11 of my Worst Pandemic Purchases
Looking back on the year, I am confounded by my state-of-mind that lead to a string of 1-Click impulse buys. Granted, I am no stranger to drunk midnight purchasing, but during the pandemic it expanded to the daylight hours. Being stuck home without a social life, I believe it left me extra susceptible to buying things so I could fill a void. Scrolling through social feeds and packing disposable income, I feel prey to infinite squandering. Below is a list of the 11 dumbest ones, I left out others to save some of my dignity.
This was one of the worst. This thing costs $100 and was a pain to put together. I put yard clippings and food waste in it, spinning it with the thought I would magically help the environment, but all it did was stink up the yard and attract vermin. I have gotten like a handful of compost from it all year, I highly recommend just buying a $2 bag of compost and calling it a day!
2. Another Virtual Race
I love race culture so much, and miss the social aspect of running with thousands of people (and the beers that come after). When the lockdown started, I thought I could fill that gap with signing up for plenty of virtual races. You’re basically just paying to run a 5K outside by yourself for $40. I get the event shirt and medal, but it didn’t carry much importance to me, as it lacked the social experience commemorating them. There were a few that were for a good cause so I thought of it as a positive way to support something while being locked up, but after the 5th one, I stopped signing up for them. Save money for actual races for when this lockdown ends.
3. Headstand Bench
I suddenly thought it would be cool to hang upside down, you know for fitness. It only took a few sessions with this contraption to realize that not only is it pretty boring, but it’s an effective way to get a cervical fracture. I almost broke my neck and it’s just been hanging in the garage since. Standing up conventionally is now enough for me.
4. Pizza Oven
I spent $150 on this special attachment for my smoker. It’s actually pretty neat and the pizzas I churned out were amazing, but it’s a bit unnecessary. Making pizzas from scratch was a lot of work and took a long time. Pizza, even fantastic oven-fired pizza, is readily available for pickup or delivery and much cheaper. Unless you’re planning on making pizzas everyday or going into the business, this thing will probably end up stashed away like mine did.
I saw biohackers using these nebulizers to inhale seawater and nutrients for health, and decided I had to have one. I felt like a psychopath huffing on this thing over Zoom calls, and it quickly found it’s way to the trash. Not before vaporizing Scotch, which turned out to be both stupid and dangerous. WHY BRAD WHY?!?!
6. Crazy Print Jacket
I wanted a jacket so I could run in the rain, but instead of getting something practical, this neon jacket with panthers all over it seemed like the ticket. Upon receiving it, I was excited, but wearing it in the mirror, I quickly knew it was not for me. It was just too loud and I looked like I was some 18 year old. Luckily, I was able to return in time to get my money back. I much prefer my $5 plain clear poncho.
7. Another Water Bottle
Seriously, I don’t know what’s going on with water bottles these days. Yetis that keep water cool for 18 days. Structured water bottles. Bottles that hold a gallon of water. It’s water! You’re home Brad! Where do you need to transport so much water? I fell for purchasing so many unnecessary water receptacles and don't know how. My favorite thing to drink out of still is a giant glass Mason Jar that used to hold kimchi.
8. Infrared Lights
Infrared is a special wave of light that has many alleged health benefits. It’s been said to increase testosterone, heal injuries, improve circulation, and balance Circadian rhythm. After holding this light to my body for awhile , I soon realized, “You know what else can give you infrared light benefits? THE SUN! Go stand outside for a few minutes you fool!” I keep buying things that you can readily get from a nature, but somehow when it comes to purchasing it, there’s a belief that it’s somehow more magically different. Facepalm.
9. Steel Tongue Drum
Ugh, this one is wacky. I saw this on my IG story feed and instantly thought, “This thing will be nice to play and bring me inner peace. Maybe I’ll learn how to play it well and put myself in a trance, and possibly form my own steel drum band.” Playing it though, reality set in. It was out of tune, sounded annoying, and my wife said I needed to throw it out or she was going to move out. Another purchase, used once, and then into the abyss.
10. Ice Cream Machine
Making your own ice cream can be fun. You can control the ingredients and it was an interesting creative process. But between buying cream, sugar, rock salt, waiting hours, and taking several batches to dial it in right, it still didn’t measure up to Ben & Jerrys. Save yourself time and go get a $4 pint somewhere.
11. Dutch Oven
I got into a frenzy over the need for a quality Dutch oven, even though I had pots of equal size. It’s huge and I can’t even fathom needing to make this amount of food. Unless I am making a stew for 14, I probably never need to use it. I made a huge batch of smoked queso in it, passing out on the floor only after finishing about a tenth of it. I didn’t want more queso ever again either so leftovers were out of the question. Now it remains, taking up about half of one my cabinets’ space along with the ice cream machine. Basically, if you’re home alone during lockdown, buying such giant crockery seems inane.
Honestly, a lot of these purchases came with good intentions. I wanted to make something, be creative, stay healthy, experience something greater. But now, I’ve gotten into the habit of asking myself, “Do I really need this? Is there a simpler or faster solution?” I hope this will guide me better as this lockdown continues so I can make smarter purchases. I have regrets, seeing now that it would have been better to just donate all the money instead to help someone else.
But it’s not all bad, I actually bought some of the best things in my life during this time. Stay tuned for my “11 Best Pandemic Purchases.”
If you can please share your worst pandemic purchase below. Laughter is the best therapy.