Is There a Pill for That?

by Samantha Prust

I panicked because I thought I my midlife crisis was beginning, but then I really examined the situation. What the heck is a midlife crisis anyway? I mean, how can you have a midlife crisis in a country where you can go to one department store and get everything you need to make your life better, full of appeal and free of all pain and inconvenience—all in all, more wonderful?

You start out in cosmetics: rows of coal black eye pencils, luminescent lipsticks, tubes of gritty mud masks, tubes of rub-in cellulite remover, tiny clear jars of sticky age-defying gels, pink bottles of hair-strengthener, and dandruff remover.

Then on to the pharmacy: headache-aides, stomach-aides, pills that make you alert, pills that put you to sleep, pills that dissipate uncomfortable and embarrassing gas, pills that make you think better, powders that make you thinner, powders that make you stronger.

In aisles of kitchen wares: shiny silver garlic presses, stout wooden pepper grinders, white plastic-handled carrot peelers, handy egg slicers, electric can openers, electric breadmakers, electric knife sharpeners, electric woks, electric waffle irons, electric sandwich makers, even electric salsa makers.

Make your way to bath items: faux-marble toothbrush holders, in green, black and grey, little matching rinse cups, little wicker baskets for soaps and bubblebath or shells, if you prefer, plush toilet seat covers in sheepskin, or a new toilet seat altogether in wood or sponge-filled plastic.

In bedding, bigger, softer pillows, double-cushioned mattress pads, fuzzy flannel sheets, smooth satin sheets, flouncy dust ruffles that hide unsightly junk lurking under beds, satin eye masks you wear to keep out all light while you’re sleeping so that even your dreams are better.

So what is a midlife crisis? It must be discovering that it’s not much longer before you’re halfway to death and there’s no mud mask or gel, no pill or powder, no electric anything, not the plushest toilet seat cover in the world, not the softest pillow, that can stop that. But that’s okay. I don’t want to live forever—unless there’s a pill for that.