Holiday jingle-jangle can be expensive, heavy, and confusing

Fawn Musick

I made it through Thanksgiving and all the coconut pie and only gained two pounds. Whew! My plan at Thanksgiving was that if I wanted a piece of pie I walked over to the fridge and got a piece of pie. I did this several times. I think it is a great stress reliever. I’m not sure a pie diet is called for year-round, but for one week, it was ideal.

On Black Friday, I refused to go anywhere. It could be that I was full of pie and other things. Ha! On the Saturday after Black Friday, I was not really interested in going shopping, even though I do try my best to support all the local businesses. I am not entirely certain that the Sunday after Black Friday, after Small Business Saturday, has a name, but I did not shop then either.

However, on the Monday after the Sunday without a label, I opened my computer and saw CYBER MONDAY sales! I had totally forgotten about this shopping day. When hubs got to work on Monday morning, he texted back that we would have to go on diets because his Thanksgiving feast was more than two pounds! I let that simmer in the back recesses of my mind.

Monday evening, I was scrolling through my phone and thought that what we needed was one of those fancy bicycles with the computer attached. It was still Cyber Monday, and I might get a good bargain. I told hubs that we could move out the recliners and place the bicycles in front of the television and pedal our way through one show per night and lose some weight. I took his loud snore as confirmation that we needed to bicycle more.

More than nothing, that is! More is kind of a joke because we don’t currently bicycle at all. BUT, when he had his knee replacement, we got on the stationary bikes at the gym and did just fine. Bicycles were just what we needed to get back into the youthful shape we lost a while back.

I saw the commercials about the woman sneaking out into the garage to pedal away her stress, and she looked pretty good. Her bicycle was hooked up to a computer, and she made it seem so easy. Hubby snored, and I began to scroll. I started with the brand of the bicycle in the commercials.

Heavenly Days! I would need to take out a 36-month loan to pay for it! I added in the Cyber Monday discount and still nearly fainted. I searched for other — lesser — brands and some came with shoes and small weights, others came with towels and a fan on the handlebars, and they all came with a large price tag.

I scrolled to the lowest model. Not the Pro. Not the Ultra. Not the Tour de France. But the regular, basic, use-my-own-iPad model. I am down to a 12-month pay-off. Add in the Cyber Monday discount, and still, I am not sure it is worth it. I had no idea that bicycles could cost so much, and most of them had an additional monthly charge so that we could join Internet classes and fitness programs.

I needed to re-think our new fitness program. Cyber Monday was a bust.

I had new resolve on Tuesday. We didn’t need bicycles; we would stick to our shared salad each day at lunch. That is a good, healthy plan. When I went to get our salad on Tuesday, I was told that there were no salads and no wraps because of the lettuce scare. I got soup. It was cold, and the soup worked.

On Wednesday I talked to hubs about our new fitness plan and told him that the bicycles were out and that the salads had been put on hold. He looked a confused, and then I remembered he was not really awake back on Cyber Monday to know that bicycles now cost more than our first car. I re-explained my plan to him about cycling our way through Blacklist and Criminal Minds to total fitness.

“You are just going to move out the chairs and put in bicycles?”

“Yes, well, I thought maybe just for the winter.” I smiled sheepishly. “While we lose some weight.”

“But,” he added, “for now I can continue to relax in my chair until you come up with something else?”

Fitness Plans are so difficult!

And so, one more Thanksgiving filled with wonderful memories and pie while avoiding all the advertising jingle-jangle of over-priced items that we really don’t need, even if they look really cool.

Fawn Musick is a Princeton Times columnist, a mom, and a blogger. To read more of her work, visit To contact her, write