I only really became susceptible to advertising after the birth of my daughters. Now this new found sensitivity manifested itself in two ways. The first was an obsession with the IKEA catalogue. If only I had the right storage compartments, the perfect sized plastic boxes for all of those oddly shaped toys I would be a happier, more organized individual. Since at the time we lived on an island that had not been blessed with a vast yellow and blue gift box from the consumer gods, going to IKEA became a destination, a mecca for motherhood. It took me a few years and the realization that the only way my home could look like the room in the catalogue was if A) I lived in Sweden, B) Only wore white shirts, C) Got rid of my husband and children who are maddeningly uncooperative when it comes to my organization schemes, D)all of the above. Since I was not willing to take any of these steps to triumph over my personal chaos, I became at first disillusioned and then bitter toward this land of false hope. I am now convinced that the devil lives in a bachelor sized apartment with a bed that easily converts into a sofa and a bunch of stackable plastic bins with which to neatly store his torture tools.
The second way that parenthood lowered my advertising immune system was a little more unexpected. Yes folks, it struck me where it hurt the most: body image. Seriously, although I have always been slightly on the plump side (reubanesque, chubby, rotund- insert favourite adjective for not skinny here), it never occurred to me that it was something I needed to do something about until my daughters were born. The women in the parenting magazines looked so serene, so coiffed while wiping their babies behinds. It was clear, the only good kind of mom was a slender mom. I also had the bad habit of reading The Globe & Mail (with its finger firmly on the pulse of…Toronto) and their “special features” on yummy mummies (I am not kidding). Nowadays, the equivalent would be watching Brooke Shields take care of her dazzling smile while being a super successful mom to her children (we will not mention the post partum depression and the drugs that allow her to smile in the first place.) Now, just to bring this entry full circle, I started the day with a big blueberry stain on my front teeth that I desperately tried to rub off with my fingers. Sigh.
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