Dear DMA, Now I’m Pissed!

Blissful denial
Wraps its arms around me, but
Can’t … reach … all … the …. way…

Dear Direct Marketing Association,

Now I’m pissed. Many moons ago you thought it was funny to send me a catalog I described in this post: Depressing Mail. It was targeted to old people; people waaaay older and far less mobile than I am. Today, however, you went too far.

I present the following as evidence:  Brylane Home presents: plus+sized living.

Are you effing kidding me? An entire catalog filled with extra wide chairs, each annotated with how much weight they will handle: “24 inches wide!” (with a helpful arrow showing the distance between arm rests in a recliner);  “350 lbs. capacity!” Plus all the home accessories the targeted market might want: scales that project your weight onto the wall since you are clearly too rotund to see the number between your toes or scales that analyze your body water, since when you weigh 350 lbs knowing that 5 pounds of it is water weight is such a relief; bed rails to drag your fat ass out of bed; and always a fan favorite – the comfort wipe — which you can use with your new toilet seat that holds 1200 lbs. (I am not making this up.)

The Comfort Wipe. Photo courtesy of

Surprising to find are the following gems: Extra large comforters (interestingly, I’ve been searching for larger coverlets, not because I’m such a beached whale in bed that I steal covers from my husband upon turning, but because I like my bedspread to go mostly to the floor, which is surprisingly hard to find);  extra deep storage wardrobes (I had no clue that normal wardrobes wouldn’t fit my clothes); the Back Seat organizer, which is pictured holding 2 cans of soda pop, french fries and a wrap sandwich; and cookware and appliances, because when you are fat, you might as well give in and cook with the finest tools possible (and sit at kitchenettes customized to your expansive girth).

You know, when you send me the catalog of cool clothes modeled by lithe African-American models, I don’t mind so much. It’s kind of fun to fantasize about wearing glamorous dresses and Ascot-worthy hats to some unknown function that I would clearly be mistakenly invited to. But this POS? No thank you. Regardless of the fact that yes, I am indeed in your target market of plus sized, I come nowhere near challenging your weight limits on office chairs, shower stools and assistance devices.  Ok, so I like the bedspread on page 22 (in chocolate please, heh heh heh), but I refuse to acknowledge the potential usefulness of anything else in this rag.

Please remove me from this mailing list.

Regards (but still pissed),


(PS – to those offended by this post, who do indeed benefit from such items, my sincere and deepest apologies. I hope these items bring ease and comfort to your life. Especially the comfort wipe, because if you need that, I want you to have that. Like right now. Pronto.)

Depressing Mail

We both watch you age.
You cannot halt the winter;
I long for the spring.

The title of this post might indicate that today’s mail was filled with bills or something of the like. Perhaps a magazine that touted younger skin or tighter abs… No, today’s mail brought a catalog. Not a cool catalog, like Nordstroms or Levenger or something like that. It was “Gold Violin, Helpful Products for Independent Living”.

Thanks, direct marketing association.

I am only 44 years old. Although I’m missing one original part (gall bladder), none of my other parts have ever been replaced. I haven’t purchased orthotic shoes or cable knit sweaters or any other item that would correlate to needing “helpful products”.  I’m more than just a little worried about what in my catalog purchase history triggered this. (To be clear, I also regularly get a catalog aimed at very stylish black women (I’m a decidedly un-stylish white woman) so who knows what my profile looks like…)

I could have thrown it out, but instead I decided to try to understand what all is considered “helpful” today. My parents are aging, so I might want to familiarize myself with these items.  I must say the “Suction Cup Tub Rail” featured on the cover was a real eye catcher, so I dove right in.

Page 3 – Dual transport chair and Rollator. What is a “rollator”. Is the ‘a’ pronounced ‘a’ like acorn or ‘a’ like away? One sounds sinister: the Roll-A-tor, like “Terminator”. RollaTOR sounds like an antacid. Hmm…

Page 5 – Between the Seat Stuff Catchers. No more lost keys or coins. Looks kinda cool.

Pages 8-11 – Shoes. Holy crap, some of these look like ones I already have. I especially like the Acorn Z Strap Spa Slippers, simply because they combine the class of velcro with the softness of terry and the attractiveness of something Pepto-pink. Have dog-eared the page for future reference.

Page 17 – Bibs disguised as aprons. I’m not talking the plastic things you get at the BBQ joint. These are ponchos that extend to your thighs with a wide pocket at the bottom to catch what you drop/dribble. The models wearing them couldn’t look less happy to have gotten this particular job.

Page 24 – I’ve never seen so many magnifying devices… 2x, 2.5x, 3x (really, that difference matters?), 6x, 10x, plus the 6 piece set ranging from 4x to 10x. Who needs to work through 6 difference magnifying glasses to read a map. And who actually reads maps anymore?

Page 28 – Look at all the different gel wraps you can get for your toes! No wonder old people walk slow: they have all this crap in their shoes. I swear this one cap is just a cut down condom. Really creepy looking.

Pages 38-39 — So many options to keep from killing yourself in the tub or shower or on the toilet. Good to know.

Pages 52-53 – Pain relief. Also where they assume the catalog’s readers are idiots. Dr. Necky Pain Relief? Dr. Archy Pain Relief? Boo boo cover up? I refuse to order anything that makes me sound like I’m talking to a 3-year-old.

And my favorite… Page 40 – Wipe assist. Nice.

I really can’t think of a way to wrap this up. I mean, after “wipe assist” there really isn’t much more to say. I can only hope this has been helpful to those of your wondering what help looks like later in life…

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