Buying Tradition

I’m going to mention brand names but this is NOT an advertisement or review.

Roman Meal was the only brand of bread my grandmother would buy. My mother bought white bread because that’s what my dad liked so when I was little I thought “dark bread” was weird and scary and I refused to try it. Sometime in the ’70’s I decided I didn’t want to eat white bread anymore; I only wanted whole wheat and other whole grain breads. It was probably because whole wheat bread started becoming popular in the ’70’s but at the time I thought it was because “everybody” ate white bread and I wanted to be different. My mother was happy to indulge me and we tried all kinds of wheat and rye breads (including a very dark, very heavy rye bread that I really wish I could find now) Sometimes she even bought Roman Meal.

I can’t remember what I bought during Adulthood: The Early Years but at some point I decided that, like my grandmother, I would only buy Roman Meal Bread. It was our bread for many years. The kids seemed to like it and the husband didn’t complain. But then a few years ago – shock! horror! – all of the local stores stopped carrying it at once. This was a really big deal to me. How could life possibly go on like normal? But I dealt with it like a big girl. I’m pretty good at that, I think. I can’t say I completely got over it though.

Recently – happy! happy! joy! joy! – all the stores started carrying Roman Meal again. So, heart filled with joy and thankfulness, I started buying it again. And discovered that it is no longer my favorite bread. It’s still the same as ever, and I still like that the sandwich loaf has nice, nearly square slices so the cheese fits better, but I got used to other breads. My favorite now is Nature’s Own 100% Whole Grain. But I still want to be loyal to Roman Meal for sentimental reasons.

Another brand story: I’ve used Cheer detergent for years. Why? Not sure. I tried it once and was satisfied with it so I kept buying it I guess. My mother bought whatever brand was the cheapest as long as it wasn’t Tide. She hated Tide because someone she knew said that it gave her kids a rash. I do not know if mom ever actually used Tide but every time a Tide commercial came on TV she would rant about how bad it was.

Wal-mart hasn’t had Cheer detergent for the past few months. I remembered someone saying that Tide and Cheer are exactly the same thing. I don’t know if it’s true or not but the bottle looks the same and even the labels are similar so I bought Tide. It worked as well as Cheer and didn’t give anyone a rash so I kept buying it. But I feel a little bad about that. Disloyal. I’m sure it’s a completely different formula than the Tide of 40 years ago but my mother didn’t like Tide so I feel like I shouldn’t be buying it. There are other brands of course, and I could go to some other store, but for convenience and not wanting to think about trying an unfamiliar brand I keep buying the Tide and telling myself it’s really Cheer. And hoping mom won’t be too disappointed in me if she’s watching.

How silly is this? Does anyone else have brand preferences that have nothing to do with the product itself? Do you buy the same brands your parents bought when you were growing up? Do you even think about why you prefer the brands you prefer?

4 thoughts on “Buying Tradition

  1. fillyjonk

    I was incredibly thrilled when I found Bon Ami cleanser at the Target a year or so ago. Bon Ami was the ONLY thing my mother would use. I have no idea if it’s better than other cleansers or not, but I bought it when it became available to me. It works fine, maybe better than other cleansers.

    I also used to be totally loyal to Peter Pan peanut butter until there was salmonella found in a few jars. I then cycled through Skippy, Jif, some of the natural brands….and recently came back to Peter Pan (they’ve now eliminated HFCS from their recipe, and it tastes better and spreads more easily than it used to). I figure any company can have something like that happen so I’m not going to blame Peter Pan too much.

  2. CGHill

    Peter Pan is also my PB of choice.

    Bon Ami has one advantage: it’s a bit less abrasive than the competition, so assuming equal scrubbing, it’s less likely to damage the surface being cleaned. I keep a can on hand for things that Comet might chew up.

  3. Nicole

    My mom bought Roman Meal exclusively, too!

    Comet & Clorox were also things of my childhood that I buy for no other reason than I’ve always bought them.

  4. Lynn Post author

    I forgot to mention Ritz crackers. My mother always bought plain saltines but I had a great aunt who always had Ritz crackers so now we always have Ritz crackers in our house, though they’re usually the whole wheat kind that they didn’t have when I was a kid.

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