I’m partial to President’ Choice soda crackers. To my palette, they are crispier and cooked more than any other soda cracker I can find. All of a sudden, I couldn’t find them in my local grocery store. That’s not unusual these days. Then I noticed they began to disappear from other grocery stores. So I googled them, and discovered I couldn’t get them that way either. I asked, finding out a few things: first, the store manager suggested I try a different cracker he claimed was just as good – it wasn’t just as good – I had tried it; I also saw that I wasn’t alone asking: others like me lamented their loss and, like me, claimed these crackers were better. After a few of those messages, the manager updated his message to us, saying he’d made a mistake and they’d be re-stocked soon.
They haven’t yet been restocked, but I did find a store with a lot of packages and I bought every one of them.
Why am I writing about this? Other than having a seeming obsessive craving for soda crackers of a certain high caliber, how could this be anything but my personal issue?
First, we in North America aren’t used to shortages. We’re used to getting what we want when we want it. It’s hard to suddenly experience real scarcity like this. I do remember being limited to certain fruits and vegetables and other things as a child, but thought nothing of it at the time. I know my parents went through all kinds of shortages, as did my grandparents. But I never really had, and that sort of knowing isn’t, unfortunately, inherited.
Then there’s my relationship to soda crackers – they are my go-to when I’m stressed. They reduce stomach dis-ease, and fill the gap I feel when my stomach is upset. A small packet of soda crackers is all I need to keep going. When I can’t have those crackers, I am forced to deal with something I’d rather not deal with – my feelings of stress.
I know I’m not the only one reading this that does something similar.
2022 has brought us real scarcity, unlike the scarcity we feel inside us when we compare ourselves to others, or feel there are limited opportunities when that isn’t real – and we know it isn’t real. Real scarcity is new to most of us. It makes me pause, wondering at my level of maturity.
The Great Cracker Shortage of 2022 helped me find different and better ways to deal with my stress (an ongoing theme in my life – much better than years gone by but probably with me for this lifetime). It’s helped me appreciate a little more that everything has its limits. And it’s helped me learn more about the value of letting go.
Quote of the Week
“Having the least usually forces us to make the most of what we have.”
― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
Living under scarcity
Maryanne Nicholls is a Registered Psychotherapist. To find out more, gain access to her weekly newsletter, meditations and programmes, sign up at www.thejoyofliving.co .