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My Kitchen is Full of Gadgets I Never Use

Software Developer Mike Rispoli’s buyer’s remorse. Published: March 03, 2019

Shopping is both a science and an art. There are rational steps you can take in pursuit of a fail proof purchase, but some alchemy of luck and chance ultimately play a role. Social and environmental factors make an impact, too—that braided leather lanyard was the perfect sartorial accessory when you backpacked through Italy, but now it looks pretty ridiculous on the streets of New York City. Buyer’s remorse happens to the best of us. This column is for commiserating about it.

Mike Rispoli is a software developer working in New York City and the Head of Technology at Quiddity. Read on for his shopping regrets.

As told to Frances Thomas.


My greatest buyer’s remorse of all time is the iPad. I wish I used it more. Every couple of months I’ll charge it up, bring out the keyboard, and say to myself, “Okay, today I’m going to use this for something.” And then it just goes back into the closet.

The first generation was given to me as a gift, and I didn’t use it. And then I went and bought myself the second one, thinking it would make a lightweight laptop replacement for working on the train.

Doing any kind of real work on it is next to impossible, and programming is particularly difficult. You have to jump through so many hoops. I think my wife plays games on it? It’s somewhere between a real computer and a phone: it doesn’t do what the computer is supposed to do, while my phone does everything it can do with the advantage of being much smaller.

Beyond the iPad, I own so much baby stuff that I never use. For example, we have one baby, but for some reason we have at least three different kinds of rockers. A lot of our baby stuff was gifted, so my remorse is more on behalf of the friends and family who bought it for us. When you have a baby shower, people fail to take into account when you’re having the baby, so they’ll get you winter clothes for a six-month-old baby, but it was July when my baby was six months old.

An averted buyer’s remorse item is the MamaRoo, this very expensive thing that automatically rocks the baby. It has all these different settings and retails for over $200. And it’s crap. Thankfully, we had a friend who had two of them, so we got to try it out before buying one. We put the baby in it and he liked it for a second. But he didn’t like it enough for that price tag! I would have been super annoyed if we’d bought that.

Another huge category for my buyer’s remorse is kitchen appliances. Let’s see, where to begin… I have a Nespresso machine, but the problem with it is you can’t get those freaking pods anywhere. Target and tons of other places sell Nespresso machines, but they’re not authorized to sell the pods. So I have to go to Bloomingdale’s in the mall to get the pods, which is a pain in the ass (I’m not a mall person). I want to be able to just go to the supermarket and get the pods. The Nespresso machine makes a delicious espresso, I will give that to them, but they need to make the pods available at more places.

Another one is our ice cream maker. My wife used it once and now it just sits there. Ice cream is an indulgence; it’s one of those things that you’re just better off buying. Ben & Jerry’s will always be better.

We once bought a lemon juicer to make fresh lemonade, which we used exactly one time.

We bought the pasta maker for the KitchenAid mixer and we’ve used it maybe twice. It’s a lot of work to make your own pasta. And it’s a huge mess. Also, the fresh pasta doesn’t keep well in the fridge, so you have to eat it right when you make it.

We have this cookie dough stamper that splats the dough out into different shapes using interchangeable attachments. The dough doesn’t come out nice and clean and it’s a huge mess. Regular old cookie cutters are the way to go.

This story is a part of The Goods™, a series about the stuff we have, the stuff we love, and the intersection between the two.

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