Well, except for the annual trudge through the mud in Pasadena to see the Rose Parade floats up close and personal it's all over. The Christmas ads have been replaced by the "you ate too much over Christmas and you now have a fat ass" ads. Did you ever notice, our New Year's resolutions are pretty much directly tied to what the Ad Council says they should be tied to? Turn on the TV folks, your resolutions are all out in front of you. You're going to lose some weight and quit smoking I imagine. Well, there are ads for all of this. They started in the middle of the Target Holiday campaign. Subtle, not so many of them at first but now that the stores have been gutted they're here with a vengeance. Go to the gym. Join Jenny Craig. OR Weight Watchers. Stop smoking. Have you seen the drug to help you stop smoking that contains no nicotine (that's good) and allows you to keep smoking while your taking it? Guess where the nicotine is coming from? Open an IRA before tax time. Oh, and cheer up.
I love the ads for prescription help the best, have you even listened to them? There's one for weight loss...take this pill and you'll lose the weight, it'll block 25% of the fat you've been absorbing. Ever wonder where that 25% goes? I mean, you eat it, the pill blocks it, what happens to it then? Does the pill stand in your intestine, like those guards in front of Buckingham Palace, silently guarding blocking the cheeseburger you just ingested? OR does it allow the first 75% of the cheeseburger in and then suicidally throw itself in front of the remaining quarter, all the while intoning "none shall pass"? And then, where does it go? It can't go into you, but you've eaten it. I can think of only two directions it can travel and neither one of them appeals to me. And consider the 75% of that cheeseburger the pill ISN'T going to block. How does one deal with that? Easy! The success rate of this pill is based on combining it with a program of exercise and sensible eating. In other words, I can switch to oatmeal from the Danish I'm currently eating, get up off my butt and take a walk instead of sitting here in front of the keyboard and lose 75% of my excess lard?
I'm good with that.
And we're all, I take it, clinically depressed. Not that I scoff at this, depression is a serious matter. I'm finding it hard to wrap my head around how MANY of us are clinically depressed though. Take me, for example. On Monday morning I'm going to wake up and say to myself "Oh CRAP! I have to go back to work today" instead of jumping out of bed and sticking my head out the window and singing along with the crows on the parkway. I will stay in bed until the last minute. I will then drag my sorry, tired ass out of bed and into a hot shower. I will not sing merrily in this shower, I will get shampoo in my eyes and curse the fine folks at Pantene for this. I will get out of said shower when the hot water starts to turn lukewarm and I will swear at the cheap landlord for not putting in a 60 gallon water heater. I will suck up some black coffee, find something clean and not too wrinkled to throw on and leave for the office at the last possible minute, where I will bitch about having to take down even MORE Christmas decorations, service the floor with coffee and cups and sugar and dig out the Mocha Chocolate Amaretto Rum Strawberry Green tea for everyone who has resolved to cut their caffeine intake for the New Year. I will, most likely, NOT put on a ruffled apron, shift my weight to the balls of my fat feet, lock my frame and pirouette down the halls with these offerings on a teak platter.
And this qualifies me as clinically depressed. IF I go to the doctor with my symptoms he will prescribe a pill for me that will make me happy. OF course the pill might make me swell up, give me headaches, cause nausea, give me a rash, cause my depression to worsen and give me thoughts of suicide or, in extreme cases, it'll just kill me outright. However, if I don't take the pill, I'm likely to find myself wearing clothing that matches my couch. And the FDA approved this thing.
You feel depressed? Of COURSE you do. It's winter, the weather sucks. The holidays weren't what you hoped they would be, don't lie, I know they weren't, they never are. You're afraid of getting Swine Flu. Your vacuum is broken, gas is around $3.00 a gallon, someone in your family is unemployed and Dick Cheney is telling you that the President is doing a lousy job preventing terrorists from attacking you. So, let's figure this out.
IF you're not living in the south, southwest or southeast, it's snowing where you are. It's cold and your heating bills are skyrocketing. You're not really happy about that. But at least your all in the same boat and YOU people weatherproof your houses in the fall, which is more than I can say about those of us in the south who have some really leaky roofs when the El Nino hits. The holidays sucked too, didn't they? Of course they did and of COURSE you're depressed about it. There's a dead tree in the living room, 'fess up. And you missed a Santa mug when you packed up all the holiday dishes and you'll be drinking coffee (or green tea) out of the Santa mug on the 4th of July. So don't sweat it. Remember, I'll be drinking from a reindeer mug all summer. Get a flu shot, spend 5 bucks on a new belt for the vacuum cleaner. You'll need it to get rid of all the dead pine needles on the floor after you drag the dead tree currently in the living room to the curb.
As for Dick Cheney? The guy spent a month after "the events of September 11, 2001" cowering in a bunker in Joe Biden's house. He then went out and tried to shoot a duck and shot a lawyer instead. There's not a drug known to man nor myth that's gonna fix THAT problem.