DOWNEY - The Christmas catalogues have been spilling out of my mailbox for over a month. They come from Boston, New Jersey, North Carolina, Chicago and New York.I foolishly sent away for a wristwatch last year and it triggered an avalanche. My name must be on every direct mailing sucker-list of the continental United States. The catalogues are filled with luxuries for me and my home, beautifully photographed and guaranteed to turn my humble abode into one of those featured in the glossy home magazines. The heavy sweaters and long overcoats worn by the size-seven models, smiling in the snow, are perfectly suited to New England's harsh winters. They would seem ridiculously out of place this afternoon in my backyard where the thermometer reads 75 degrees. Festive beaded, sequined gowns, jewels, accessories such as Judith Leiber minaudieres; all things Mrs. Average Homemaker simply cannot live without, spill out of gold and silver boxes on the pages of the Neiman Marcus and Saks catalogues. And what is this on page thirty-three? The Talking Scale with Memory. Now, one would really have to be a sadist to want one of those. "It automatically announces your weight in a clear, synthesized voice." Oh, that's really good. Get one of those and it's goodbye to sneaking into the bathroom secretly to see how much you've gained. The whole household will now know how much you have gained because it tells you have gained since your last weighing - in a loud, clear voice. [Wonder if it says "Good girl" if, by some miracle, you have lost weight?] No, I think I'll forgo the scale for this year, even if this one does shut itself off after saying "Have a nice day." It's discouraging engough to have gained weight, but then to have a blasted machine remember and gloat about it - that would be the last straw. The catalogues are all neatly stacked at the curb in front of the house. We have a phantom newspaper/magazine thief. He's welcome to the whole, slick pile of them. I'm going indoors to get some more ice cream. Rosalie Sciortino is a Downey resident and member of Writers' Workshop West, which meets at Downey High School.
********** Published: December 22, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 36