I’m one of those people who can be walking down the sidewalk and stop dead in my tracks if I see something in a window that speaks to me. It doesn’t always have to be ‘bright and shiny’ but the effect is the same. I’m dazzled. It doesn’t always have to be a window either. It can be something I see on TV and decide I HAVE to have but then sometimes when I get it, the bright and shiny turns out to be dull and drab. Which begs the question – how did my perception get so skewed?

Over the years, I’ve fallen for my share of MUST HAVE, GUARANTEED TO GET RESULTS, CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT products advertised on radio, TV, in print, or on line. For instance – the ‘skinny’ pants that were guaranteed to reduce the size of my hips and thighs ‘just by wearing them’ turned out to be a real joke. The fact that I was young and impressionable and actually thought I had a big butt back then is little excuse but desperate times and all that. (Still trying to figure out what could possibly have been desperate about the size of my hips when I was a size 4 at the time – ah youth and the stupidity inherent to it.)

On the flip side of youth I’ve also bought my share of anti-aging creams, and make-up guaranteed to ‘defy wrinkles.’

I’ve bought a George Foreman grill because i like George and, well, George said I needed it.

I’ve worn plaid because it was the current style, paisley for the same reason. I’m not a slave to trends but I sometimes think I ought to at least make the effort to ride a current wave.

I’ve considered getting a tattoo. But then I thought about the pain and the probability that a sexy little rose bud tattooed above my left breast would eventually turn into a long stemmed debacle.

So what about you? Do you dive into the latest fad with no misgivings? To you watch QVC or some other shopping channel and pick up that phone because you just HAVE to have THAT amazing product??? What kind of impulse buys have you made that either made you laugh at yourself or curse yourself later? What kind of bright shiny things will stop you in your tracks? And how many George Foreman grills DO you have?


About cindygerard

Cindy Gerard is a New York Times best-selling author of action packed romantic suspense novels. Learn more about Cindy at
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  1. Terry Odell says:

    I think I've been spared by a tight budget. And my mom was always sending those miracle whatevers she saw on TV, and they never worked, so I wasn't as tempted to try all the sparkly stuff. I'm a generic kind of gal. Although we are going to have to buy a new bed, and the Sleep Number commercials are luring me. Especially since the hubster and I have totally different preferences when it comes to firmness.

  2. Cindy Gerard says:

    As a rule, I don't go off the deep end – again, tight-fisted Midwestern upbringing. But sometimes, it's the more staple things I'm lured to buy, hoping they will be the be all and end all and I'm often disappointed by those purchases too.

  3. Funny you should ask, Cindy. I collect stuff. If one is good, fifteen would be just great. E-Bay is my worst temptation. The grand girls have imminent birthdays, and they are into American Girl dolls. Each has one. Each has her eye on a second character. Well. Not only have I found GREAT DEALS on the wished for dolls, but in the process I have been throwing in clothes and accessories. (Did I mention my own doll collection? Ahem. I had to go cold turkey on that hobby. For myself. For the grands, well, that's different, right? So last night I caught myself doing that "gotta get this no matter what" dance over a quilt for Kirsten. The doll is retired. You can't get this stuff. anymore. This could be the last one available on the face of the earth. Must have, must have, must….Stop! Get a hold of yourself, woman. Take a deep breath. Walk away. Enough is enough.Who said less is more?

  4. Kathleen O says:

    I must admit to a few impulsive buys, espeicially when it come to purses and shoes.. They are a weakness with me… And I have bought a few gadgets..But most items I have to budget for…

  5. Cindy Gerard says:

    LOL, Kathy. I've been eying the American Dolls for my granddaughters but i KNOW that 'that way lies danger'.I do have a collection of Pipka Santas that I prowl E-bay looking for. Have gotten into some horrendous bidding wars over old St. Nick.

  6. Cindy Gerard says:

    I've always had to budget, too, Kathleen. And old habits die yard. When I was younger and money was even tighter, that issue more than anything kept me from a lot of impulse buys.For the most part, I merely look at the bright shiny things but oh, the temptation is great

  7. Keri Ford says:

    I'm a sucker for TV stuff. I don't think ever ordered off tv, but if I see it in the store, I'm sold.Those silly FlirtyGirls fitness dvds are luring me right now. I'm so burned out on my workouts that I see those and I see fun and silliness and different. My near empy bank account is the only thing saving me right now. Prolly the only time that is a good thing!

  8. Michele Hauf says:

    I admit I grab the impulse stuff by the cash register as I'm waiting to check out. THey know I can't help but browse over the magazines or candy bars, and really, I do need to know what Lady Gaga says about her ex-boyfriend. 😉 Biggest impulse buy ever was the Select Comfort bed. Order the free video now! Try the bed in your home, free for 90 days! We did. And we loved it.

  9. Oh, Cindy those AG dolls are terrific. Educational. Really! The books make them even more interesting to the kids.Older GD wants Kaya, the beautiful Nez Perce doll. While the quality is not as good as the pre-Mattel doll (we have 1 of those), they're still very nice, and the costumes are pretty authentic. I've grabbed a fancy dance outfit and a jingle dress that are just adorable. I'm making a dance shawl to go with them.

  10. lois greiman says:

    I'm too cheap to be an impulse buyer. I can literally consider an item for years. Luckily, for the well being of the flagging US economy, hubby makes up for my failings. 🙂

  11. Cindy Gerard says:

    Keri – I've actually only ever ordered a couple of things off TV over the years. one was a lint roller that was guaranteed to collect dog hair – not so much. Can't even remember what the other was but i know it turned out to be a joke.This may sound obsolete, but have you tried the Richard Simmons 'Sweating to the Oldies 1' DVD? The music is great and its a really good workout.

  12. Cindy Gerard says:

    Michele – I've really given a lot of thought to the select comfort bed too. haven't heard of anyone who doesn't like theirs. Have to put it on hold though. After we get done with this bathroom remodel, I'm on total hiatus from spending! budget? What budget?

  13. Cindy Gerard says:

    Kathy – I'm thinking this coming Christmas might just be the time for the American Doll. Or, the oldest, Kayla will be 9 in June. Is she too old to start with the American Girls?

  14. Helen Brenna says:

    I think I'm immune to impulse buying. Probably too cheap, like Lois. The only thing I can think of every buying on impulse was, back in high school – a black pinstrip pair of pants with matching vest and gray silk blouse. I probably looked liked a John Travolta sidekick from Saturday Night Fever!

  15. Cindy Gerard says:

    Lois – you know, truthfully, most of my purchasing is done after much thoughtful consideration. Particularly for the bigger purchases. For instance, I shopped and shopped and shopped for a new bedspread. Took months before I felt I got what I wanted for the money.

  16. Cindy Gerard says:

    Helen – I can totally see you in that outfit under a disco strobe light :o)Even if you don't buy it, though, what kind of bright shiny things attract you guys?

  17. Terry Odell says:

    We're off to go bed shopping. And thanks for the recommendation!

  18. Hah. I just saw some face cream on HSN that I thought I just had to have last Saturday. Then I read the reviews and saved myself the money.Years ago we bought an Ab-Roller…and ended up with two. I don't know what happened to them but they were actually pretty good and similar to what I've used in a boot camp setting.

  19. Christie, I'm with you on the reviews. I've always used Consumer Report on big ticket stuff, and now you can check up on anything with the internet. I really do check out the big stuff. And I'll try 20 pr of shoes in several stores before settleing on one, which I'll wear for 10 years. But, oh, those vintage items. And the kids' toys. Especially the dolls. I'm just so glad they like dolls as much as I do.Cindy, 9 is a great age for American Girl dolls. The stuff ain't cheap, so the have to be old enough to want to take care of it.

  20. Cindy Gerard says:

    I have a friend who has a house full of Barby Dolls she bought on Home shopping. She loves them and they really make her happy so I guess it's a question of what works for you.Christie – The ONLY reason I missed out on the ab roller is that it looked like too much work :o)

  21. Cindy Gerard says:

    Kathy E – do you recommend shopping for the American Doll on e-bay or on the AD site?

  22. Jane says:

    I only have one George Forman grill. I really want one of those buckwheat pillows.

  23. Cindy Gerard says:

    Jane – Okay. I'm in the dark. buckwheat pillow??? give me dets!!

  24. Jane says:

    I've been seeing the commercials for them a lot lately. It's called the Sobakawa Cloud Pillow and contours to your neck and shoulders. It's filled with 10 million air beads and supposedly last for 300 years.

  25. I've heard of those Buckwheat pillows. I think a few years ago Oprah bragged about them and then everyone on the planet rushed out to get them:) I'm hooked on latex pillows so I don't have a buckwheat. I know, latex sounds really S&M but they are super comfy, hypoallergenic, resistant to mites and creepy things and last for a long time. The best part for me is that they do not get hot like memory foam does.Impulse buys? I'm a sucker for kitchen gadgets! I've toned it down for budgetary reasons but I love to look at them. QVC really tempts me with all their shiny toys. I do love their Temptations stuff too. Now I just have to avoid even watching, otherwise I'll be tempted to add to my already complete set.

  26. Debra Dixon says:

    Okay, I'll confess.I printed off a list of credit cards and put them in the bedside table drawer because I was tired of being trapped in an infomercial and unable to buy without getting out of bed and hunting down my purse.I don't go crazy but there are products I've wanted to try.Sad, but true.And, yes, we have the George Foreman grill.

  27. Cindy Gerard says:

    Jane – news to me. But 300 years. Wow. That pillow would be a legacy :o)

  28. Cindy Gerard says:

    Anna – I think it's a good thing I've decided I'm just going to avoid any of the shopping network shows. I sat down once and accidentally ended up on one of those channels and I could see immediately that they could become addictive. I decided then and there to stay away ;o)

  29. Cindy Gerard says:

    Deb – LOL. I can see you at night grabbing that phone and dialing …

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