Many years ago, while living in rural Connecticut with my husband and baby, I had the bright idea of selling Tupperware to make a little extra money. I was a terrible salesman because I felt guilty asking people to spend their money, so I continually talked them out of their purchases. For example, if someone wanted to buy the bread saver, I’d say, “If you’re anything like we are and eat a whole loaf of bread in a few days, you don’t really need the bread saver. The plastic bag the bread comes in works just fine.” People would thank me, of course, but after demonstrating at two or three parties, I was pretty much out of business.
I was reminded of my Tupperware-selling days when we went to a home show in Norfolk a couple of weeks ago, and besides the gorgeous homes, the usual complement of vendors were hawking their wares, including Tupperware. If you’ve ever been to one of those home shows, you’ll know about the drooling that goes on when you tour the homes and see the incredible kitchens and bathrooms, the craftsman-like touches, the furniture and window treatments, and you’ll remember how you filled out vendors contact cards for free estimates, only to have to sheepishly tell them when they called, “Sorry. Don’t know what I was thinking! We can’t possibly afford to have that granite countertop installed anytime soon, and the tub-to-shower conversion is going to have to wait as well.” After the show, I said to my sister-in-law, who came with us, “Doesn’t this make you want to redecorate?” “Actually,” she said, “this makes me want a new house!”
With the economy in the shambles that it is, and with that same Tupperware salesman spirit of wanting to save you some money, I would like to make you aware of a few items that you can totally do without. First, you know those body-slimming undergarments meant to make your figure look sleek? I bought one of those very high-waisted ones this summer to wear under my mother-of-the groom dress. I was going to appear svelte and elegant. All eyes would be on me. Yeah, I know all eyes are supposed to be on the bride, yadah, yadah, yadah, but seriously—I was going to look terrific. One problem: I never took into account where that extra flesh was going to go, the flesh that the undergarment was going to displace. I mean, it had to go somewhere, right? Well, it was pushed upward so that I had this huge bulge where my shoulder blades were supposed to be. It looked like I had a pair of boobs on my back. My husband couldn’t tell whether I was coming or going. Needless to say, I opted not to wear the garment. Better to appear as a stuffed pink sausage than as a stuffed pink sausage with two sets of boobs. Don’t buy one. Save your money.
Let’s talk about lycra. Specifically the lycra that comes in very expensive skinny-leg jeans. Wanting to appear up-to-date and not ridiculed for wearing “mommy jeans,” I opted to splurge on just such a pair. They fit beautifully in the store. I even made sure to ask the saleslady if she thought I was buying the right size. Never once did she say I should buy a size smaller because they tend to stretch a tad. Well, let me tell you, they fit perfectly for about ten minutes of wearing them, or about the time it takes to slap that credit card down on the counter and pay a gazillion dollars for them and then walk out of the store. The first section where the lycra gives out is in the area of the buttocks. First, it looks like you have a double butt, not to be confused with a double chin, though they are one and the same, just in different areas. After another ten minutes, it appears as though you have strapped on saddle bags loaded with mail for the Pony Express. So, I caution you about buying jeans with too much lycra. Buy one size smaller than you think you need. Better yet, don’t buy them at all and save your money.
Finally, I know I’ve complained about wrinkle creams before, but I just have to mention them one more time. The manufacturers of them tell you that you have to use them for a long time in order to see any results. They do this to make sure that you are well into your third tube of their product before you have the courage to admit that maybe you’ve been scammed, but by then, you’ve invested so much time and money on the stuff, you’re afraid to stop because maybe, just maybe, you might see results the next day and you’d hate yourself if you gave up too soon. I have news for you: That day ain’t never going come. This is when you hear your mother’s mantra in your mind, “moisturize,” and wish you’d paid more attention. I have a much better solution than those worthless creams. Buy yourself a good photo editing program, like Adobe. A little pricey, but much cheaper in the long run. Then, go through all the pictures of you on your computer and use the erase tool to zap those wrinkles. Make sure you only do it to yourself, though, because it is delicious to see how young you continue to look while all those others around you keep aging mercilessly.
Hope this has been helpful. As a good neighbor, I will keep looking into products and alert you to ways you can save your money.