I had plenty of time to contemplate the change because the doctor was running an hour behind schedule.
I was pleasantly surprised to see that the walls of the waiting room were no longer painted an antisceptic grey. They were now a calming warm sandy neutral.
It may be the case that it seemed like an aesthetic improvement to my eye, simply because I was there out of concern for my blood pressure, about which, to jump ahead, I had good reason to be concerned.
The walls of the examination room into which the nurse escorted me were also newly painted. Oh, and look, the wallpaper border, finally, had been mercifully removed. The changes were calming and welcome, no doubt about it. I was feeling a wee bit better already, despite the wait.
That feeling didn’t last long.
After the nurse made some small talk, took my vitals and left me to wait some more, it was hard not to miss the other change in my doctor’s office since my long overdue visit. The paper that covers the examination table was now covered with the Cialis logo.
“Cialis,” yes, the magic little orange pill that, as the extensive pamphlet on the desk next to the chair in which I was sitting put it, “is indicated for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.”
One pill, “36 hour Cialis is the only ED tablet that’s clinically proven to both work fast, in as little as 30 minutes for some men, and work up to 36 hours.”
The other pill, “Cialis for daily use is clinically, proven low-dose tablet for ED you take every day so you can be ready anytime the moment is right.”
No pressure, guy trapped in examining room alone with reading material. And try not to think of your high blood pressure which, you soon will be told, is most likely caused by your stressful family life– which in turn might leave little time or desire to “anticipate sexual activity.”
I’m almost sure there was no music being piped overhead but I’m quite sure I had the urge to sing along with ” target=”_self”>Toby Keith:
I ain’t as good as I once was
I got a few years on me now
But there was a time, back in my prime
When I could really lay it down
And if you need some love tonight
Then I might have just enough
I ain’t as good as I once was
But I’m as good once as I ever was
My doctor’s office, I thought, would be a reasonable place to expect that nothing, let alone my masculinity, would be marketed to me. But there it was staring me in the face: Madison Avenue and Wall Street pre-emptively looking out for the little big man’s exile on Main Street.
I certainly didn’t need a visit to the doctor’s office to be reminded that advertisers, have uncovered the sudden dereliction of American masculinity and have quite benevolently made it their mission to help restore it.
It’s their gift–with purchase, of course–to me and to men anywhere near a television, computer or magazine.
Apparently, the ladies think I stink at being a man. “Smell like a man, man,” warns Old Spice. “Anything is possible when your man smells like a man and not like a lady.”
And I don’t even know what it takes to be a man, anyway. “Wash like a man, feel like man,” promises Gillette with it’s “Odor Shield” shower gel.
I don’t dress like one. “Wear the pants,” insists Dockers.
I kowtow for money and romance. I don’t stand up for myself. No matter, though. I am what I drive. Dodge Charger is “Man’s last stand.”
And if all else fails, Calvin Klein X underwear assures me I can prove to you that I’m a man. Wanna see?
Mark your spot and dummy up.
“Smart may have the brains, but stupid has the balls. Be stupid,” advises the current Diesel campaign ad.
Who knew I was too smart for my own good? That’s probably why my blood pressure is high.
This downward economy has disproportionately affected male workers. We now have an educational system where girls get the best grades and most of the college degrees. And we live in a culture where it’s not unusual that dad may likely stay home with the kids while mom is the primary breadwinner.
Madison Avenue is betting that my masculinity is vulnerably bluefaced and fair game for the bottom line. “I see you,” it tells me not so naively. Hop aboard sexism and homophobia. This is a whole new world.
Which brings me back to Cialis and to the pamphlet which, as you might imagine, now has me by the balls.
“In the rare event of an erection lasting more than 4 hours, seek immediate medical attention to avoid long-term injury.” Well, I probably wont be able to afford to see the doctor again, what with all the new purchases I have to make to be a real man.
I’ll just think of Liz Cheney. That should take care of the problem immediately.
“The most common side effects with Cialis were headaches and upset stomach.” Good to know that. Suppose I ignored the warning to “not drink alcohol in excess” and suddenly found myself on top of Glenn Beck.
Good to know that the cause of head spinning nausea might not be entirely his fault.