I wasn’t always sure why I instantly started feeling pangs of dread when jingle bells creep their way into television and radio commercials. When Santa’s “Ho, Ho, Hooooo,” taints the ads and infiltrates my commute, I start to get bitter beer face.
I’ve had this issue for quite a few years now. Really, since I was a teenager. I suppose I’m the perfect caricature for a Hallmark Channel movie. The skeptical girl who snubs holiday cheer and has a black heart for some mysterious reason, which will undoubtedly be tearfully revealed at the plot climax.
Except, I think I actually did finally figure it out. While I was watching Star Wars on TV and doing my laundry, I caught sight of some commercial adorned with a red bow around a brand new car. And then another ad right after it with an impeccably coiffed ageless specimen of societal female beauty getting proposed to by some strong jawed dude in a cable knit sweater. I wasn’t sure if it was for a jeweler ad or a Crest commercial. And right after that, there was an obnoxious Santa Claus on a cell phone apparently doing some advertising for Verizon, because you know, Mrs. Claus needs to be able to reach him when he’s out working, because GOD FORBID THE MAN DELIVER TOYS IN PEACE. And then, it hit me harder than my hangovers after the age of 25—this is exactly why I can’t stand the holidays. It’s all this portrayed perfection, and supposition that we are all perfect and can afford all this absolute BULLSHIT.
We’ll start with the holiday car commercials. They’re not really advertising the spirit of giving, are they? First of all, they’re sure-fire reminders to anyone who hasn’t reached that comfortable tier in American society that they FAIL at being what automobile dealers perceive to be normal. Second, most of their catch phrases revolve around the idea of “You deserve it.” Yes. Yes, you. You hard working American, you DESERVE to go out and buy YOURSELF a BRAND NEW MERCEDES!
Nothing says “I have a giving spirit” quite like Santa’s enormously pompous toy collection, eh? I mean, he works hard, he DESERVES a fleet of Mercedes Benzes! Hell, I work hard, does that mean I get to go out and buy a fleet of flying E Classes? Oh wait, no. I get what this commercial is saying. If I become a banker or work on Wall Street, SANTA will bring one to me!
Let’s break this gem down a bit, shall we? The first thing I think of when I see that fabulously modern house is “This suspense is killing me! Where could they possibly be going that’s BETTER than that million+dollar home they’re leaving behind in their shiny new Infiniti SUV?”
Then I start getting really worried, because the Grandpa is like “40 year tradition, I hope we make it in time…” Yeah. I can see that snow is really starting to come down….Like, wow. But then, perhaps they’re from California, in which case, I understand the apprehensiveness that accompanies a light sprinkling of flakes that realistically resembles Trump’s dandruff more than a blizzard. What could that oh-so-important 40 year tradition be? Giving to the homeless? Serving at an orphanage? Bringing a sled full of food and toys for the victims of that year’s tragedy?”
But oh, silly me. It’s that 40 year old tradition of driving up in the mountains get away from the hustle and bustle of the city where their mansion is at, so they can turn on Christmas lights at their Million+dollar CABIN! Why didn’t I FIGURE THAT OUT? Note, it’s just to actually turn the lights on, not to spend time as a family putting them up or installing them. I’m sure they pay people to do that, as well as other care takers to make sure the cabin is well kept all year round and absolutely ready for them when they arrive there. I think they conveniently left out the part where Grandpa finds the note from Jose that says “Señor, I marked the missing bulb with a piece of red tape. Feliz Navidad, the money you gave me paid for me to put up the 500,000 lights was enough to take my wife, Rosa, to a beautiful holiday meal at the McDonalds. Gracias!”
But let’s get down to the real message of the commercial, which is: it’s a really good thing they had their Infiniti. Everyone in the upper middle class knows that you only drive your Porsche Cheyenne in the mountains in the summer. When the snow actually falls, it’s time to break out the reliable beater that is the 2013 Infiniti.
And now we have THIS one:
Oh holy night. I can’t—I… I don’t even know where to begin with this. Maybe I’ll just do a narrative as if I were the woman cutting out the giant bow.
“Where are my ridiculously expensive scissors? Oh, there they are. They were right by the suit of armor. I wonder who left them there? Now, how do I go about cutting and sewing this enormous bow without ruining my manicure? Perhaps if I do it in ultra slow motion, that should preserve the shine on my nails, provided by actual diamond dust in the polish. You know what’s really difficult? Sewing in platform stilettos. I mean, really, it’s sort of difficult pinning down a preferred speed when my foot is five or six inches above the pedal. This is about as difficult as driving a Ferrari in platform heels as well. Ok. I’m bored of being domestic now. Jose? JOSE? Where are you? Can you please come finish this enormous bow? Drake will be back any moment, and it needs to be finished so I can triumphantly walk out with it on a cart and place it on the third and final, centered Lexus he’s bringing home. My designer always said to place things in groups of three. I thought, what better way to decorate our driveway? Three Lexus Sedans with matching red bows! Perfect! JOOOOSE? Oh…I guess he’s probably still up on the mountain putting up those lights for the Infiniti people…ROSA? I know you’re pregnant, so if you could just put down that Big Mac and bring your big belly over here, I’d appreciate some help with this so I can take all the credit.”
Here’s a treasure! Finally a commercial that is in the spirit of giving! So what if it just so happens that the Salvation Army bell ringers happened to be in a more convenient place than a trash can? Really, I’m so glad someone made a commercial that we can all relate to! Well, I don’t know about you, but when I see a brand new car I want, I don’t hesitate to get rid of my one year old, hardly used luxury vehicle to run out and buy the brand new Audi for myself. I mean, after less than a year, the stench of Valet just overtakes the innards of this ancient wagon I’ve been forced to drive for the last few weeks. Ever since Elton’s piano recital at the Country Club, I just haven’t been able to get that middle-class smell out of it. Makes absolute perfect sense to me. Give unto others the as you would give unto yourself…or something. Except delayed by a year or less. Always give unto yourself the newest and the best. And give unto others divorce papers and alimony agreements. And always give unto others last year’s designer and couture. Always give unto yourself….No. That’s pretty much all. Just always give unto yourself…Says Audi.
Let’s switch gears here. How about this beauty:
Just in case you’re wondering, she grew up in that fabulous modern mansion we saw in the second commercial. Her parents made sure to instill core values in her like “Find a hot guy with a job that pays enough to support your shopping addiction. Don’t forget to buy him things he doesn’t like with his own money. But above all, you MUST look good. So before you partake in your habit, you need to hit the gym. Hang out with your gay personal trainer over coffee afterward. It’s important to discuss worldly issues over a skinny latte at Starbucks. And then, get back to it. Because life simply isn’t fulfilled unless you buy multiple things for yourself every. single. day. And also, fire Rosa. I’m pretty sure I saw her steal your boyfriend’s credit card number while she was scrubbing the dishes. The credit statements shows lots of dinners for two that you did not attend, as well as hotel rooms and excessive prescription purchases. When your boyfriend has the amount of money that he does and then you as a cherry on top of his perfect life, there’s no reason to cheat or get addicted to uppers.”
Meanwhile, here are Haute Look Girl’s friends and their fabulous life:
“We bought this all with INVISIBLE MONEY!”
Let’s take a journey now to a very special Island, as illustrated here:
I visited this island once. It was very odd. I tried speaking to them, but it was as if they couldn’t speak. I was like “HELLOOO? Is there a bathroom anywhere around here?” But they just stared at me. Well, not really at me, but kind of past me. Kind of off into the distance. Or the For a second I was like “OH MY GOD, I’m actually a GHOST,” but then I met this one girl who could make direct eye contact, but that’s all she could do. She stood very still, barefoot in the sand, just looking straight at me with this retarded kind of smile as if she was saying “I just farted and you’re down wind…wait for it…”
For as strange as they were, they had beautiful sweaters and vests. The men all seemed very hearty, and their surnames contained roman numerals. They could sit in a boat and wind rope…and they could walk, and I think some of them could chop wood, but I’m not positive. They could all look wistfully off into the distance very well, and blink occasionally. The tribe seemed to display an affinity for a half-beard and cable knit. I think it will take another trip of observation to nail down the rituals of these people. But for now, my notes point strongly toward the possibility that all of these people are either deaf, or only speak the language of American Express.
Ummm…. I’m not exactly sure what the message is here, other than “If you were feeling kind of good about yourself, fuck you. Here’s how a woman should look. Thin. Big boobs. WINGS.” Ho, Ho, Ho.
Well, I officially give up. Merry Christmas, Society—YOU WIN. You have officially demanded something I cannot do. I can diet and get thinner. I can wear Victoria’s Secret bras to prop my titties up beneath my chin. But I have absolutely NO IDEA how to sprout a pair of wings out of my ass. Unless…Victoria’s Secret underwear does that for you? I need a pair of those. Panties. I mean wings…I mean, winged panties. IT IS THE ANSWER TO ALL THINGS. Someone has finally invented a thong that will MAKE ME FLY.
I’ll get them the afternoon after I hit the gym, have coffee, and log off Haute Look. Oh, and after I fire Rosa. She’s having a baby soon anyway. She’ll want the time off. Who doesn’t want a nice year of vacation after pushing out a baby? I mean, that’s a year you can spend picking out new designer baby clothes off Haute Look, and having parties and avoid paparazzi. Oh, but she’s normal, so she doesn’t have to worry about that. Gawd, poor people have it so easy.
But then, to poor people and boring people, Christmas and the holidays are just all about giving and being helpful and joy and love and God. I guess when you’re poor, that’s all you can really do. That, and make a joke out of everything.
One thought on “‘Tis The Season to be Hollow”
This is a great post. One commercial that I seem to be seeing repeatedly this year, is the one for Audi — people dropping the keys to their old clunkers (like Mercedes and BMWs) into the Salvation Army bucket. That one churns my stomach (but then I am driving around in a ten year old truck trying to figure out if I can afford a brake job and Christmas gifts all in the same month).