My 8-year-old daughter is drawn to infomercial products like a fly to the Bug Zapper Racket … like a dog to Bark Off … like a senior citizen to the EZ Eyes Keyboard … like a mom to those Meaningful Beauty products Cindy Crawford will practically bring to your door. In fact, my little princess is convinced her birthday will be a total disaster without a Big Top Cupcake. not gonna lie, I’ve been smitten with some of those infomercial inventions myself. I own a couple of Snuggies, for instance. What? Everyone in the commercials looks so comfy on their couches while reading books and not feeling fettered by the constraints of a blanket. I’ve bought P90X, and Moon Sand, and Blendy Pens, and even Pillow Pets (before they sold them everywhere from Walmart to Shell stations).
In fact, some of those As Seen on TV products are positively irresistible. Here are a few I find utterly ridiculous and at the same time I think they’d make great gifts:
— Admit it, this hands-free wine glass holder looks pretty undignified, but if we’re being honest, we mommies lost most of our dignity long ago. After having our little ones spit up on, throw up on, and wipe their noses on us, we’re pretty much humiliation-proof. I say strap your Wine Yoke on and keep your arms free for laundry, cooking, and crafting, while enjoying a well-deserved glass of vino.
Giving this to someone says: I get that you do it all, and you’re rarely off-duty. Well, that or you’re a lush and I wish I’d bought you two.
The Shake Weight
(Bed Bath & Beyond; $14.99)
— This initially looked like the ultimate gag gift. In fact, when I first saw the infomercial, I thought it was a parody. I was expecting lines like:
“Ladies, are you tired of giving hand job after hand job to tone your upper arms? Well, we are too. That’s why we made this nifty invention — and you don’t even have to cuddle with it when you’re done.”
But no, those commercials were real. And I have to be honest: I’ve tried it, and it works. Unfortunately for my hubby, I would’ve never assumed that performing that motion vigorously for just 6 minutes would help tone my arms and shoulders, or our time in the bedroom could’ve been a lot spicier than watching Homeland.
Buy this for yourself and tone those arms. Just don’t let your husband borrow it (not an attractive visual when performed by the man you married).
— They’re the plastic “shoe” you Velcro around your feet for use on carpets to simulate the feeling of ice skating — or more accurately, to make everything in the house more dangerous. They are truly fun, and if you don’t have any hard objects near your carpet (like, say, furniture), they’re great! Look, they don’t make your house feel like Disney world, but if you and your hubs wrap yourselves in twinkle lights and run back and forth really fast around the kiddos, it feels like Mickey’s light parade.
So pick them up for the kids — just don’t forget to pad all the furniture!
— These are boy-shorts with an extra kick. J.Lo, Beyonce, and all the Kardashians can just step off, because you’re showing up to the party. Look, I’ve put silicone slabs that resemble raw meat in my bra, so why not throw shoulder pads in your shorts? If you’re a straight shot from your shoulder to your ankle, I could see how these would be appealing. Personally, I’m usually trying to shrink my backside, not bulk it up, but to each her own.
These make a great b-day gifts for your ass-less friends. Well, these and chaps (not to be worn together).
— My daughter has suggested (on multiple occasions) we buy these and walk around town as twins. Slothful but comfortable twins who clearly aren’t willing to make even an ounce of effort to dress in the AM. However, we’d be one step above people who go out in their unstylish PJs — you know, the ones that actually look like pajama bottoms instead of awesome trendy jeans? I’m not gonna lie, a drawstring jean you can wear for days on end is kind of appealing. If you’re too lethargic to put them in the laundry, simply walk yourself through a car wash (they’re quick-dry).
Get this for any lollygagging friend or family member and write, “I knew you’d be too lazy to buy these yourself!”
The Potty Putter
— This is a mini putting green that sits by the toilet and helps the avid golfer in your life perfect his putting-while-pooping skills. Aside from the amount of germs I imagine would be festering on this toilet trainer, it looks kinda fun. Listen, how many times can one read that same lonely magazine you constantly forget to switch out?
Give this to anyone who likes golf, and maybe include a small can of Lysol. This says, I want you to be content on the commode, I think you need some practice on your short game, and I prefer you not spread fecal matter (in other words: I love you).