Go on. Admit it. At some time we have all fallen victim to some sales pitch. Despite our strong self-protective instincts screaming that this “cannot possibly be true”, we nevertheless let our defenses down. These lapses occur when we are entirely alone with no rational voice to dissuade us from foolishly separating ourselves from our money. Sometimes it happens in the heat of the moment, when a mob of fellow shoppers in the swoon of retail frenzy, convinces us that we absolutely need whatever logic defying gizmo is being presented for sale.
Even though we are aware that miracles are hard to come by, and largely restricted to biblical events, and that there are no substitutes for hard work, we humans tend to suspend disbelief when it comes to weight loss without dieting, pain relief, the elimination of visible signs of aging and home improvement do-it-yourself products.
This is a category of C.R.U.D. (Completely Ridiculous Useless Debris) that we have yet to explore in this blog: products that over-promise and under-deliver. We know that the claims are exaggerated, but when we are vulnerable, we dissolve into rubes. We buy them. They disappoint. They end up on the C.R.U.D. heap. We are too embarrassed to let the neighbors even catch a glimpse of them in the garbage.
Here are a few examples of these regrettable acquisitions:
1. Under-eye roller pens – Do you stare at the magnifying mirror in disbelief asking whose face is that staring back at you? Do those heavy dark circles ringing your lower lids make you cringe? Shouldn’t baggage like that be riding on a carousel in the airport? Want to avoid the risks, expenses and recovery from going under knife? Whether it is age, a tendency towards puffiness or a mean hangover, do you really think a fifteen dollar of over-the counter purchases at the drug store can erase that much damage? If the scalpel is either too scary or pricey, we recommend the equivalent investment in a heavier concealer and a trip to the green grocer for some cucumber slices.
2. Pet stain removers – Are you a pet owner of a puppy, spiteful cat or geriatric dog? Read on. No doubt your frustration threshold with pet stains and their accompanying odors has been exceeded. By now you are tired of shelling out for sprays and foams in the hope of restoring your carpets to their previous condition. These products also are supposed to deter your animal from repeat performances. What a laugh. As we see it, you have limited options. The first is to put the offending pet up for adoption. Assuming that this is not acceptable, minimally call in professional carpet cleaners, albeit this is a temporary solution at best. More practical is to consider replacing the flooring with something like old-fashioned linoleum. You can wipe up the puddles and hair balls with paper towels and water.
3. Tummy Toners – Ever since the six-pack became the gold standard in body sculpting, the quest for washboard abs is an investment many people feel is well worth making. Still, the term “six-pack” sounds a bit oxymoronic, considering that overindulgence in beer drinking is largely responsible for the bloated anatomy that bears its name. There is no shortage of abdominal exercise apparatus that promise phenomenal results for the gullible buyer. Purchasing is only the first step. Taking it out of the box is a close second. Then you have to use it for anything to happen at all. Remember, if you are the kind of person for whom eating less is nothing short of impossible, the surgeon can always oblige. Or the Spanx shapewear product line may also suffice. There is a good reason why the company’s young founder is a billionaire.
You probably have your own list of product disappointments to add to this list that may include those home dry cleaning solutions you bought to save money and the environment that are incapable of removing ink stains, or “whitening” toothpastes that promise pearly whites no matter how much expresso coffee or red wine you drink.
The time has come to cut your losses. These product duds cannot be expected to improve with age. Don’t worry about the money you have already spent. That is not coming back. Learn from the experience. The next time you are tempted by something that sounds to0 good to be true, simply walk away.