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From French fry portions to fat people, we’re into extremes. You can’t just make over a room anymore, you’ve got to send the family on a dream vacation, demolish the whole house and rebuild in seven days. Game shows don’t offer $1,000 jackpots anymore, but millions. We don’t sing in the shower, we want a stage – and a prize. Forget wrinkle cream and a new black dress, we seek surgery and a cross-country buying spree for a whole new wardrobe.

Yup, bigger is better in America, especially  with our mortgages and credit card debt. This leaves Ms. Jones with an extremely tight budget to accomplish her extreme dreams. A new end table can’t compare to a new house. New night stands aren’t the same as one night of instant celebrity. A new dinette pales to having a celebrity chef prepare your party.

All this extremity makes ordinary, everyday life seem kinda’ drab, doesn’t it?

Have you noticed a change in Ms. Jones’ expectations? How about her level of disappointment? In one word, how’s the economy in your area? Do economic indicators parallel levels of satisfaction in your store? (We won’t even ask about sales.) When disposable cash is short, so are tempers – add the extreme cultural influence and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.

What’s your extreme solution?

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