Sunday 18 August 2019

Can a bra-holder help you navigate the age of uncertainty?

For the woman who has them all (but doesn't know where to put them): Brasserie Travel Bag ($24.99) from Nalai & Co
For the woman who has them all (but doesn't know where to put them): Brasserie Travel Bag ($24.99) from Nalai & Co
Katie Byrne

Katie Byrne

What should canny investors put their money into next year? Cryptocurrencies? Lithium stocks? Property in Bucharest?

No, no and no. If you want to get real bang for your buck, now is the time to buy shares in companies that sell acrylic desk tidies and 'clever storage solutions'.

Ivanka Trump: doll Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Ivanka Trump: doll Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Think about it: our living spaces are becoming smaller but our material possessions continue to grow. The obvious solution is to buy less, and live lighter, but that would be much too easy. And how else are we supposed to validate our existence?

No, we'll just get ourselves out of this the way we got into it; we'll catch a breather from the stifling stuffocation of modern life by buying more stuff - namely over-priced plastic trays with dinky little compartments and Tupperware boxes that stack inside each other like Russian dolls.

Storage is no longer a solution; it's a lifestyle, as US-based online emporium Nalai & Co proved when they recently sold out of their last batch of the 'Brassiere Travel Bag' ($24.99) in just eight hours.

The Brassiere Travel Bag isn't only the ideal gift for the woman who has everything (but common sense). It also "keeps your expensive bras organised when you travel" and comes in "six fun colours" (which is more fun than the type of person who purchases a bra-holder has ever had in her life).

Nalai & Co, who have 62,000 Likes on Facebook, also sell a bag especially designed for the transportation of boots along with a six-piece Travel Luggage Organiser ($24.99), which includes laundry pouches that say 'laundry pouch' on the front of them... just in case you develop amnesia and forget their purpose. They think of everything!

The Travel Luggage Organiser is another best-seller for Nalai & Co. One customer said she wouldn't travel without it. Another praised the "neat and tidy" design, adding that she finally knows where everything is.

The most telling comment, however, came from a woman who has yet to make the investment: "I need this," she wrote. "It will make me feel like I have my life together."

And therein lies the rub. Ostensibly, these companies are selling storage solutions that eliminate clutter and make travelling a little smoother. Really, they are peddling the illusion of control; the notion that you can navigate the age of uncertainty with the right bra-holder tucked safely under your arm.

Storage solution providers know that modern lives are like your messy bedside drawer - the one filled with tangled wires and extraneous knick-knacks: you've been meaning to tidy it up but you don't know where to start.

Sure, you've read about the importance of compartmentalising your schedule, but these days it feels like it has all blurred into one. You answer work emails at home; you shop from your bed; you have mastered the art of preparing dinner while listening to a podcast, helping your children with their homework and chatting to your mother on Skype.

And so the promise of a product with "eight handy compartments" becomes all the more seductive. Who knows, maybe a six-shelf sweater organiser will help you see the wood from the trees? Or, at the very least, differentiate your summer clothes from your winter clothes.

The people who walk into shops that sell storage solutions aren't just hoping to eliminate physical clutter. They want to overcome the emotional clutter of fear, uncertainty and anxiety. And besides, an over-the-door purse-holder is cheaper than a therapist.

Locked out of the housing market and languishing in Generation Rent? Well, look no further than the acrylic three-door make-up organiser! Boyfriend troubles? Just get a 10-drawer tallboy. Drinking problem? Nothing a 42-wine-bottle rack can't handle.

Otherwise, just close your eyes, take a deep breath and slowly recite the mantra of the modern age: com-part-ments.

Tax reform isn't child's play, Ivanka

Many of Ivanka Trump's critics have called the special advisor to the president a "puppet", but perhaps it would be more accurate to think of her as one of those pull-string dolls that comes preloaded with recorded catchphrases.

The My First Tax Reform Ivanka Doll, if you will, couldn't wait to meet her friends on the Fox News couch on Monday. And when the hosts pulled her string, she duly delivered a pre-loaded soundbite of empty rhetoric on the Republican tax plan, while looking absolutely adorable in a tailored black dress.

On the plus side, the plan apparently includes a provision for Mandarin tutors for the children of working parents.Towards the end of the interview, host Ainsley Earhardt asked Ivanka about her six-year-old daughter Arabella's much-publicised Mandarin language skills. "What are you doing at home?"

"I'm very fortunate to be able to have a lot of help to be able to support me," replied the My First Tax Reform Ivanka Doll. "Because I definitely could not have taught her how to do that.

"And that's what we're trying to do with tax reform, enable more working parents to be able to get the support that they need to be able to thrive as a family."

Indeed.

Irish Independent

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