Friday, April 20, 2012

Late, Late, Late Night Programming (aka This Is A Paid Advertisement)

by Susan McBride, Pregnant Insomniac

I just can't seem to sleep through the night any more (as if I ever did).  Nearly eight months pregnant, I plump three pillows beneath my head and have three smaller pillows positioned at various spots to support belly, back, and knees. Inevitably, I have to get up to pee and disentangle myself from said pillows and covers. By the time I return to bed and reposition everything, I'm often wide awake.

So that I don't keep bugging Ed, I put on slippers and glasses and head downstairs. I free the cats from the basement, feed them, and fix myself a bowl of cereal (yes, even if it's four o'clock in the morning).  Then I plunk myself in front of the boob tube, snuggled in a blanket, hoping somehow I'll fall asleep on the couch.

Instead, I find myself fascinated by all the advertising. I'm trying to figure out what all the endless half-hour and hour-long commercials say about our society since most focus on a few things:  our weight and getting into shape, our undergarments, and stopping that dreaded process of aging.

If I was so inclined, I could order the Pilates chair for which "All My Children's" Susan Lucci is the spokeswoman. Or I could call 1-800 to purchase any number of Zumba fitness packs, weights that vibrate, or that all-in-one gym that Chuck Norris and Christie Brinkley swear by.

But perhaps I don't need all those workouts, not if I listen to the infomercials that insist my lumps and bumps are purely the result of ill-fitting undergarments. Apparently, if I order some magic bras--and a whole lot of Spandex to suck in the rest of me--I will lose several dress sizes without doing any exercises except those required to tug all the too-tight undergarments over my lumps and bumps.

And have you seen those T-shirt extenders that come in four different shades?  You pull them up to your waist so they cover the butt crack and belly exposed by your low rise jeans. With one of those belly bands wrapped around you and your shirt atop it, no one will ever know that your pants don't fit. They'll just think you're super trendy, going for that layered look.

My favorites of all are the lotions, potions, creams, and cosmetics that swear they will take years off our faces, remove spots, tighten saggy skin, and turn us into Cindy Crawford. Not only does Cindy peddle her own formula--created by some fabulous dermatologist in France that she's been seeing for twenty years who grows magical melons--but she's got lots of celebs endorsing it as well. I've seen Leeza Gibbons (formerly of "Entertainment Tonight") and Joan Lunden (once co-host of "Good Morning, America") espousing the virtues of skin pick-me-ups, too. And then there's Victoria Principal, who tells us about her "Principal Secret," which I think, by the looks of her, has little to do with moisturizer and more to do with lots and lots of cosmetic surgery.

Though I have been tempted by that shampoo-less shampoo called Wen that Alyssa Milano swears by, I've managed to refrain from ordering anything during my late, late night TV viewing. Now if there was an infomercial for instant home delivery of chocolate-chocolate chip ice cream with bananas on top, I'd have that number on speed-dial.


  1. I have a video-tape habit, taping shows I'm not home for, more than I can ever watch, so I never have to be dependent on what's on at any particular time. When I was confined to home with pneumonia one November, I didn't run out of things to watch . . . and read . . . many shelves of things to read. Of course, if you're in the mood for those ads, that's fine, too. You are entitled to whatever makes you comfy right now ;-)

  2. It just seems to be what's on in the middle of the night, Mary! Although sometimes "Monk" is on the USA network at 4 a.m. (or maybe it's 5 a.m.). Also the morning news shows start at around 3:30, but then they begin repeating stories. Even HGTV has infomercials until sunrise. I'm usually too tired to read that early! My eyes are a wee bit blurry. ;-)

  3. You just reminded me that the last time I was up in the middle of the night was when I was breastfeeding child #2, who is now 13. I haven't seen 2am television in a looonnng time. Enjoy it. It definitely is a different world at that hour. Maggie