Monday, December 22, 2008

I just don't know anymore

I have never fully understood perfume. Yes, it can smell nice in small amounts. It can spruce up an evening out, I guess. Or it can make you smell like a grandma. Any time I go to a mall I hurriedly sprint through the perfume section, hoping that one of the salespeople doesn't manage to squirt me with anything after asking, "Would you care to try our new fragrance?" Perhaps it's because I have sensitive sinuses and anything too overpowering makes me sneeze, but I just never really understood the hype.

This typically doesn't tend to be a problem. I don't know if I have ever gotten into a conversation with anyone under 50 about buying different perfumes. But all of a sudden the advertising industry has decided that I must buy perfume and lots of it. I thought this was some sort of British phenomenon until I came back to the states for the holidays and realized that it is everywhere. Has perfume all of a sudden become ridiculously popular? Or does the credit crunch mean that people have to find new and less expensive ways to feel glamorous? Well, I can't go on vacation anymore, but if I buy x perfume I'll feel confident and sexy and it'll be like I'm on vacation every day!

What drives me insane is the sheer amount of these perfume ads. Every day I will see a new one that I had never seen before. This has created an avalanche of over the top, obnoxious, and long fragrance commercials, which dominate pretty much all ad time. When salespeople and cool looking bottles aren't doing the trick, TV commercials are the way to go. The problem is that potential customers can't smell the product so somehow their attention needs to be grabbed. They have kept getting more and more extreme and I no longer know which fragrance I should be wearing.

Here are some samples. I have ordered them in what I consider to be least to most extreme:

Here is a relatively simple one for Chloé Eau de Parfum with a CSS song in the background. Somehow the model's dancing/hair flipping doesn't quite suit the music.

Bond Girl 007 from Avon: apparently a more adventurous fragrance. No celebrity in the commercial but it does play off of Quantum of Solace.

A Touch of Pink from Lacoste: A little more action in this one. Stupid little preppy dress with a girl who sounds like she never properly learned how to speak.

Fuel for Life by Diesel: There are about a thousand different ads almost exactly like this one.

Magnifique by Lancome: Oooo a celebrity! It's Ann Hathaway and a really annoying song!

Inspire by Christina Aguilera: She wants you to know that she can play this game too.

Diamonds from Armani: Even more glamorous than Magnifique, here is Beyoncé going completely over the top.

J'adore by Dior: You know what would trump Beyoncé's ad? Charlize Theron getting naked:

Insolence by Guerlain: Hilary Swank wants you to know that she can get naked too, with awful music in the background.

Chanel No. 5: The ultimate annoying and most extreme perfume ad (and possibly most extreme ad in general) out there. Baz Luhrman+Nicole Kidman+randome dude+too much money=a poorly acted Moulin Rouge ripoff with a slightly hotter lead male role. Oh, did I mention that the ad is 3 minutes long?

You may be thinking, "Geez Rageoline, you kind of went over the top with all those videos." But you know what? These videos represent only a fraction of the crappy commercials that I have to see every time I turn on the TV. How am I supposed to decide which stupid fragrance I should purchase? The whole purpose of a perfume commercial kind of becomes irrelevant once the competition creates their own commercials. Hopefully this phenomenon will end after Christmas, or else I might just go crazy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

What you should know about this medicine: Side effects=ultimate lame

Every now and then you'll be watching one of your favorite shows on TV and along will come an advert for a prescription medication for some sort of awkward disease or condition. The announcer will try to subtly and soothingly go over the long list of potential side effects, or the side effects will simply flash up briefly on the bottom of the screen. The hand-holding couple or the smiling elderly woman will hope to distract you from the side effects. But once you've paid attention, you can no longer ignore the fact that the SIDE EFFECTS ARE EFFIN' SCARY! So, your insomnia might go away, but you might gain heart problems and massive headaches? Or you might die? Or you might get anxious? Ladies, did you know that if you go on antibiotics you might get a yeast infection? Then you will need yet another prescription to counter the side effects of your original prescription. FUN! 

Of course I can't avoid prescription medications at times, but they never cease to anger me. I went to the doctor on Thursday and discovered that I have some sort of neurodermatitis. Basically, anxiety and stress have caused me to develop a minor skin condition, meaning that my skin gets incredibly red and itchy for no real reason. Awesome! Who would have believed, that me, someone nicknamed Rageoline, would ever be prone to stress or anxiety? I informed the doctor that Benadryl makes this all go away but makes me incredibly drowsy. He prescribed another antihistamine, which is supposed to help me out. I practically skipped out of the doctor's office with my little prescription paper in hand.

Then I picked up the prescription and checked out the little information pamphlet and was filled with some minor rage. Here's why:

"Why I have been prescribed this medicine?" 
"Ucerax can be used in the treatment of anxiety in adults and also to treat pruritus (itch) in adults and children."

Okay, so we've established that it treats anxiety and "itch." Now, moving on to possible side effects:

1) Drowsiness-Yes! The very reason I started taking this one was to avoid drowsiness, gee thanks doc.
2) A dry mouth
3) Blurred Vision
4) Constipation
5) Urinary retention
6) Abnormal liver function-!!!!!! OMG!!!
7) Weakness/Fatigue-I can't wait!
8) Malaise
9) Allergic reaction/Shock (racing heart, cold and pale/Bronchospasm (breathing difficulty)-oh crap, oh and way to over-parenthesize and forget to close one section up instructions
10) Headache
11) Insomnia (difficulty sleeping)-hmm, as I seem to remember part of the reason I went to the doctor was because I was having difficulty sleeping because of this condition?
12) Allergy skin swelling-hold on a second...
13) Confusion
14) Disorientation
15) Itching-WTF??? You're telling me, that my anti-itch prescription might cause itching? 
16) Tremor (shaking)
17) Agitation-again, WTF? Isn't this supposed to treat anxiety to a small extent?
18) Rash (eruption of the skin)-I really don't remember what this medication is supposed to treat anymore
19) Convulsions
20) Hallucination
21) Increased heart rate
22) Nausea
23) Abnormal movements-what does this even mean?
24) Low blood pressure (feeling dizzy on standing)
25) Vomiting
26) Fever
27) Sweating increase

Perhaps I was merely confused, disoriented, or hallucinating, but did I just count twenty-seven possible side effects? Either the company that makes Ucerax really wants to make sure its ass is covered in case of a lawsuit or they just don't know what their medicine is supposed to do. I am so comforted knowing that I could start shaking or sweating at any moment. That should really help calm my anxiety down. Perhaps I'll call my doctor at some point but I'm just feeling too filled with malaise at the moment to do anything about it.