Grandma's Catalog

(Classic My Hometown Column)
(published in Picayune Item)

Have you ever received in the mail one of those catalogs that has all kinds of stuff for sale mostly items your grandparents would buy?

I call it a grandma’s catalog because the merchandise displayed page after page is mainly items an elderly person would purchase, or has already, like girdles, hearing aids, and liniments.

Granted, I am not that green behind the ears and will be in need of such items in the near future.

One example is Dr. Leonard’s, a healthcare catalog which for some strange reason arrived at my door.

Is someone trying to tell me something, like maybe I need to start stocking up on senior citizen paraphernalia? Am I sliding over the slope of the hill?

You've seen these glossy catalogs which always specialize in undergarments, those body shape girdles to squeeze in what doughnuts have spread out. They got real full figure bras that fasten with dozens of reinforced hooks and in a special eye catching box advertises that it comes in sizes up to 56DDD.

Is that a Dolly-sized contraption?

At first glance, many of the items appear to be about comfort, like the Dr. Scholls shoes that are not as fashionable but sure could take you a few extra miles. The fleece cover for your recliner could be useful.

Then there are the uncomfortable items, such as the urine gone product which effectively removes new and old urine stains from surfaces. (Let’s assume that it’s for pets.)

Electronics that are hard to find are also in the catalog, such as a record player which plays your favorite 33 1/3, 45 and 78 RPM records…or albums.

Can you imagine one of our teens getting a hold of that and trying to play a CD on it? Or even worse, doing that DJ scratchy thing the rappers and like use them for!

I can’t say I miss scratch sounds but it is kind of nostalgic, the sound of a LP, skipping, scratching and spinning.

Grandma’s catalog has miracle drugs for those who are worried about aging. It advertises instant face lifts. It can make you look years younger in minutes, it states, no need for surgery, injections or painful procedures. Is this a good ideal? To sell plastic surgery replacement products?

On page 22 another ad claims you can transplant hair in 30 seconds by shaking tiny hair fibers over your thinning spots or on the same page a product that can clean out your colon with a pill. Across the page, you find surgical steel sharp scissors specially designed to cut the toughest toenails easily.

I can’t take the visuals playing in my head.

Keep shopping and you find toilet seat risers. What are they used for? For the days when rising from the throne is hard to do, this keeps you two inches higher from the fray.

The Wart, Mole, and Liver Spot Cream might be a seller for us younger folks if it were marketed a little differently, like not mentioning the fact about warts, moles, and liver spots.

Near the end of the catalog, there is an ‘adult’ section included in the catalog, and I mean adult!

For mature audiences has been the theme throughout the publication, but these products want to enhance, enlarge, and other things I just can’t mention in polite conversation! Yes it’s in grandma’s catalog. This section advertises videos that can instruct or remind those about more intimate activities. But never fear, one page over brings you back to redemption advertising the easy to read Large Print Bible in the deluxe King James Version. Oh, and don’t forget the nude aerobics video when you turn to the following page.

Senior citizens sure do have a lot of help aids, like the attachment for canes so that you can walk in snow and ice, denture repair kits, incontinence systems, and a nice basket for your walker.

Items us young-lings never think we will ever need.

We need our own catalog, for the not quite there yet group, with helpful products for those of us in the fast lane, rat race, children challenged life we live in.

Products like Super-industrial Calgon bubbles that repel children. Every time I try to let Calgon take me away I have to listen to a knock on the door, a question, a fight outside the door, and a whinny voice asking how long am I going to be?

What about toilet seat hydraulic suspensions that lower the seat whenever it has been left up by the special man in your life.

I love the miracle products for hair loss and face lifts, but what about one that replaces all the brain cells I seem to have misplaced after birthing children, or for husbands who are unable to find whatever they are looking for.

Could Dr. Scholls please provide an extremely padded and comfortable shoe that also looks like it weighs less than a pound and has a heel to it?

Women need comfortable shoes however we don’t want to look comfortable?

Just like the overly supportive undergarments, just add a bit of lace and color and I’m there. Victoria Secret all support system with ribbons and lace but fully functional. Now that would sell in a not-so-old grandma catalog.

Instead of devices to raise you out of chairs and beds, we in the prime of our lives, need devices to raise our children out of their beds and chairs. Cattle prods could be packaged, renamed and sold to parents tired of dragging their offspring from leisure positions. Maybe ‘Off your lazy butt pad” would suffice for a title. Guaranteed to lift the bottom and stand it erect, just requires a couple of double A batteries for the tiny charge of electricity.

We could use some energy pill that keeps us going and going and going like the Bunny. I’ll buy that miracle drug.

But for now, I will glance through grandma’s catalog and be thankful I am not there yet. But my body keeps saying as if it were a kid in the back seat, “Are we there yet? Are we there yet?” Some days I’m not sure.

At least I am not a grandma …yet!


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