Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Overthinking, Insomia, and Late Night Infomercials


I overthink things a lot. I over-analyze, create alternative implications, and apply greater depth of meaning to things than is usually required. And if you are a friend of mine, at some point you have told me to “Stop thinking”, “you are over-reacting”, “get out of your head” or my personal favorite “Calm the fuck down Cherry” (sorry for the language but sometimes I need to be told that).

For an overthinker, bedtime is the ultimate playground. Forced to lay in the dark with no distractions, my mind can devote untold hours to analyzing the tone and subtle nuance of a text message, the meaning behind the purchase of a pack of tic-tacs, and the future involving untold numbers of animals that will inevitably eat my flesh. When you are that inside your head and when you head is that “unique”, your sleep patterns tend to me messed up. I rarely sleep through the night. And in times of extreme stress, I barely sleep at all. I remember a period after my father’s stroke where I stayed up watching Eastern European Ballroom dancing at 2 am. However, European ballroom competitions can only last so long. Thankfully, they created infomercials just for the uptight, over-wound, insomniacs, like me.

The Ronco food dehydrator, the “Set it and Forget it” Ronco rotisserie, the Food Saver- vacuum sealer, the untold number of knives that cut through car doors and still slice a tomato paper thin. All these wonderful inventions with their slightly scary pitchmen have filled my nights for years. I have always enjoyed guessing how many payments of $19.95 they will knock off the price if I call in the next ten minutes. And let’s not get started on the bonus gifts that are yours to keep even if you return the product.

Of all the infomercials, the gadget I wanted the most has always been the Jack LaLanne’s Power Juicer. Watching a spry octogenarian combine an untold number of fruits and vegetables into a machine that makes magical juice has always excited me. It’s no secret I love juice. I need my morning juice like most people need coffee. The thought of being able to make fresh juice daily seemed too good to be true.

I became the proud owner of the juicer after graduating from vet school. It was an impulse purchase with graduation money, but I am so thankful I bought it. Last summer, freshly minted as a doctor, I entered the adult world unable to find a job and forced to return to my high school bedroom. The only friend without a job, rejected from multiple positions, and with no real offers insight, I sunk into a depression. No one imagines they will become a doctor and not be able to get a job. They don’t plan to lay in bed at night at 26 years of age having their Breyer's model horses from fourth grade staring down at them. It got to the point that juicing became my only form of excitement for the day. I would apply for a job a day, and then go to the grocery store to buy a fruit/vegetable combination to juice. Thinking of new juice variations actually kept me going. Odd, yes. A bit pathetic, sure. But Jack LaLanne gave me an outlet of creativity when I felt so otherwise worthless. Plus the prep and clean up takes forever, so it filled a fair bit of my day.

So to anyone out there who feels like their life is a bit out of control or they have lost their purpose, to you dear friend I say watch an infomercial and purchase the one kitchen gadget that excites you. You may just find that 6 east payments of $19.95 can save your soul!