Consumers Distributing, feminine massage products, and hysterical children

Do you remember the store Consumers Distributing? It was basically a store without a display area, where you walked in, chose what you wanted from a catalog, checked off said information on a slip, then handed the paper to an employee and paid while another disgruntled teen would retrieve the boxed item from the back.

Upon arrival at home, and ceremonious opening of product, you discovered that — like all drive through situations — you were missing the ketchup sauce and extra cheese. On cue, you got into a fight with your partner (rather than your children) because children are cute and only assholes yell at cute and unintelligible objects.

Regardless of this shopping manner, Consumers Distributing used to sell feminine personal massage products that looked like a baton. The image accompanying this product was of a woman’s bare shoulder, with her personal massage product hanging off her shoulder just so, so that she might beat the stress out of her exhausted back. Also, if wielded proper, it could be used to crack a burglar over the head, but nowhere was that mentioned in the Consumers catalog.

I am pretty certain I at one point asked my baba to buy this for me, because it was stressful being a 5 year old girl. I imagine this was one of the eventual reasons they divorced.

I still remember the day one of my 7 year old girlfriends (clearly some kind of hooker) explained what a “feminine personal massage product” really was and us, 7 years old, saucer-eyed not knowing what in the f’k she meant or how that was even possible, laughed our selves hysterical while shutting our knees very tightly. Mine are still shut, turns out.

But that is another story for another day.


Back to Consumers.

I would become so excited at the prospect of going to Consumers with my parents that I would reach a level of near hysteria and black-out excitement.

Seated in the back seat almost incapable of breathing, I would, as baba came to a rolling stop in the parking lot, shoot running from the backseat and into the store, aimed like an arrow for the Consumers counter. Odd thing, I was not strong enough to pull open the entrance door, and so I would stand like a potato waiting for someone to open the door and usher me in. Usually, I ran right over their kind feet while yelling “SAAAANK YOU” because I was raised polite.

Why the hysteria?

Because they made pencils for Me. Each and every Consumers pencil was made specifically for Children – they were half the size of Adult Pencils and so made with only Me and my pocket-sized brethren in mind.

I coveted the Child Pencils and left Consumers with at least 10 lining my pockets each trip as my mother dragged me screaming things like “there must be something else you can buy!!!!! SHE’S BEATING ME!!!! HELP!!!! ALLAHU AKBAR!!!!!” etc. Honest, if I could have lined my mouth with the pencils, I would have, just to transport more out of the store.

I was grateful for their acknowledgment that the world was not for adults alone. No one has come close since; thank you Consumers Distributing for your attention to the littles, and for this entirely unfocussed and scattered article.

Consumers Distributing
1957 – 1996

Image thieved from scienceblogs(dot)com. Thank you!