Sunday, February 3, 2013

Revenge and Beckham

This was published last year. I took it down a few days after, but now I'm picking it up and shoving it out my door into the cold world again. I'm too lazy to write today. Plus, honestly, I want to watch the big game, crow over this year's commercials (just a little), and then settle down to Downton Abbey. Please note that my husband didn't not deserve my childish gloating a year ago; he doesn't deserve it today (so I pray I can restrain myself), and that I have much room for improvement if I wish to achieve saintly silence, forbearance and contemplation by ninety.

This post is not in the interest of Christian charity. One should strive for that, but I'm afraid I have been very tempted to take a nasty little Rumpelstiltskinesque turn in the road in order to prance around a fire in supercilious joy. Of course you always gets burned that way, find yourself rolling back and forth frantically in the grass to put out the flames, and in the end someone always gets your card, your number...your name.

Believe it or not, this post is about Super Bowl commercials - what I knew they would be like, what they turned out to be, and one which I gloated over like some stringy-haired witch brewing a virulent concoction for a dear friend/enemy.

I was home alone with my youngest for the Super Bowl. The rest of our family was over at a friend's house enjoying the Big Game. I had a fever, and I wanted my littlest one to go to bed at a decent time, so we kept the Sunday routine until I finally turned on the television - not to watch the game really, but to hear the pleasant noise of it droning in the background. I'm not passionate about football, but I do love the backdrop of it to any given Sunday.

And then there were the commercials, too. I had forgotten about them, and I sat up and paid attention at every intermission. There was everything I expected - humor, bimbos, cute animals (loved the VW one where the dog loses weight), celebrities, beer and babies. I could have done without the bimbos in bikinis jumping in bleachers and the bimbos body painting other bimbos. Second to those, I would be fine never seeing another Coca-Cola polar bear again.

But there was one that grabbed my attention. I stood up; I stared in amazement; I threw back my head and laughed (and laughed and laughed). I noted its long length merrily, thinking to myself, Our time has come at last, and when it ended, I said aloud and merrily, "Revenge!" with fists in the air.

When my husband came home from work the next day, I asked casually, "Do you want me to buy you some H&M underwear?"

He chuckled and replied, "No."

So then I asked what the men at our friends' party had said when the H&M commercial came on. To which Matthew replied that one of the guys had said, "I gotta get me a pair of those!"

Then I said (and no doubt there was an evil glint in my eye as I spoke), "You know what I thought? Revenge! Sweet, sweet revenge!"

Matthew laughed, but I don't think he was really pleased. Still, in my defense, indeed it was pay back. For every giggling, half-clad dopey female who acted as male consumer bait; for every tacky commercial where pretty women behaved like fools (and reflected badly on the more intelligent and ethical of our sex) to entice men; for every time women across America stared at a TV trying not to contemplate what their husbands or significant others were thinking about the sexually-suggestive posing and prancing about of supermodels on screen, the David Beckham commercial was indeed revenge.

Just a man in his underwear. Posturing, posing, preening. Prostituting himself to the public eye.

Do I think men were made uncomfortable by it - wondering what their wife was thinking while they tried not to look down at their own out-of-shape abs? No. Honestly, men are a different breed, and I have yet to figure them out. Maybe they know that looks are not equally important to us.

And, of course, in pointing that out is where I finally offended my husband when trying to explain intelligently why the Beckham commercial was such a Super Bowl breakthrough (whereupon he pointed out it was not very intelligent or mature to cry, "Revenge! Sweet Revenge!").

"Nice to know," he said icily. "That you're not with us for our looks or our bodies."

Have you ever seen a woman try to dig herself out of a metaphorical hole with her metaphorical pitchfork and witches' broom still in hand? It's tough going. I tried valiantly while laughing nervously and straining my eyes to keep them from blinking as I looked at My Man's face. I love my husband's body and handsome face. But I'm still not sure he doesn't think I have ulterior motives for praising the Beckham commercial, which is unfortunate, because I could care less about Mr. Fancy Underpants Beckham.

But here's hope for all of us and likely the point I should have made early on: the most popular Super Bowl commercials were the more innocent and humorous ones like the Doritos baby in the sling. Cheap sex sells, but perhaps it doesn't sell well. That's good news for our kids if it means there'll be less of it. Sorry, Beckham.

And now I vow that if I can't be quiet, I'll shut up.


  1. So "been there, done that" with my own man, but since we aren't football lovers here I missed the commercial. ; ) Great post, dear. Posts about you and Matthew are generally my favorites!(Camille)

    1. Camille, I give you the prize for being the only one who likes this post! ;-) Congratulations, my friend, and thanks for your affirming comment.


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