By Betsy Mayer
A 17-year-old Bulgarian student of mine who came to study in the US right after the collapse of Communism needed to shop for shoes. She went to Walmart and emerged frustrated and confused—without the shoes.
I thought I understood her dilemma. In my quest for shoes as a 17-year-old, I had often not found the perfect pair but knew that I would find them if only I could search a few more stores. To my limited understanding, all she needed was a few more stores.
But her explanation left me speechless: Walmart offered her too many choices! Back home, she was fortunate to find shoes at all. If they were in her size, she couldn’t be choosy about the style or color, be they red or green. Navigating the American world of consumer overabundance overwhelmed her.
Her dilemma gave me pause. Do
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Betsy Mayer is the Managing Editor of Last Generation Magazine