By Karen Karbo
|If we ruled the pharmaceutical world, there’d be a pill to prevent us from dating men like our ex-husbands|
|There I was, nowhere near a J. Crew, when it occurred to me that I needed to pick up some cashmere turtlenecks, preferably today, preferably that very minute. I could think of nothing else until I had those turtlenecks tucked safely in my sweater drawer, so I could promptly forget about them. Afterward, I was wracked with guilt, having spent hundreds of dollars I didn’t have. I wondered, as I had many times before, if there wasn’t something I could take to banish this bad habit once and for all.Then I read about nalmefene. A drug currently in clinical trials, it could help treat pathological gambling and may also work for kleptomania, pyromania and compulsive buying. Once the FDA lets the company press its pills on anyone who buys 10 pairs of shoes after a bad day at work (you know who you are), I think it should rebrand the med. My suggestion: SpreeFree.And there’s no reason to stop there. Imagine a brave new world where all the ailments that compromise our quality of life – such as obsessively staring at wrinkles in the magnifying side of the mirror – can be fixed with pharmaceuticals. Were the following meds on the market, I’d run right out to Nordstrom and snap up one of those adorable designer pillboxes. Unless, of course, I was on SpreeFree.
Indications: NotHimAgain provides lasting protection against most known sexually transmitted diseases and has proven an affective prophylaxis against hitching your wagon to losers who don’t seem so bad at first. Prescribed for women compulsively attracted to greasy poets who live who live with their mothers, balding bartenders studying for the GED, and the UPS man, NotHimAgain is a reliable synthetic substitute for keeping your head on straight. In addition, this oil-free lotion also causes the patient to break out in painful rash, often accompanied by unsightly pustules, should she even think about dating a man too similar to her ex-husband.
Side effects: Weight gain; lack of interest in shaving legs; many free evenings to catch up on your TiVo, feelings of sanity masquerading as boredom.
Brand name: Ortho-Bovary
Indications: Most commonly prescribed for overeducated, 40-plus women who are chagrined to realize that, with each passing year, they are unlikely to ever read Dostoevsky, Eliot, Flaubert, Proust, or any other great writer they’ve always meant to get to. Each Ortho-Bovary capsule contains the equivalent of two hundred pages of a Penguin classic. Proven to be especially effective for women who are members of more than one book club. Sadly, non-habit-forming. Not for use by upper-middle-class undergraduates with a lot of time on their hands
Side effects: Compulsive citing of obscure texts; nostalgia for horse-drawn carriages and doctors who make house calls; urge to call your husband Mister.
Brand name: SageNoMore
Prescribed for: SageNoMore is commonly used to treat the overproduction of good judgment in women over forty who feel sluggish from all their hard-earned wisdom. While excess wisdom is necessarily harmful, it can produce depression, especially in environments where spontaneity and the notoriously lousy decisions of the young are held in high esteem. If you struggle with feelings of cynicism or envision yourself sitting in your bathrobe at 2:00 pm with a cigarette stuck on your lip and a jam jar of Scotch in your hand, telling a friend she’s an idiot for getting remarried, SageNoMore may be appropriate for you. It has been found to be especially effective in suppressing common sense when it comes to matters such as going to Tokyo for the weekend with a man you met online, taking out a loan to pay off the credit card debt incurred in the purchase of a fabulous Marc Jacobs quilted bag, or listing your real name and contact info on your MySpace page. As with most other wisdom suppressants, this medication should not be taken with tequila.
Indications: Unplanned pregnancies; financial ruin; living to tell; drowning your sorrows; wondering why why why you never seem to learn.
Indications: When used daily, this multipurpose ointment confers to the heart, mind, thighs and rear view the same benefits as ninety minutes of hot yoga taught by a sadist. The typical patient is an over-scheduled, hypertensive woman who would benefit from daily yoga sessions, but who barely has time to roll on her mascara in the morning. Astangay also acts as a sunscreen, preventing the formation of wrinkles, age spots, and that old saddle look. Not a substitute for meditation. Available in both Avidya Free and Extra Asana formulas.
Side effects: Acute dreaminess, with occasional bouts of smugness; adoption of irksome live-and-let-live philosophy, over-developed glutes that may cause pants to fit in a peculiar way.
Indications: Developed with the instant-gratification generation in mind, Menohalt gets you through the decades-long tedium of perimenopause and menopause in one afternoon. A single tablet is taken when a woman decides that she has had it with mood swings, hot flashes, night sweats, headaches, erratic periods, lame change-of-life humor and dumb loss-of-memory jokes. Also known to stimulate the urge to take yourself on safari; open your own business; bicycle across America, and tell every irritating person you know to shove it. Not for women who are pregnant or who want to become pregnant.
Indications: Treats symptoms of generalized anxiety caused by on-going, ever-changing technological revolution, including the chronic fatigue and annoyance that result from constantly having to upgrade cell phones, desktop computers, laptops, TVs, DVD players, PDAs, electric toothbrushes, coffee makers and vibrators. TechnoBooster also works as a cognitive enhancer, allowing the patient to skip all the filler in those bloated operation manuals and get the stupid gadget up and running before it’s obsolete. The TechnoBooster Plus formula eliminates the embarrassment that accompanies having to beg your 12-year-old nephew to show you how to work your television and increases your ability to figure out what to do with all those extra cords.
Side effects: Actually beginning to care about the difference between an 802.11g versus an 802.11n wireless connection; a desire to host your own e-mail; a disinclination to bathe regularly, and insomnia related to compulsive playing of World of Warcraft.
Indications: While there is no cure for the persistent pain and frustration that result from raising a teenager, Endurateen can help relieve common symptoms including urge to pull hair out, pour yourself a stiff one at nine am, put yourself up for adoption. Endurateen’s antihomicidal ingredient allows a patient to restrain herself from strangling a daughter who loses a third cell phone. Also proven useful in picking battles and knowing when to bite your tongue. Only available in extra strength. DO NOT EXCEED MAXIMUM RECOMMENDED DOSAGE. If you are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant, what in the hell is wrong with you?
Side effects: Selective hearing; partial blindness.
Indications: Especially formulated for the self-critical, ultra-introspective woman who has married and divorced an idiot; suffered mixed results at the hands of plastic surgeons; repeatedly forgotten her now-deceased mother’s birthday; tried to pick up on the groom at her best friend’s wedding; invested heavily in dot-com technology in the 1990s or installed those shiny black granite kitchen counters that are impossible to keep clean. If you’ve ever done anything in life that you’ve lived to regret, Woebegone is for you. Now available as a suppository, this drug has been proven in clinical trials to erase any pervasive sense of sorrow about decisions in the past, as well as sins of omission and commission. Highly recommended for liberal arts majors, women with neck tattoos and anyone who voted for an independent candidate in a tight election.
Side effects: Bounce in your step, glint in your eye, general feelings of euphoria.