Tuesday, February 12, 2013

GONE LOCAL Week Six: A Girl and Her Hair Products

Buying locally is not always convenient. This may be the biggest deterrent to those of us who would rather buy from local businesses than mega-stores and chains. At first, I thought it would be the price that got to me, but the difference in price is not so substantial, especially when you factor in the quality. Plus, as I’ve pointed out before, when I am shopping the smaller local markets and stores I’m looking for specific things on my list and not randomly grabbing the great deal displayed on the end cap.

For me, the rub truly comes at convenience. Ever since this endeavor began I have enjoyed the challenges inherent in finding local sources for our favorite things. I’ve met some very nice people and discovered some surprising stores. Only one item has alluded me this past month or so. And it’s not a strange product. It is not expensive or difficult to find. It is my daughter’s favorite hair product.

In the beginning, I figured she could try something else and I purchased what I thought were suitable substitutes from a local source. I quietly mentioned the possibility of making our own homemade version of the goop. She insisted the only product that would tame her tangly locks was the one that came in the white and pink bottle, manufactured somewhere in China. I considered holding my line. I’m sure it’s not necessary to remind you that we are talking about a 13-year-old girl and her hair. There are no substitutes, at least to her mind. And we have much bigger battles to fight.

I renewed my efforts, stepping very near the edge of the definition of locally owned stores, but still the prize alluded me. I considered driving over 30 miles away to an area where I am certain there would be a locally owned store that sold the coveted hair product, but never found the time to make the trip. My patient, if unreasonable, child suffered in relative silence. And then this week, she took action. She crept in to my bathroom and stole my hair product! It wasn’t the one she wanted, but it was a powerful way to make her point and motivate her mother.

On Saturday, I drove her to the CVS and slunk down the aisles where we easily located the product we sought and bought two bottles. I figure I’ve spent at least $30 in gas money searching for those pretty pink and white bottles. I am not deterred, but I’m beginning to come to terms with the limits of my resolution.

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