It’s a typical day at my parents’ house. Three televisions are blaring in unison–one tuned to a talk show or soap opera, one tuned to the History Channel and one tuned to America’s premier home shopping channel, QVC. The door bell rings and my father casually says to their dog, “Don’t move Harvey, it’s only the UPS man. Your mother has ordered something else from QVC”.
The initials stand for Quality, Value, and Convenience. My mother would say they stand for, “Quick, out of View from Charlie (my father). Eternally a shopaholic, QVC has enabled my mother to take her addiction to a new level. It started in the late 80’s with jewelry. QVC is very famous for their cubic zirconium collection, Diamonique. Gem Week is a national holiday at my parents’ house. We even nicknamed my mother, GemSandi, after her love of these semi-precious stones. She has been known to make my husband watch college football via picture in a picture so she wouldn’t miss the Value of the Day. A brave tactic only practiced by a true “Home Shopaholic”.
Similar to a natural pairing of cigarettes with alcohol, you can’t buy jewelry without buying some make-up and skincare products to go with it. Literally, UPS truckloads of Philosophy, Smashbox, Dr. Denese, Tova, Bobbie Brown, Bare Escentuals, just to name a few. The UPS man should have a reserved parking sign in front of my parents’ house with the slogan, “Over 1 million served”. I have to admit, most of the products do work well. Take Tova Borgnine’s skincare line. Tova is married to film and tv personality, Ernest Borgnine. My mother always pointed out that Ernie used Tova’s product line. Heck, he has reached the ripe old age of 93. There must be something to this age preservation stuff.
Years passed and the jewelry and make-up became a gateway for additional purchases such as false eyelashes, pots and pans, dishes, pest repellant, air fresheners, rugs, feather beds, sheets and sports collectables. And then, there was the food – crabcakes from Maryland, caramel apples as big as your head, New York style cheesecake and mouth-watering steaks to name a few. All this lead to a purchase of Nutrisystem in order to loose those extra pounds put on by all the food from QVC. When the Nutrisystem failed, there was always the “Lipo in a Box” to camouflage those unwanted bulges. In an ironic twist, the worst product she ever bought was a toilet bowl cleaning kit, that according to my mother, “Didn’t work worth a shit.”
My mother even has the UPS delivery man trained. It is not an unusual occurrence to be standing in the driveway when “Buster Brown” walks up with a blue Q cardboard box. I jokingly said to the delivery man, “I bet this is the first time you have been here.” He hands the box to my mother, doesn’t bat an eye and says, “I don’t believe I have ever delivered this before” as he gives her a knowing glance. My father rolls his eyes as she pulls out her new grey, black and white B. Makowsky handbag that she got to go with her new Bob Mackie outfit for a luncheon. In addition to designing clothes for Cher and Carol Burnett, apparently Bob Mackie is now outfitting suburban housewives who watch QVC.
With all the make-up, false eyelashes, jewelry and a Bob Mackie frock, I’m picturing Norma Desmond showing up at the luncheon. I hope she doesn’t forget her Value of the Day camera to capture the moment.