Shopping High

Day 322

I had some difficulty getting home last weekend and had the pleasure of spending about seven hours in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Airport.  That’s a lot of time to fill.

I finished my book.

I ate lunch.

I checked Facebook obsessively.

I dozed off.

I traded my book for a magazine with another woman in the airport and then I read that. (I thought that was a rather clever Simple Year feat)

Then I turned my attention to all of those stores hawking their wares in the terminal.

No shortage of last minute gifts.

No shortage of last minute gifts.

I’ve found airports in major cities are basically shopping malls behind security, offering beleaguered and delayed travelers the opportunity to impulse buy things like logoed coffee mugs, and hand-blown glass animals.

Do you know what? You can even buy  iPods out of vending machines.  That takes a lot of quarters.

Electronic devices out of a vending machine.  What could go wrong?

Electronic devices out of a vending machine. What could go wrong?

In real life, I would never even give a second look to these types of gifts shops, but there is something about being trapped in the airport that leads to strange behavior. I actually found myself wishing I was still buying things, because I suddenly had a compulsion to own some of that cute Native American jewelry, and spent time lingering over the Kachina doll selection.

A Kachina doll?

I haven’t really had the impulse to buy many things over the last few months which is probably aided by the fact I stay out of most stores, other than those that sell groceries.  I realized that when in the right situation, I’m still not immune to the temptation to buy one of those cushy neck pillows that are somehow inexplicable priced 2 for $20. Who has two necks?

So, I finally escaped the den of consumer inequity or “terminal” as they call it, only to board the plane and have my eyes drawn to the SkyMall Magazine.  Do you know this catalog that is always found in the seat back pocket wedged in between the barf bag and the sticky safety instructions that no one actually “follows along with” as instructed?  Well, SkyMall magazine is like a greatest hits compilation of the mail order world with a variety of vendors offering wares  at 28,000 feet.  For instance you can buy something to train your cat to use the toilet. It comes with a DVD.  Also offered is the Torso Toner and Bottoms Up Boxer Brief which as far as I can tell are girdles for men.  And there is my personal favorite, the bacon throw and pillow.  Actually, the whole catalog is like the Ripley’s Believe it Or Not of the retail industry.

If you have somehow missed the SkyMall magazine, you can check out the online version here.  I’ve often wondered if the items are as interesting on solid ground as they are hurtling through the atmosphere.

So if you haven’t rushed off to read the catalog, I have an important question. Has anyone out there ever actually bought anything from that catalog?  I’ve looked at it at least a hundred times. I’ve even dog-eared the pages (usually after one or two of those tiny bottles of wine).  But, I have never actually purchased anything and to my knowledge I don’t know anyone who has.

But someone must or they wouldn’t still be in business.  Does anyone out there have a SkyMall confession they want to make?





20 Responses to Shopping High

  1. I’ll bite. I confess I have made not only one but TWO purchases from the Sky Mall catalog. First was a shower head that changed colors based on the water pressure. It was actually quite cool. And when it died – I truly considered ordering another. The second purchase was something similar on a larger scale – a fountain for the pool that lit up and changed colors.

  2. I have never bought anything from the SkyMall magazine, but I confess that it holds a rather strange fascination for me! I have to read it when I fly, just to marvel at the strange items for sale and the ridiculous prices.

    I have occasionally bought souvenirs at the airport, but only nice ones.

  3. I’ve never bought anything, but I was really tempted once to buy that huge crossword puzzle that is as big as a wall. Not for me, for my mother in law. She is obsessed with crosswords. By the way, next time you’re at the DFW airport on a layover, let me know. I might be able to meet you for coffee. I’d love to hear about all of your adventures.

  4. Confession: I bought an aluminum mesh wallet from SkyMall for my hubby as a birthday present on my way back from a work trip to Hawaii. You know, the kind that supposedly guards against credit card info theft…. It really seemed like such a great idea especially since I could jump off the plane and tell him Happy Birthday and your present is winging it’s way to you at this moment. When it came a couple of days later….he hated it. Lucky for me, my brother-in-law loved it so I was able to re-sell to him. I’m not looking at SkyMall ever again…I learned my lesson.

    • Bruce really tried to defend the “re-purchase” of the stupid silver wallet. It finally cracked in several weird ways that only an aluminum mesh wallet can and he threw it away.

  5. Well I have to admit I have been really tempted by the huge Big Foot statue, but I can’t really decide where to put it!!

  6. OMG, I have wanted to do a post on Sky Mall! LOL It definitely gave us some great laughs on our last trip.

    I’m jealous of you, for actually having time during a layover though. The two times I’ve flown, we’ve been scurrying, no matter how much time we pad in. We did have time for some sushi, to go, on the way home from our last trip, though.

  7. Skymall is my son’s favorite reading material.

    I have a great idea for those long layovers with kids. We dreamed up and filmed an awesome movie (using only video clips from my point and shoot digital camera) at Logan Airport once when I was stuck there for 6 hours with three kids aged 4-8.

  8. I “eyed” a cheery headboard for my bed on my recent trip to Chicago. I keep thinking I will go to the website and confirm my love!

  9. I must admit that I made a purchase from that wonderfully enticing catalog several years ago. It was the Zen Alarm clock that started out 1/2 hour before you were to get up, by playing soft music and displaying dim light. Throughout that 1/2 hour, the music got louder and the light got brighter until you felt pretty good about jumping out of bed at the appropriate time. I loved that clock! Unfortunately, it didn’t last long, and I was totally disgusted with myself for spending a ridiculous amount of money on an alarm clock.

  10. I actually used to work at SkyMall. Any product that was shipped from the Phoenix warehouse was available at 40% off to employees, and once a year they would have an in-house sale of all discontinued items, demos and manufacturer samples for 75-90% off. Some items I even got for free because I knew the warehouse manager. Twenty years later I still have and use some Wusthof knives and a garlic press. I also still have a pasta machine (the crank kind) that’s never been out of the box. I think I’m going to give that to my two year old for playdough, he’ll love it!

  11. Whoa sky mall. My friend brought it back from a trip to the states and we had hours of innocent amusement. I was really confused at first – on most of the trips I do which are closer to home you buy stuff from a catalogue and they give it you there and then. I was asking my friend -‘do they have all this stuff ON THE PLANE!!! How does it take off?!!! Apparently not…

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