The emails from Miracle Suit show up daily. Get Memorial Day ready! Miraclesuit Magicsuit and Miraclebody. Shape things up with 20% off storewide!
About 5 years ago, in my usual panic about the arrival of summer and swimsuit season, I grabbed my credit card and went immediately to the Miracle Suit website and ordered my miracle: a sleek black suit with a turquoise band at the bust-line and pretty, distracting, draw-the-eye-up up up beading around the neckline. Who doesn’t want to Look 10 lbs lighter in 10 seconds! What, I thought, could it hurt?
It’s an election year and, whether online or TV or in social media, political hawking is daily fare. Even if you want to ignore it, good luck. Like the Miracle Suit ads that keep flooding my inbox, our presidential candidates are all over the daily news with their own versions of Look 10 lbs lighter in 10 seconds ! They know that as much as we want to believe we will again (one day dammit!) fit into that favorite pair of Levis 501s in the back of our closet, we want to believe that a political past we remember as “the good old days” can come ‘round again. We hang on. We believe in the possibility, in the miracle. No matter our own good common sense or our beautifully skeptical and analytical minds or even reams of data proving otherwise, we so often just can’t, just won’t, let it go.
Letting go, after all, tends to hurt, and who in the hell wants that?
I wore my sleek black Miracle Suit with the turquoise trim and the pretty beading exactly twice. The first time was around the house. A test run. I remember pulling and tugging and needing to stuff-into-submission some of my more wayward body parts, but hey, in the end the suit felt okay. The suit worked. The suit was cute and shiny. I was all set. I had my miracle.
The way the Miracle Suit works is there’s a spandex suit-inside-the-suit that sucks everything in. Which was immediately tolerable until the second time I wore my little miracle and jumped into the ocean. Once wet, the suit began to cling so vice-like around my ribs I felt like I’d been shrink-wrapped. I could not take off the suit — no joke, the suction was so powerful I could not even pull the wet suit away from my stomach, much less get it off my body — and was stuck, literally stuck, in that suit until it fully dried.
There could be this new ad: The Miracle Suit! Suffocation by vanity!
And yet, I could not let it go. I kept that evil, miracle-promising suit in a drawer. Because … what if I needed it?
All of the remaining presidential candidates have their catchphrases and their promises, preying, like the Miracle Suit company, on our most basic hopes for the quick fix. Do we really believe Bernie has the power and influence to take down the big banks and, in a 4 year term, make college tuition free for everyone? That Hillary will get us out, and keep us out, of military interventions? That The Donald has the temperament to represent us internationally or the moral code and heart to “make America great again”?
We listen to all of the rhetoric and we hope against all reason, don’t we, that if we stick hard to our beliefs, hold onto our long-held dogmas of right and wrong — Liberal, Conservative, Independent — and if our candidate WINS, we will be proven right and there might just be a miracle. Won’t there?
I still have my Miracle Suit. The suit I will NEVER trust again. I still have a pair of Levis 501s in the back of my closet. The 501s I have NOT been able to wear since before I turned 30 (30!). And yet as much as it shames me to say it, I hold out hope. It would hurt too much to throw them out. I mean, I believed in that suit! And I remember how good those jeans made me feel back in “the good old days”! And, you never know, right?
In the time it took me to write this, and within an hour of each other, 2 more Miracle Suit ads landed in my inbox.
This corporation, bless their heart, refuses to give up on me. And how can I blame them? I bought a miracle from them 5 years ago and, no matter my disappointments, have not unsubscribed from their email list. Miracle Suit, like Bernie and Hillary and The Donald, has me in their sights and they are betting strong that I might, any minute now, panic and grab for
my past my credit card and order up the most familiar suffocatingly uncomfortable thing possible: The person I used to be. The person I want people to think I am.