We’ve all had this experience – you go to a store to purchase an item you’ve been using for years, only to find out it has been discontinued. Your mind spins and races, trying to figure out why someone would do this to you. After all, it’s personal. You’ve developed a very close knit relationship with this product. You trust it, it works for you, and it improves your life. Now you’ve been abandoned. Betrayed. Deserted.
For women, one of the most common forms of encountering this betrayal is in the cosmetics department. You’ve been wearing “I LOOK FAB COLOR NO. 82 LIPSTICK” for as long as you can remember. It’s your signature color. People identify you with this color. And now, poof, it’s gone. Banished from the face of the earth. It’s in the graveyard of beautyland. You stand there, dumbfounded, looking left and right, trying to struggle with this incomprehensible situation. Was it not popular enough? Were sales weak? Don’t they know that you depend on “I LOOK FAB COLOR NO. 82 LIPSTICK” for your daily dose of self confidence? The salesperson, seeing your panic, begins to suggest new, alternative colors. But they’re not the same as “I LOOK FAB COLOR NO. 82 LIPSTICK.” Only “I LOOK FAB COLOR NO. 82 LIPSTICK” made your lips sing and your eyes light up. Only “I LOOK FAB COLOR NO. 82 LIPSTICK” made your inner diva do its dance. And now, desolate, you are stuck roaming aimlessly from counter to counter, trying to find a new love. As is often the case, this usually doesn’t happen on the same day that “I LOOK FAB COLOR NO. 82 LIPSTICK” has ceased to exist. No, it takes some time to fall in love again. And that first love can never be replaced. But, given time and patience, you do find a new color to fall in love with. Falling in love again can be exhilarating and scary. Taking the plunge can open you up to new possibilities.
Another example of this betrayal is when a favorite menu item is 86’d. For many years my husband and I adored the open-faced prime rib sandwich at a now defunct restaurant called Rosebud’s in Chestnut Hill. A six ounce slab of somewhat fatty prime rib nestled on a piece of rye, with a side of creamy horseradish sauce and fries. We never ordered anything else from the menu. There was no reason. The delicious juicy meat, rimmed with just enough fat to make it somewhat lethal, smothered with the piquant sauce – our mouths would water in anticipation of this delightful treat. And then one day – POOF! – discontinued. When we asked why, the waitress said they were trying new items. We asked if this was an underperforming menu item and she said it wasn’t. So why the heck didn’t they discontinue the tuna fish sandwich? I can make one at home, for crying out loud. Dejected and disappointed, we ate something else. But you have to ask yourself – what was the logic behind this decision? A popular menu item replaced by a “potentially popular” menu item? Is it any wonder that Rosebud’s is no longer in business?
Life is full of disappointments like these. One has to summon the courage to move forward, find a new love, and hope that something better may be just around the corner. Optimism must prevail.