I have found a way to trick both myself and those pesky online merchants who dangle cool objects before my eyes when I’m just trying to check the weather. Having bought one fetching sweater online, I am now offered an endless selection of other, similarly enticing sweaters. I decided to fight back.
If my online searches are prompting the display of irresistible items, why not search for something I would never be tempted to buy? Like doorknobs.
Ladies and gentlemen – it worked! By searching for completely unappealing objects, I now find ads for hoses every time I get online. It’s so fabulous.
A doorknob search produced a site with elegantly designed garden hose holders and 25 varieties of decorative window film. I didn’t even know what window film was until it popped up in a hose search, but now I’ve seen dozens of privacy window films and heat control films. I haven’t bought one.
My other weakness online is bathing suits that miraculously make everyone look terrific. It’s embarrassing, since I already have five suits guaranteed to make me look 10 pounds smaller, but I did recently click on a promising suit for an upcoming trip that may involve going to a beach with cousins who haven’t seen me since I was a skinny young thing. Just that one guilty click on a bathing suit has brought untold riches to my internet feeds. I’ve seen exotic bathing suits that make the wearer look like a leopard, magic suits that could squeeze the Pillsbury doughboy into an hourglass, and strange skirted suits for “women of a certain age” that would have been conservative in the 1890s.
The parade of bathing suits was beginning to depress me, so I decided to search one of my favorite websites, the Duluth Trading Company. First up, you see a burly woodcutter with a beard, great smile and flannel shirt. This is way more fun than looking at pictures of inappropriate bathing suits for grandmas.
This company focuses on such items as Buck Naked Underwear, marketed as “Feels like wearing nothing at all.” The underwear ad features a cartoon of a chubby naked man (with a strategically placed banner) dancing happily. It also invites the reader to “Explore Buck Naked Nation.” Now we’re getting somewhere. Whatever they’re selling, I’m not buying. But I do appreciate a good laugh at the expense of real men who shop for Long Tail T-shirts that promise to fix the alarming problem of plumber’s butt. My favorite is something called Ballroom Jeans, which offer the opportunity to “Crouch without the ouch.”
So, my internet now offers a dizzying variety of underwear choices for hardy men and switchplate covers that pretend to be something else. I’m spending so much time browsing art nouveau switchplate covers with scrolled crests that I haven’t fallen for cashmere sweaters at slashed prices or bathing suits for the woman with a little more to love in at least a week. The money savings are thrilling; the burly men in underwear – priceless.