Senior Moments: Why are TV advertisements running constantly in my head?

It appears that I have fallen prey to the unseemly effects of advertising. It’s true that I’m one of those people who can get a song stuck in my head and find myself unable to unwrap myself from it. From the day that I met Elvis Presley, “Love Me Tender” repeated uninterrupted in my head for five years. When he married Priscilla, instead of me, I finally was able to let go.

Now songs have moved on to make room for slogans and images. “What are the three Ps of life insurance?” someone in my head has been asking me.

And here’s the scary part, I know: “Price, price and price,” I answer. That ad seems to precede almost every television show I watch. Even if I change channels, there it is again subliminally taunting me with, “Got you again!”

Clearly, the insurance company deserves an “A” for following the guidelines I learned at the New York Institute of Advertising. “Tell them. Tell them again. Then tell them you told them.” I had forgotten how annoying that can be.

“Pull it together, Patricia,” I told myself. “Time to move on.”

And so I fell from the frying pan into the fire. “Lose your belly fat,” a Facebook ad has been screaming at me for months. However, it’s not the words, but the image that has made a home in my head. A stylized grotesquely shaped belly loops over what must have once been a waist, and droops almost to the floor. No one could actually be shaped like that so I am guessing it’s the work of a crazed artist suffering from delusions of grandeur. Or boredom.

Who belongs to that belly and why would anyone think they could lose it without any work? No exercise. Just take a pill. No fasting or dieting. Just do it the easy way. Maybe the hidden secret is that no one actually looks like that now stuck-in-my-head image, so it makes everyone feel better about themselves. Or, it drives them to distraction.

I inadvertently left my top dresser drawer open the other night, and when I looked at it, it morphed into a big belly dripping down over the lower drawers. When I tried to close the drawer, the belly jammed.

“You’re being ridiculous,” I told myself. Then last night, after more than 40 years of looking up at the ceiling fan in my bedroom, I discovered that the large white globe is shaped like a giant drooping belly. So much for getting any sleep under that. So far my office seems safe although the computer screen is starting to sport a bulge.

Email Patricia Bunin at Follow her on Twitter @PatriciaBunin and at

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