brings a lighthearted approach to his talks on Boomers, retirement and aging on purpose.