I’m 30 years old. I have a husband and two kids and a pretty chill, normal life. It’s probably time for me to give up on popularity. But here’s the thing–I had a taste of it in the past (back when I was running my business) and it’s not even so much the cool factor that I miss as much as the FREE STUFF. Now let’s be real, I’ve never been anywhere near super cool. It’s not like some random person on the street would have any idea who I am and, really, I’d prefer to keep it that way. I have no desire to be a Kardashian or come out with my own line of lip products or host my own talk show or ever be in People magazine. Unless they come out with a special issue on super boring normal people who have never cheated on their husbands and still haven’t lost the baby weight and whose greatest fashion achievement is finding off-brand slip-on sneakers that are comfortable and cute and under $20*. Then I could basically be on the cover. No, what I’m after is the free stuff.
Case in point: strollers. We currently have three. One is a double bike trailer/stroller that is in great shape, but sadly doesn’t fit through most normal size doorways (read: only really good for outdoor outings). The next is an umbrella stroller which is superior to other umbrella strollers because the handles actually come up past your waist so you don’t have to bend over when you push it, it has a basket, a sunshade, and an attached holder thing to put your keys and phone and water bottles in. Buuuut my oldest was kneeling on the foot rest strap thing one time a few years ago and busted it, so now that our next child is tall enough for his feet to reach that far it’s super annoying because his feet are constantly on the wheels. Also, the front left wheel has been ominously wobbly for a while. We’re basically just waiting for it to fall apart next time we go to the zoo. Most likely it’ll happen when we’re as far away from the car as possible. Our third stroller is an off-brand single jogging stroller that I bought for $25 at a yard sale a few years ago. It’s in surprisingly great shape for being a completely underwhelming stroller exceeeeeept for the air valve thing on one of the wheels that’s bent in a way that basically means once that tire is completely out of air (which could very likely happen by next week–no joke), that stroller’s done for.
So we currently have three strollers, but in the near future may have more like one to zero that would actually be helpful on any given outing. As a result I’ve been doing really exciting research on: strollers. Juicy, I know. It’s why People mag won’t stop calling me. Anyway, what I’ve discovered from my research and seven years as a mom so far is that, basically, most strollers are the same and not that exciting. There are pretty much three kinds: bulky strollers, jogging strollers, and cheap strollers. And I can’t say I’m super into any of them. What I’d really like is a stroller that can be a single stroller when only one kid wants to ride or be a double when we’re on a more epic outing and has a basket and an optional kickboard thing my older kid could ride on when she just wants to hop on and off. (Side note: We’ve had a sit and stand. Those things are the worst. The. Worst. Never again.) So, yeah, I want a unicorn to tote my kids around on. Except, oh wait, it DOES exist.
That’s right. Ya heard me. This stroller of my dreams is a reality. I found it. It is a real thing that can be purchased and owned and taken to the zoo in place of my almost-dead umbrella or jogger AND it even fits through normal size doorways. But yeah, if you’re thinking it’s a billion dollars, you’re right. Bahh. I mean, of course it costs as much as, well, something that’s $1, 500. If I were manufacturing dreams-come-true I’d charge that much too. It’s fair. But here’s the thing. The only reason I even know this beaut exists? Is because a blogger I follow posted about it on Instagram.
I’ve actually thought about this a lot. Not in a bitter way, just by way of observation. There are people like me–mere mortals–who would genuinely appreciate and use products like magical amazing strollers and genuinely love the companies who make them and sing their praises from the rooftops. But obviously the companies don’t solicit me to accept their products in exchange for a rave review because probably only my mom and husband and sister-in-law and college roommate would read it. Which, ya know, is fair. Especially since, even though the four people I mentioned would be totally sold on this magical stroller, none of them would shell out the $1.5K to buy it either. I mean, obviously. But here’s what I wonder about. Who are these people that actually see the blogger post about the unicorn stroller and go, “Oh sweet, that’s exactly what I want AND I have the extra cash to drop on it” and go order the thing? I feel like I see a lot of things getting promoted and #sponsored by people who obviously didn’t pay a penny for them–and it’s cool, I mean the things are legit–but I just don’t see a lot of people in the blogger’s target market fit the company’s target market. You know what I mean?
Anyway, I hope this hasn’t come off as some whiny post about not having a cool stroller or not being cool enough to get a cool stroller for free. I’ve accepted it. I just really do wonder about how these things work. I mean, not that much because I also have to, ya know, devote time to scrolling through Amazon to look through cheap sub-par strollers. It’s not like I have endless hours to devote to this highly engaging topic. But, I mean, ya know, if People magazine wanted to feature me in an article about boring people who get surprised with super expensive strollers, let’s just say I’d be down with that.
*But for reals. My favorite sneaks have holes that go all the way through. Not because I’m too poor to buy new shoes, just because I really like them and I’ve been too lazy/unmotivated to go shoe shopping with a two year old to buy new ones. So if you have any cheap slip-on Ked/Converse-like suggestions, please hit me up in the comments.