We’ve all been guilty of impulse purchases that turn out to be, well… pretty damn stupid.
You know, the stuff that you anxiously bring home or open up when delivered to your doorstep, and a few hours afterwards you just can’t fake the denial any longer. Your significant other or friends have a good laugh, you feign a smile, but there’s no getting around it – you been had. Played like a true sucka.
I’ve made more than a few dumb purchases in my life that have led to serious cases of buyer’s remorse:
- the 8″ black and white television that I used my life savings on when I was 7 years old.
- the acoustic guitar when I had previously bought an electric and already realized that I didn’t have the patience or passion to learn it.
- financing a used car when we had already had one in working condition that was paid in full.
- the home that was way bigger than we needed.
- the National Park video series, produced in the 80’s that I saw on an infomercial.
- the Ab Roller (remember that one?), that I also saw on an infomercial. After a few rolls, suffered a metal friction spring explosion.
- and who could forget my eager participation in the “Junk Wax Era“, quite possibly the greatest under-the-radar investment bubble in modern history?
But there’s one under-the-radar item that takes the cake for me. Here’s the story…
It was a cold and blustery winter’s morning, about 6-7 years ago (in the months prior to the inception of this blog). I had received the weekly paper (yep, I used to subscribe to a weekly paper). Within it was that typical mess of coupons for a bunch of overpriced, life-killing brand name grocery items. I quickly flipped through the coupons, as I usually had back in those days, in the hopes of finding the rare decent one amongst all the rif-raff. Just then – something caught the corner of my eye…
It was a full-page ad with a happy, well proportioned man confidently wearing a pair of the damned comfiest looking pair of glorious sweat pants I had ever laid eyes on. 100% cotton goodness with a pair of side (and even back) pockets to put all kinds of useful tools and other household shit in. Was that little crease in the front a fly? The description didn’t say, but I wanted to find out. And look at all that glorious room for… well, umm… “the boys to breath”.
Quite appropriately, they were named “Comfort Pants”, or “Pantalones de Confort” for the Spanish-speakers in the house.
And the doctored-up version looked like this…
Want rapidly turned to need and I anxiously clipped off the order form. Should I order 2? 3? Nah, better keep it to 1 so that I can wear them in and double the comfort. In the unlikely event that they should wear out, I could order more. I checked the boxes for “grey” and “XL”, wrote a check for $17.99, and skipped to the mailbox.
The wait seemed like forever. But about 2 weeks later, a non-descript padded envelope arrived on my doorstep. Could this be them (a little voice in my head said)? This package seemed a little small for a pair of pants… hmmm. Excitement filled the air. I was like a dreamy-eyed child awakening on Christmas morn. It was clear that my life was about to undergo a life-shattering change. Henceforth, there shall be two eras on my life timeline:
1. BCP: Before Comfort Pants
2. ACP: After Comfort Pants
I tore in to the package with an amount of force that would have won me the title of World’s Strongest Man that morning.
There they were! And then I pulled them out of the packaging…
My heart sunk.
What laid in front of me were the flimsiest, thinnest, wrinkliest, goofiest looking pair of pants I had ever seen in my life. There are sweat pants, and then there are these things. The material was thinner than a light long-sleeve t-shirt – so thin, that when worn, the pocket lining showed through. And pockets weren’t the only thing…
When worn, the best way I can describe the look is as a saggy, loaded adult diaper on the top with full-length almost skin-tight legs on the bottom with static cling.
I put them through a load of laundry that afternoon in the hopes that my fortunes my change. No dice.
I couldn’t wear these out to the mailbox.
I couldn’t wear these in front of my wife.
And if I wore these in front of a mirror, I’d need to emergency IV a bottle of man pills in order to ever be able to gain back the confidence to perform again.
I had been had.
Mail order comfort pants from a coupon clipper? For real? There are times when you think you might be dumb, and then there are times when you know you are dumb. This was the latter.
And with that, I will leave you to paint a similar picture of the dumbest thing you’ve ever bought. It should be fun. Cheers.