Friday, February 25, 2011


What the hell are you looking at? I'm Wonder Woman, dammit!

We wrestled each other with a fury that came from some reserve of vengeance deep inside; both of us holding on with a death grip refusing to yield; the sinews of our muscles straining to keep from giving in to the will of the other. Finally, she yielded, more likely grew bored, and I was able to pry the mail from Bad Dog’s clenched canine jaws. I ran my fist-pumping victory lap around the porch. YES! I AM ALPHA DOG!
          And so this is our daily ritual. Each day when the mail truck parks in front of our house the dog and I race to the porch and jockey for position in front of the mail slot. This must be done for if I’m not there to collect the mail when it comes pouring through the slot then all my bills will be shred into confetti and eaten by Bad Dog, and although there’s nothing more festive than confetti bills, it’s no picnic watching the dog howling to extract them from her intestines at two in the morning or explaining to Time Warner that the dog ate my bill.
          In today's mail there was a promotional give-away box from CVS. I love getting free samples from CVS. What could it be? Shampoo? Hand sanitizer wipes? New hand lotion? I ripped open the box like a kid on Christmas while Bad Dog gnarled and shredded the PSE&G bill before ingesting it. I reached my hand deep inside the box and pulled a clear plastic package that contained…wait a minute. This can’t possibly be meant for me. I checked the box’s address label and sure enough, it was addressed to me. Then I got furious. In my hands was a sample of an adult diaper! Poise for those moments when your bladder just can’t pause.
          WHAT? How do I go from birth control one birthday to adult diapers the next? I was so furious that I actually looked up the phone number for the main headquarters of CVS which I discovered was in Woonsocket, Rhode Island. After suffering through Dante’s Fifth Circle of Hell also known as the automated answering system, my thumb just kept pressing zero until a human voice answered. After airing my complaint I was switched to about three other people until finally I was transferred to a man whom I’m sure was the janitor put up by the rest of the office staff to act like a customer service manager and handle my complaint so they didn’t have to deal with a freak like me.
          “Mam,” he said trying to placate me, “we are so happy that you enjoy our free samples.”
          “No, no; I don’t enjoy this one. I’m not old enough for adult diapers!”
          “They’re not diapers; they’re liners.”
          “Don’t try to spin it on me. I’ve seen the commercials!”
“If you don’t mind, what is your age?”
Reluctantly, I told him.
          “Oh, that explains it. Since your last birthday your demographics have shifted, and that’s why you may be noticing a difference in product samples that are being sent to you.”
          “My demographics have shifted? What does that mean?” I cried. (True, my body has been undergoing seemingly seismic shifts, but that’s none of his business!)
          “It means that for promotional purposes you’re now contained in a group whose needs are more maintenance than restoration, if you will.”
          What?  I missed my own restoration period?
          “Mam, as I’m sure you found with our past samples, not every product is aimed at you—it’s aimed at your demographics. And that group constitutes over 25 years.”
          He was right. Not every free sample was for me like the K-Y Body Gel Tabasco Sauce or the Legg’s all in one thong panties and pantyhose, but at least they were life-affirming. At least they oozed possibility. At least they screamed "DESIRE!" rather than "Oops I crapped my pants!" I mean, am I wrong to suggest that the implication of adult diapers is, “Don’t worry. I’ll do my business right here on line so we won’t be late for that sunset buffet. Here’s a coupon.”
          I hung up the phone, dissatisfied and feeling old. However, to look on the bright side, I would still be considered a trophy wife if I dated at the top of my demographics. (And at this point, I don’t think Jim would even notice.) Anyway, I took the packaged Poise and threw it…well, truth be told I threw it in my purse because frankly there may come a time when I just can’t pause. And at least I’ll be poised.   

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