Treating Myself

John McManamy Health Guide
  • Go shopping; treat yourself to something nice is a bromide I frequently hear. This is both stupid advice and sensible advice. Stupid in the sense that a quick shopping fix is hardly going to get to the root of your depression. Moreover, it’s a very expensive fix that your health plan won’t cover. Sensible in that everyone needs to be doing something good for themselves, whether relaxing in the tub, taking a nice walk, listening to good music, or buying yourself the occasional present.

    The other day I was treating myself to a walk in downtown Princeton. First, the Princeton campus, where I found myself at the university bookstore. There I encountered a table of tiny stuffed tigers made up like Einstein, mustache and hair and all, with a woolen cardigan with E=MC2. It’s for my wife, I rationalized, taking one to the register.
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    Cost: Fifteen dollars. More than three days worth of my meds.

    Then I ran the gauntlet of Princeton’s upscale shops. One had gorgeous oriental rugs in the window. Don’t even think about it, I told myself, picking up the pace. Then there was the used CD shop, which would have set me back the price of an oriental rug had I dared venture inside.

    But I couldn’t resist the kitchen shop. I have a confession to make. I get off on frying pans the way gear heads get off on old sixties muscle cars. I’m a Food Network junkie, and I find The Iron Chef more exciting to watch than any stupid Super Bowl. So it was that I found myself drawn to a shelf lined with toasters.

    These weren’t any old toasters. These were retro toasters. Art deco beauties. The toaster of the future as seen through the eyes of a designer of the thirties. Streamlined with dials and a graphite finish.

    My old toaster only toasts on one side, I apologized to the lady behind the register as she rang up my purchase. Fifty bucks. Ten days of meds.

    There’s a person who drives to our support group in a $90,000 silver Porsche. I can’t wait to tell him I have a toaster that looks better than his car.

Published On: November 10, 2005