Call Me Ms. Inspector Gadget

I’ve Got the Nowhere to Go Binge-Buying Gadget Blues

Call Me Ms. Inspector Gadget

Remember the long-running kids’ cartoon show featuring the dim-witted, multi-tooled-crime-fighting police Inspector Gadget, voiced by TV’s popular Don Adams, aka Get Smart character Maxwell Smart? Well, nowadays, you might as well call me, Ms. Inspector Gadget.


Since its pointless to buy new clothes (where am sheltering-at-home I going to wear them?), I’ve gone gaga for goo gahs and crazed for tchotchkes. Yes, where, once I held the highest disdain for single-use utensils, I now snatch them up as fast as I can click the “add-to-shopping-cart” button on my computer!

Ms. Inspector Gadget, Meet Amazon

These days, the sad truth is that my favorite online reading material generally begins with a headline something like this one: “47 Smart Things on Amazon You’ll End Up Using At Least 3 Times A Day.”

Once I’ve read (and purchased) my way through that voyeuristic bliss, it’s just a hop, skip, and a click to an Internet link and I’m onto “59 Genius Grooming Products on Amazon that Reviews say is Life-Saving.”

And right now, who doesn’t need 59 (!) grooming products that are life-saving? I mean, if we can’t get to the beauty parlor and we can’t have an effective coronavirus vaccine TODAY, then, I’d say —on behalf of all of us —definitely yes, 59 grooming products that are genius AND life-saving are just what we need!

From there, I’m bound to be led — like a lamb to the slaughter — to yet another “news article” offering me more “tips” on life-changing “essential” items I “need.”

Of course, the notion I “need” anything is ridiculous. Handsome Hubby and I have been married 33 years, most of that time accumulating stuff. In fact, I’ve spent the past three years trying to downsize. Now, in just five months of sheltering-in-place, I’m un-Marie Kondo-ing all those earnest downsizing efforts!

The Times They are A-Changing

Certainly, when I was a hard-charging, laser-focused career gal (i.e. when I was young), the idea of fixating on purchases to make my home absolutely perfect would have made me moan and groan. Even clothes shopping was more a get-in-and-get-out quick necessity than shop-til-I-drop delight.

Now, however, with so much sheltering-in-place time on my hands and so little control over events, there’s some small comfort in making my home lovely and safe. Perhaps that’s why amid pandemic, gut-churning political strife, and wildfires raging all around me, I am buying kitchen tools and grooming products galore.

Quit Stalling, Ms. Inspector Gadget

OK, so, what are some of the “necessary” and not-so-necessary — non-sensical — products I’ve impulse-purchased online recently? Well, I’ll tell you, but PLEASE don’t judge. Also, please, don’t tell Handsome Hubby about this pandemic-induced shopping binge. I’d rather he found my hidden 5 lb. bag of M&M’s!

OK, here’s just a few of the items AND my defense for buying them:

  • Four industrial-strength spray bottles (I actually needed one);
  • A fleur-de-lis purse hanger (for that eventual and longed-for return to restaurant dining);
  • Four double-sided silicone scrubbing sponges — odor and germ-resistant! (I’ll let you know if they work out better than regular sponges, which germaphobe me throws out every Thursday!)
  • A lime-green citrus juice manual squeezer with built-in measure cup (After 19 years, I finally decided to part ways with my Mother’s broken yellow plastic juicer. This was actually a big emotional decision, but I did it. Who knows if I’ll actually keep the new shiny one or return it!)
  • A ceramic safety blade cutter (This seems a practical item given the non-stop purchases coming my way these days, as well as a sound safety measure! I know I’m going to lop off a finger with the rusty box cutter I’ve been using for years/decades.)
  • Five pairs of allegedly “comfortable” at-home shoes (All purportedly good for bad, middle-aged achy feet. I researched them, bought them, and then returned them all. So, I’m not sure if they really belong on the list but, for the sake of transparency I included them. They certainly represented a time suck. All that research, but alas, no new pain-free toe-tappers!
  • Five shades of nail polish, including glitter and Sia (which is blue — unattractive blue if you ask Handsome Hubby. This I view as a spending “wash,” because even though I spent money on the polishes, the emery boards, and polish remover, I’ve also saved money by not going to the beauty shop for manicures and pedicures since March 15th!)

I’ve also bought sweatpants, tee shirts, nightgowns — sexy—and not, plus socks and lots of whatnots. And this inventory doesn’t include the titles of the 15 books. If you’re interested, you can read about my out-of-control book-buying compulsion here.

But enough sharing! I just received a text message. Two packages have just arrived. All this surreptitious shopping for myself makes it feel like I’m my own Secret Santa. Hooray! Christmas in August. Still, I’ve got to get to the door before HH sees I’ve bought more stuff. Gotta go. Time to check out what goodies I’ve got!

Yours until the credit card bill arrives!
Ms. Inspector Gadget!

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