Today in the mail I received a bariatric surgery advertisement from a large regional hospital in a town 40 miles down the road.
Before I tossed the ad into the recycling bin, I made the big mistake of glancing at the addressee, chuckling at the notion that direct mail gods would think I needed lap-band surgery.
But I stopped laughing quickly when I read my very own name on the label.
It was addressed to me.
Not Occupant. Or Resident. Or hey, you, crazy person who lives on West Edwards Street.
Nope. It was addressed to me.
They even spelled my first name correctly, which caused a whole new spasm of fear to ripple through my body because the only people who spell my name correctly are family and the U.S. Government.
I snuck a peak around me, checking to see if Big Brother did indeed have my mailbox scoped out.
Holy Mother of God.
A girl puts on a little winter weight and suddenly she’s a candidate for lap-band surgery?
Wow. That stings.
Sure. I’m turning 40 this year and have packed on a few pounds since high school. I am OK with that.
In fact, I am more than OK with that. I’m ecstatic, really. It means I’m still alive and kicking, breathing and swearing. The alternative - being six feet under - is really what a person should be bummed about.
But then this happens? Son-of-a-biscuit.
Guess I’d better find a treadmill and get to work. But not before I find out who sold my name - correct spelling and all - for direct marketing. He or she will be dead to me.
Like Jake and Elwood, I’m on a mission from God, my friends.
Because if I don’t stop this right now, nip this direct mail craziness in the bud, I’ll receive mailings for facelifts, cataract surgery and bunion removal.
Well, on second thought. I could use that last one.
...just between you and me.
* * *
Lap-band surgery is serious business, and I have friends who have successfully changed their lives because of it. Bravo!
But there are dangers to it, as there are for any surgery. And I’m more than a little ticked that it’s being marketed to any Tom, Dick and Kelley in the four-state area, regardless of their need for it.
Page 2 of 2 - What kind of message are we sending here, medical professionals? Have we shifted the range of obesity so low as to include everyone larger than a Size 10?
OK. I’ll admit it. I inhaled half my 7-year-old son’s leftover Valentine’s Day candy. I had a good excuse, though. He gave up chocolate candy for Lent. And somebody had to eat it.
In any case, that doesn’t make me a candidate for that type of major surgery. Not even close. So what were they marketing to? My gender? My age? Having given birth? The fact that I like to wear yoga pants 24/7?
Newsflash: yoga pants rock. They are so freakin’ comfortable. Why WOULDN’T I wear them 24/7?!
And you have no idea how much I miss maternity jeans. Part of me just wants to get pregnant again so I can once again wear comfy jeans with expandable waists big enough to carry an elephant around rather than squeeze into the curve-crushing denim prisons non-gestating gals have to wear.
It’s difficult enough maintaining a positive body image in today’s Size 0 Society. I, for one, am quite happy with life as a medium. It’s how I like my drinks, and how I like my clothes. I’m happy in the middle, so just call me Goldilocks and move along.
* * *
The bariatric surgery advertisement went into the trash. At the risk of encouraging the wrath of environmentalists everywhere, I simply couldn’t put the offending card in the recycling bin. Frankly, I felt karma wouldn’t think it qualified to be reborn into a dependable paper sack or flowery stationery.
Instead, it needed to go away to a landfill and think about what it had done. Which was upset my happy mid-life equilibrium and send me on a snarky quest to find a treadmill.
...just between you and me.
You can follow additional adventures at kelleybaldwinlifelikemine.blogspot.com. Kelley is a former editor of the Maryville Daily Forum.