You Know You're Aging When: Catalog Edition
Whenever I go to my parents' house, I love to look through their catalogs. They have the usual Land's End and Harry and David, but they also have a kitschy wonderland of "someone should invent that" products for seniors. (And I know they are for seniors because the catalog copy for a wrap rack says, "Remember when it was just waxed or foil? Now we have so many different wraps, and here's how to store them compactly." Also, their homepage has a drop-down just for dickies.) I am now getting the Miles Kimball catalog at my house because I made the mistake of ordering an outdoor food tent. I've recently discovered -- to my horror -- that the things I laughed about when I was eighteen now seem not so ridiculous, and I know the things I'm laughing at while 39 will probably seem like a darn tootin' good idea in thirty more years. What do you think of these products?
Clear Plastic Rainhat
I've always thought these things were so ridiculous. Then last weekend, I was at a baby shower at my neighbor's house during a thunderstorm. I was ready to go home, but it was still pouring. The 97-year-old family friend looked out the window, whipped out one of these rainbonnets, and strutted out to the car. I got soaked. In another thirty years, I could see myself sneaking this into my purse but only if no one I knew was going to be around or if I were guest starring on Deadliest Catch.
When I was in high school and saw a picture of the adjustable neckrest (I don't know if it was the same one, but the idea was the same), I thought to myself, "Self, can it ever really be that tiring to hold up one's own head?" Then I aged twenty years and got an Internet job that requires sitting and mousing all day and I realized, yes, stupid teenager, it CAN be that tiring to hold up your head all day.
Magnetic Cowl Scarf
My neck hasn't gone turkey enough for one of these sassy and easy-to-close magnetic cowl scarves, but I, um, understand what they are for.
Swivel Seat Cushion
Again, the youthful it-can't-possibly-be-that-hard ignorance with which I once regarded any device designed to help you get out of a car. I'm fine now normally, but I threw my back out shoveling snow a few winters ago and could've really used the swivel seat cushion as I discovered how you can't do jack shit without using your back muscles, especially getting in and out of two-door cars. This little lovely also comes in memory foam and turns all the way around, which makes it seem more like a sex toy than a device to help the elderly, but I think that's a different post.
I have no affiliation with Miles Kimball other than the catalog cracks me up. If you're a Miles Kimball virgin, please do check out the three separate pages of lawn goose outfits.
Will you admit to using products you once thought were patently ridiculous?