I never watch infomercials. You know why? I’m naive and easily impressed. I would be instantly “wow”ed by whatever I was watching and know that I just had to have it, because look, it does this and it does that, and it’s useful around the house, and I could make 47 low payments of $19.95 and it would be mine, all mine!
So although I steer clear of infomercials, I still get sucked in every once in awhile and end up buying something that I swear up and down I will use every single day, and then it ends up collecting dust or hitting the Goodwill bin.
The ThighMaster is a perfect example. I had a ThighMaster when I was about 17 or 18. I think I actually asked my mom to get it for me for Christmas that year. I went off to college, toted it along, and sure I used it every now and then, but it was pretty much just a conversation piece. But I had to have it at the time–just had to. My rationale was that, well, I had big thighs (not that they went away or anything) and the ThighMaster would give them tone and definition. It probably would have. If I would have used it. I mean, come on, Suzanne Somers swears by it, and look at her thighs.
Fast forward 13 years or so. I became entranced with the Ab Lounge. But I was cautious. I had wasted money before on stuff I didn’t use. I was smarter than that. But in a moment of weakness, walking through a sporting goods store, I saw the Ab Lounge sitting there in all of it’s glory, and just had to have it. Mike tried to talk me out of it, sensing that we were about to waste $100. But I countered his every argument.
“We don’t have room.”
“Yes we do. It folds up. Haven’t you seen the commercials? When I’m not using it, I can fold it up and put it under the bed or in the closet.”
Needless to say, I won, and we lugged that big box home. We then proceeded to spend about 4 hours putting it together, arguing, looking at each other in bewilderment, grasping the directions in our hands and waving them towards the heavens screaming “Why, God, why?”.
But we finally figured it out, and took a minute to sit back and admire it. Beautiful. Now, how does it fold up? I seriously could not figure it out. I was pulling and pushing and bruising both arms and legs (mine, not the Ab Lounge’s), and still couldn’t get it. Back to the directions. I couldn’t find anything on the directions, so I jumped online and took a look. Oh. We had bought the Ab Lounge 2, not the Original Ab Lounge. The Ab Lounge 2 doesn’t fold up. Which is stupid–I mean, shouldn’t products get MORE improved as time goes on. Shouldn’t the “2” be better than the “original”? The “2” should fold up, and fold up even smaller than the “original”!
I looked at it in dismay as it sat in our family room, taking up the few precious square feet of free space we had. My choices were to dismantle it and take it back, or suck it up. So I sucked it up. Within 3 weeks it was in the walk-in closet in our family room (which I had to completely clean out in order to squeeze it in). I would have loved to put it in the garage, but then I would have had to park my car outside. And to this day, every time I’m interested in the newest “as seen on TV” product, Mike reminds me of the Ab Lounge.
Time went on, we sold our house, put all of our stuff in storage and moved into a tiny apartment while our new house was being built. Ah, the new house, tons of room. A basement where I can have a little workout area in one corner and have all the room in the world to stretch out on my Ab Lounge.
We’ve lived here since June 2006. The Ab Lounge, which as you probably guessed, was collecting dust and spiderwebs in the basement. The basement that is still a landmine of half-unpacked boxes and, you know, all that stuff we just can’t part with.
On Sunday I asked Mike to bring the Ab Lounge upstairs so that I could put it in one of the spare bedrooms, and, well, maybe USE it. Between the two of us, we wrestled it up two flights of stairs and through the doorway. I couldn’t help but think that it would have been easier to transport IF IT WOULD ONLY FOLD UP! Last night, feeling guilty since I didn’t get up early that morning to get on the treadmill (which DOES get used regularly by both of us–money well-spent), I decided to use the Ab Lounge.
It was dark outside, and there’s no overhead light in that room and no lamps either. Not feeling like moving a lamp, I decided to do it in the dark. So there I was, in the room that will hopefully someday be our nursery, in mis-matched sweatpants and t shirt, grunting and groaning on the Ab Lounge, my shirt making a horribly irritating noise as it scraped across the nylon hammock, and with only a thin stream of light coming in from the hallway. Afterwards, I laid there, stuck in that hammock like a turtle that’s been flipped on its back, barely able to catapult myself out of it. Put THAT on your infomerial, Ab Lounge people.