Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How much would you pay for "Hope in a Jar"

Last weekend, during a trip to NYC, I popped into Macy's to see if they have stocked winter gloves. As I had entered through 8th Avenue, I had to walk across most of the store's lower level in order to get to Women's Accessories. I must admit that I am always overwhelmed and intimidated by Macy's flagship store in NYC. The first time I went there was during the holiday season. It was so crowded, that a bit of claustrophobia kicked in while on the escalator. This time around, although less crowded, it was crowded nonetheless. Anyway, I maneuvered my way across the people infested corridors until I reached the accessories section, only to discover that there were no winter gloves on display. Disappointed with the 30 minutes it took me to walk across the store, I headed towards the 8th Avenue exist. On my way back, I came across Philosophy's display in the cosmetics department. Feeling a bit down with melancholy, I opted for a little retail therapy. I bought some facial cream called "Hope in a Jar".

I always get very sad while in NYC. For some odd reason, I don't know why, I get home sick and start thinking about my family back home in Egypt. Needless to say, the train ride from NYC is a very sombre one. It doesn't help when the weather is cold, dark, and gloomy (which is to say, most year round in New York). My train ride this weekend was no different. I dwelled on my loneliness and all the things I was missing. I was even humming Ricky Martin and Christina Arguilera "No Body Wants to be Lonely". Then I got to thinking about my purchase. In an attempt of momentary happiness, I bought "Hope in a Jar". The real reasons I bought "Hope in a Jar" is to combat wrinkles, yet I couldn't help but think of the irony of this emotional purchase. I was at Macy's largest shop, smack in the middle of their cosmetics department with a cornucopia of global brands, surrounded by retinol this and retinol that, organic natural ingredients, semi-professional cleansing and restoring products, yet I went for "Hope in a Jar"!

Now, I am not dissing the product, it was one of Oprah's favorite things (and thus why I am aware of its existence). However, what struck me as ironic is, at a time when I was feeling despair and at my most worst, I bought "HOPE !!!! in a Jar". Grant you this is facial cream, and the hope it is peddling is the return of youth. Nevertheless, wouldn't it be great if you could buy a little bit of hope when your life seems hopeless, a little bit of faith when you feel that you are losing your way, or a little bit of encouragement when you just can't go on. Wouldn't those be the greatest products of all time. Who among us wouldn't pay good money for a little bit of hope, faith, love, self-esteem, and courage.

The mere thought of the possibility to buy the emotional support I needed that day lightened my mood. I realized that such emotions can be found - for free - in the simplest of things. I realized that hope is all around for those who seek it. It's in a friend's hug. It's in the single ray of sunshine that escapes through the clouds. It's in a little white jar of cream that puts a smile on my face whenever I use it because it reminds me of the time I wished I could buy HOPE in a jar.


  1. Amira, I enjoyed reading every word... You r really gifted... It is very true that at some point we might be willing to pay for a hope in a jar... Especially when we are drowning in sorrows , grieves and self pity.. Something we hear or see usually brings a small hope or at least show us we are in a much better place than many... I have learned to live with my sorrows and try to make a better tomorrow for my kids or should I say hope for ... P.S I could not stop my mind from analyzing the product name and admiring the mind that came up with it from a marketing perspective :)

  2. Found your blog through HuffPo's article on the "lonely but not alone video.

    You write clearly and honestly. Keep it up!

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback. Wasn't the video so sincere? I think it best summarizes NYC.