Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Things To Pack: Calories and Lies

We took a trip to the big book store with the comfy chairs and the pervasive coffee aroma. Instead of grabbing a stack of picture books and perching on a dwarf chair in the kid’s section, I decided to take a mini-vacation by the magazines.

Pulling up an armchair, I sat down with copies of Veranda and House Beautiful and tried to materialize my dream house by the sea. I’d just gotten comfy when I caught sight of a woman coming towards me with a giant frothy concoction topped with a dome of whipped cream.

Hmmm...those’ll make you fat, I thought as the woman paused in front of the magazines.

Oooh, maybe a little too late. I glanced at the taut, round T-shirt just beyond the cup of froth. I wasn’t surprised. I long ago lamented the development of the 430-calorie coffee drink . Even caffeine-addicted bookish types now fought the battle of the bulge.

The woman sat next to me. I turned my attention back to gunite pools with ocean backdrops, until a motion near me caught my attention.

The woman had removed the plastic lid from her frappy indulgence and was using the straw as a shovel, to more efficiently deliver the drink to her mouth. That’s when my gaze fell to her lap, where I discovered what she’d been flipping through. It was a copy of Walk Off Weight, with a headline that promised, LOSE 10 lbs. FAST.

Why to we deceive ourselves so? How do we know we’re doing it? Does advertising and media make us think not only can we have it all, but we’re supposed to want it all, too? I don’t know. I’m too busy trying to decide between the not-bloody-likely raised spa with tiled wall poolscape, and the perhaps-in-another-lifetime natural boulder waterfall and adjacent cabana.

The woman got up and replaced her magazine on the rack (maybe not the best idea), and I noted her bright white Nike walking shoes as she shuffled away. There wasn’t a mark on them.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Are these the kind of stories you are submitting to magazines? Because they should be.