Skip to content
-7.9 °Cforecast >
Partly Cloudy
Jobs | Contact | Tip line: 705-673-0123

Reflections: Everyday items that just frustrate this old lady

Too much plastic, too much glue and too much packaging — I mean, come on!

I’ve had it! Is it because of my age? Does everyone feel the same sense of helplessness, ineptness even, when faced with a toothbrush encased in plastic glued to cardboard?

Without using scissors, it is impossible to rescue that toothbrush.

I have a lovely letter opener, which I need to open much more than letters. Several of my magazines arrive encased in plastic, which I cannot open except with my letter opener. 

It’s true! It’s frustrating! 

There’s more. 

The plasticized bag inside cereal boxes fights me every time I attempt to open it. I usually manage to conquer it, but really …. Oh, and let me not forget those small milk cartons. The ones which helpfully say “open other side,” so I turn it, but guess what? I still need a fork — not a plastic one, so that I can drink that milk. 

Almost every item we purchase at a hardware store gives me the same challenge. Plastic, plastic covering everything! Why? Is it just to frustrate this old lady? Do younger people struggle to open things, too?

Then there is excessive packaging. What a waste of paper and space.

My moisture cream, which I use every day — yes, this old lady needs it — comes in a box six inches tall. However, the tube of cream is only four inches tall. Do you see what I mean?

Of course, I could name many other products, but I’m sure you have experienced the same thing many times.

Julie Andrews sang of “brown paper packages tied up with string,” in “The Sound of Music.” Have you ever received such a package? I haven’t. The packages I get are so well wrapped and taped that it’s a test for me to get the things open. The excitement of reaching the contents has long disappeared as I fight with all the packaging.

You know there’s no security risk in anything I might order. None. Nor do I ever order anything that is fragile. I have witnessed how those containers are rudely handled at Post Offices and airports. Why would I take a chance?

So, I’ll just go to a local store, see the article I’m buying, know that it fits, and choose what I want and take it home. There: solved that problem.

Erna de Burger-Fex is a writer and retired teacher.