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  1. Opinion

Bidets, Nutella and guinea pigs: What you bought in quarantine

Stephanie Hayes | I asked for the wild things you ordered during lockdown. You did not disappoint.

I sent the link from across the room, because in 2020, this is how people talk to each other.

The description was succinct: Shiatsu Neck Back and Shoulder Massager for Home Office Use Corded Electric - Great Gift Idea.

“That will look good in the donation pile in two years,” my husband wrote back.

“My back hurts!” I yelled. Just then, and I am not making this up, a package thumped against the front door. What was it? I don’t even know anymore.

There’s an aspirational version of myself, a person who shuns mass consumerism, who buys goods only from local artisans and cares about increasing the prosperity of people besides Jeff Bezos. Then there is the quarantine version of myself, a monster.

When the pandemic first reached us, folks were buying the basics — toilet paper, hand sanitizer, freezer meat. We were resourceful students of the Fertile Crescent. Now, well into month five of social distancing, we are not strong, nor well.

Experts say the coronavirus is not likely to spread via mail or packages (but wash your hands). Still, I want to thank and apologize to the hardworking delivery drivers. For in this time of isolation, I have made some… interesting online purchases.

  • A 28-ounce can of miniature Peruvian peppers
  • A leather fanny pack that says, “I love fashion but want to reduce hand contact in these uncertain times.”
  • An eyebrow pencil that is supposed to give a microbladed effect but instead looks like I took a Sharpie to my face in a fit of despair
  • CBD dog treats
  • Gold clogs from Martha Stewart’s shoe line
  • And the absolute worst decision, one of those matching, tie-dye lounge wear sets that reads cool and effortless on models but transformed me into a sixth-grader at band camp.

To feel less alone, I asked readers to share the strange and also helpful things they’ve amassed during quarantine. Emerging themes include bidets, food and regret. I’ll share a selection below.

By the way, I ordered the massager. Email me for a review.

• • •

What readers ordered in quarantine

$42 worth of Cadbury candy bars from UK vendor. — Eleanor Dorta, Tampa

Worst thing: Stayed up too late and spent $50 on “vintage CDs.” Best thing: a fringe jacket to wear when we can leave the house again. — Emily Cunningham, Land O’ Lakes

I had a bidet in my Amazon cart for about a year, then pulled the trigger March 16. Dumbest thing: pedal boat. Still never used it. — Leslie Pingley, Land O’ Lakes

Worst: “Magic” dog bed seen in Facebook ad (rejected by dog). Best: Ninja Foodi (worth every penny, we love it!). — Helen Amburgey, Clearwater

The kids wanted pets, so we bought two guinea pigs. One of my worst decisions. The best things I bought were new bikes and a new laptop. — Rita Farley, Wesley Chapel

I ordered online a CASE of Nutella. The store was out! Could not face pandemic without that. — Sheila Plant, St. Petersburg

My best and worst thing is the same thing: My “Make America Exotic Again!” tank top, after binging the Tiger King series on Netflix! — Heather Parsons, Dunedin

Best: Nice Frontgate pool noodles. Worst: Expensive bodysuit I saw a celebrity wearing on social media. Send help. — Ashley Hackl, Clearwater

We just bought an RV! We’ve been wanting one for a long time. — Tori Danushevsky, St. Petersburg

Best purchase was a Hydrow, a home rowing machine with live, outdoor rowing technology. Rowing “live” with a team has helped me lose 20 pounds! — Courtney Corey, Clearwater

Found a small business in Charleston that farm raises oysters — Lowcountry Oyster Co. FedEx arrives the day after harvested. Yum! — Greg Rix, Davis Islands

Best: Inflatable pool for my backyard, hammock. Worst: Same inflatable pool, because it had a rip after only a couple of uses. — Brock Bjorn, Davis Islands

I’ve finally found a COMFY AND FLATTERING jumpsuit for my tall, big booty body. Patagonia’s Fleetwith Romper. — Mallory Arents, St. Petersburg

Best thing: Husband says his new bidet attachment. Worst thing: My husband’s new bidet attachment. I’ll use the other toilet, thank you! — Mo Marton, South Pasadena

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