Subourbon Mom

The Buzz About Brookstone’s Catalog

About two days ago I realized I was in deep trouble. I don’t mean trouble like I’m going to jail for hacking into Sony, or for thinking out loud that Odell Beckham isn’t the Second Coming. I’m in trouble because there is no way I’m going to get everything done before December 24th.

This working full-time thing has given me a new respect for the moms and dads that make it all happen–how they manage to decorate their houses so that it looks like Christmas threw up in their house is beyond me. So this year I took to ordering from catalogs. One of the catalogs we received in the mail was from Brookstone. For those of you who haven’t seen the inside of a mall in the last ten years, Brookstone is a mall store that sells quirky, high-tech gifts like wireless gummy bear lights and snorkel masks with waterproof cameras attached.

They also sell personal massagers.

Now y’all, when I think of personal massagers, I think of winning the lottery and having a handsome Swede (a la Alexander Skaarsgaard) rubbing my poor, aching muscles after a long workout at the gym. Brookstone clearly does not share my vision of what a personal massage should be.

Brookstone has been selling these massagers for years. The catalog pictures usually feature a pretty lady in a towel gently running this massager that looks like—well, let’s say like a microphone, over her shoulder or neck. Like I said, not my idea of a personal massage.591867p

The personal massagers in the catalog are also waterproof. My idea of a personal massage is not waterproof—but if I was to have a waterproof personal massager, I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t feel comfortable taking something like that into the shower with me for fear of being electrocuted—unless it was the Swede.

This year, Brookstone has expanded their collection, and it’s really rubbing me the wrong way. In fact, I can’t understand why there hasn’t been more buzz about it. This year, Brookstone is offering several types of personal massagers. In fact, there are too many to talk about here, but if you look online, you will be amazed. Trust me.

The ones in my catalog tended to be in pastel colors, shaped like an egg, and like the others, are waterproof. One of them even has a “porcelain-like finish.” But here’s the interesting part: they can be controlled remotely through an app on your phone, and by more than one person. Now, I’ve been to a lot of orthopedic-related doctors and physical therapists, and I never saw any of them break out one of those babies during an appointment. I’ve certainly never seen a someone remotely activating a shoulder massager for someone else. I’m just sayin’…

Now, I don’t mind that Brookstone is selling these personal massagers—way to go Brookstone, making pleasure available to the masses. What I mind is that they are in stores for people to pick up and fondle, like they do all the other merchandise. There’s already something disturbing about seeing a bunch of people sitting in the massage chairs with their eyes closed, all washed out under the glaring store lights–never mind that 50 other people have sat there before them, greasy hair resting on the same, vibrating pillows. brookstone_shopper_in_massage_chair_in_argentinaI definitely do not want to see these same people handling personal massagers—especially if it’s my Swede.

The “Plane” Truth on Mindful Thinking

There are too many people in this world, and most of them found ways to annoy me last weekend while I was traveling by air from Texas–especially the fake cowboy who walked through the Houston airport with his jeans tucked into his boots (the Marlborough Man would have been so ashamed). There were the usual delays and morons who couldn’t figure out how to go through security on the first try.  But one bright spot? Airport food has gotten surprisingly healthier.

On one of the longer flights, I was offered a Mediterranean tapas-style snack to purchase that cost more than I make per hour; I splurged. Added bonus: I was pretty sure no one would sit next to me on the next flight if I ate the olives and fancy, garlicky cheese.

Since I’d lately been reading about mindfulness (the act of being present in the moment, and focusing entirely on one thing at a time), and I had LOTS of time on my hands, I decided to try to bring down my stress levels by savoring each cracker smeared with garlicky cheese. I chewed slowly, letting the crumbs dissolve in my mouth, trying to identify each herb as it hit my palate (garlic was at the top of the list—the other passengers LOVED me).  I felt the way the cracker pieces gummed up between my teeth and resisted the urge to start picking at them; instead, I made those weird faces people make when they run their tongue over their teeth to dislodge an article of food.  I’m pretty sure my lips looked like there was a gerbil running around under there.

I pressed another glob of cheese onto a cracker with the teeny-tiny spoon they provided that looked like it had been stolen from a Polly Pocket set.

Then, the next cracker shattered. Not into a few pieces I could cup in my hand or pick out of my lap, but into a billion tiny specks that hurtled themselves across the cabin and behind me in a hail of Focaccia shrapnel. I didn’t look up, but I could hear people mumbling and shifting around, brushing crackers off of their laptops and phones.

In an instant, I had gone from being mindful, and feeling somewhat superior as I did it, to being mortified and wondering if the lady next to me knew she had cracker crumbs on her cheek (she didn’t—it stayed there the rest of the flight).  I didn’t have the nerve to tell her.

So, I fell back t playing my favorite flying game: Who on this flight would survive on an island if we crashed? Who would be the hero and open the emergency exits? Most of the passengers were elderly (South Texas is like Steven Spielberg’s Cocoon in the winter), so not much help there.  Maybe the ex-football player with the Baptist bible camp shirt on—at the very least, he might be able to put in a good word.  The old biker dude with the mutton chops? Not likely, but based on his tattoos he might be handy with a needle if I needed stitches.  People with kids—forget it. They’d be useless, instinctively protecting their spawn.  My best bet was the pudgy guy wearing cammo, who looked like he would be on the rescue squad, and the skinny lady who looked like a doctor or pharmaceutical rep; either way, one would have training, or one would have good drugs.

Scouting out my fellow passengers may not have exactly been “mindful thinking,” but it did give me a mind full of other things to think about.


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