Water Pills, Legwarmers and Get-a-Man Perfume: Stuff I've Bought That I Am Ashamed I Love

This is stuff I actually really love and use, even though I am sort of ashamed. Please don't tell anybody.

Nov 15, 2011 at 6:00pm | Leave a comment

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I love Cat's product roundups, because no matter how self-deprecating they get, she's still her own, Internet-controversial-ly coconuts form of chic. 

You know, like, "I was just having unprotected sex on a pile of medicine. Afterward, I gargled with the same $119-a-bottle French lavender water that Jean Seberg used to iron the sheets she died in."

Even the non-pricey products seem somehow modish, in only the way that your Much Cooler friend can make regular things seem compulsively buyable simply by standing next to it. (Take Mr. Bubble, for instance) See also: Mindy Kaling's incredible Things I've Bought That I Love, which makes me say stuff like, "Why haven't I been buying more Norse yogurt??? I hope nobody knows, about the not buying Norse yogurt!"

Hoooooowever! I myself buy a lot of products that I find useful, nay, indispensable, that I have a hard time admitting I love. I mean, these are not products that sane, cool people buy or own with shocking the regularity that I own/buy them.

But here I am, showing you mine, because this is stuff I actually really love and use, even though I am sort of ashamed to:

Leg Warmers

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If you're like me, you make merciless internal fun of people who walk around urban areas looking like they're on their way to audition for "A Chorus Line." But, if you're REALLY like me, you refuse to stop wearing jorts,  yea though it be winter. It's not like I'm leaving the house in them, but for those among us who sleep fitfully enough to get tangled in the simplest yoga pants and smallest nighties, these are great pair-with-panties-and-tank winter pajamas.

Crystal Deodorant

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Tom's of Maine generally irritates me with their crunchiness and the weird Hulu commercials that imply that they're harboring some horrible secret (seriously!) but my friend Joe kept evangelizing for their deodorant and he's 9 feet tall and vurry real about his sweating. I have a sincere, teamster-esque tendency to perspire in anything over walk-in freezer temp, so I have basically tried everything. This stuff works. Don't get the citrus scented kind, though -- it smells like a children's hospital.

This Springy Hair Removal Thing
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Technically I did not buy this, because a company sent it to me, but, oh my God. All you hairy ladies, all you hairy ladies: This is perfect for eyebrows, lips, whatever. It does not feel super pleasant (the ad copy says it feels like a tingle, but it's more like a sustained pinch), but holy geez, does this thing do the trick. You just roll it over a larger area like an upper lip or over a tiny precise one, like a stray brow hair. I have used this to denude a spot I missed shaving on my leg, in a moving taxi cab. I carry it with me everywhere. You need this.

Flossing Picks

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I never thought I would be the kind of person who buys and hoards floss sticks. Maybe I just like the name "Oral-B" because it sounds like a dirty prison nickname. But these things are great for people who are too lazy to cut their own floss, and plus the have a cool little hook-y thing for the overly enthusiastic popcorn eater/spinach aficionada.

Target Spanx
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I am way too hard on Spanx to buy their somewhat esspensive hose and tights, because I wear them with my old shitkicker cowboy boots and they tear. Solution: Assets, the cheapee version of Spanx. The janky kind you can buy at Target are just as effective and half the cost. (I call them "Janx.") They're not as high qual as the real thing, but you won't feel as outraged if you get a huge run in them the second fucking time your wear them, Spanx.

That Perfume Specially Formulated to Make Men Like You
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No, this isn't the kind with human hormones that they sell to monster creeps with disposable income in the back of in-flight magazines. Harvey Prince makes really nice, affordable perfumes based on stuff men say makes them horny in those studies they write up in Cosmo (like pumpkin pie spice and virgin blood). This was another thing sent to me at my old job and I just really liked the scent (adding credence to my secret fear that I'm one of those women who doesn't know she has testicles until she gets x-rayed after a bike accident).  I don't want to be weird, here, but… the man-trapping thing works. (I am not naturally charming.)

O Magazine
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Oh, oh, I'M sorry. Have you tried the coconut shrimp recipe from October '10? Did you read about Jonathan Lethem's AHA moment? Do you know what Michelle Obama's favorite breakfast is? No? Then shut up!

Stuff from Lands End

My sister and I used to give my stepmother so much garbage for shopping exclusively at Land's End, which might as well be called Subdued Solid Color Items for the Somewhat Younger Lady Who Married Your Dad Quarterly. But you know what? Their luggage is really great (that's my suitcase above) and if you break it, they will replace it without demanding to know whether or not you dropped it doing that thing where you run up a "down" escalator. Their blankets are amazing and they always have sales and I like to monogram stuff when I'm drunk. I SAID SHUT UP.

Non-Prescription Glasses
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Established: I obsessively buy glasses and I am obscenely nearsighted. But sometimes, halfway through an evening out, I don't want to wear my glasses anymore. Like if it's snowing, raining, hot, or I suddenly decide I don't want to look like I work at "Ghostbusters" HQ. So I'll occasionally buy a vintage pair and not replace the lenses with my Rx, or I will (shock and awe here) buy a new pair with dummy lenses. My friend Weber thinks this makes me a huge hipster, but if eyeglasses are the only piece of jewelry you wear, then why not? Your earrings don't help you hear and that doesn't make you a huge hearing ear fraud. (I like Warby Parker and eBay for this.)

Diurex
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I KNOW. I know! But I fly on planes a lot and as I get nearer and nearer to pushing 30, my body doesn't regulate its interstitial fluid like it used to. If you're a little bloaty or you get the occasionally leg swells from too much PF Chang's (Don't. Don't even act like you've never gotten the leg swells from too much PF Chang's), these are actually good at quickly de-puffing you. I know -- I'm a nightmare.

Turnabout is fair play, Clarice. Now that you know my dark, water-pill secrets, tell me what products you'd prefer were shipped to your house in a discreet brown porn wrapper. (I will accept "porn" as an answer.)