Rushing around on an endless list of errands I whizzed through Home Depot today looking for replacement cushions for our patio set when I passed the garden seed displays. You know I was in a hurry because I didn't hesitate for even an instant to dream about sky blue morning glory seeds. I was in total get-in and get-out mode.
But then I saw them. Goofy goofing on a package of carrot seeds. Daisy Duck posing on a package of cucumber seeds.
I stopped in my tracks, whipped out my iPhone, took a few shots, and made a note to myself to try and make sense of it as soon as I found a few free minutes. Taking a moment now between to-do chores, I still don't get it.
Try as I might I don't understand why it's necessary to ply young gardeners to plant with cartoon characters. A quick look at the Burpee website still doesn't satisfy my puzzlement. Here's what they say...
"New from Burpee… A collection of Disney gardening products. There's something magical about planting a garden with your children. Burpee now offers vegetable, herb, and flower seeds with Disney characters from the Princess, Mickey and Cars Collections."
I agree that there something magical about planting a garden with your children. But is the sheer marvel of growing food from a tiny seed lacking a certain something without a grinning Goofy giving it his seal of approval? Will Mickey Mouse make your tomatoes tastier? It just hit me all wrong.
I'm ok with Burpee, they have good quality products, I use some of their seeds, and I've had good results ordering their plants online.
And Disney to my generation was yes, magical. Who can fault Fantasia or sneer at Snow White? My kids grew up with Disney videos and the merchandise that emerged. My daughter almost sprouted a scaly fishtail such was her fascination and love for the Little Mermaid. My son watched all the videos and slept with a stuffed Mickey Mouse as a toddler.
These days though my children, now adults, are not happy with where Disney is going.
My daughter has expressed her relief that she was born before of the "princess" mania that seems to drive the Disney machine nowadays. No way she says will she allow her future daughters to buy into all that pink tulle and handsome prince nonsense.
More surprising, my son recently ranted about the same issue. Although he regularly reminds me not to expect any grandchildren from him for at least another ten years, the other day the conversation somehow lead to gender roles and Disney.
He emphatically proclaimed that he would not let his kids watch Disney films. Besides the same princess problem, he complains that they don't offer any better examples for young boys. Those princes are only collateral to the princess plot line, without any pivotal roles in many cases. He doesn't want his little boys seeing they are only accessories to these female fantasies, given the same value as tiaras and tutus.
Me? I hadn't given much thought to Disney lately. Until today when I saw those familiar faces hawking vegetable seeds.
Burpee, what exactly were you thinking when you put that deal together?