Filed under: Comment, Family, Focus Groups, Insight, Mum & Dad, Research, Sentimentality
I have written a lot about the hypocrisy and complexity of humans.
For all the claims that we are generally consistent and sensible, the reality is we are simply good at hiding our truth.
I was reminded of this a few weeks ago when I was on a plane from Zurich, flicking through the duty free catalogue.
To be honest, I do this all the time – never buying anything – just looking at the tat that is being flogged at 30,000 feet.
But that all changed when I saw this:
Now, as you may have guessed by the quality of photo, this isn’t the picture from the catalogue, it’s actually the picture I took of the product after I purchased it.
Now you may be wondering why I bought a clock?
Or why I bought a clock from a plane?
Well, contrary to popular belief, it is not because I have an insatiable need to spend my money … nor is it because I have an obsession with knowing the time … it’s because it reminded me of the Braun alarm clock my parents had when I was a kid.
Yes … I appreciate that means I’m a sentimental old fart – not to mention Braun are a bunch of lazy bastards in terms of design updates – but the fact is, with my parents gone and my family home totally refurbished, having things that connect me to my family life are becoming even more precious and important to me.
Yes, I know people say ‘but you have your memories’, but frankly – at least for me – that’s not enough, I crave something more tangible, more real, more in the present.
I can’t actually remember how or why my parents got their clock. Part of me thinks it was a free gift when they enquired about some insurance policy or something, but regardless of the reason, it cemented itself in my consciousness.
I remember how my parents used to use it as their alarm clock, placed on Dad’s side of the bed so he could hit snooze in the morning.
I remember how I would always hear it’s distinctive alarm tone from my bedroom. Followed by the slap of a hand on the snooze button before it repeated itself 8 minutes later.
I remember how I would go into their bedroom at weekends and move the ‘alarm hands’ so I could set the sound off over and over again.
It might be a small thing, but to me it’s a big thing because I don’t see it as an alarm clock purchased on a plane from Zurich, I see it as a memory of my past that I’ve been able to bring back into my present and that makes me feel good, warm and – in a bizarre way – a bit safe.
I know there’s no logic to that, I know it is all in my head, but people are funny like that.
Regardless what moderators in focus groups might say.
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