Cheryl Pappas


Archive for July, 2012

Health Alert

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

Inactivity is as dangerous as cigarette smoking for your health.

This is the latest breaking news on health from AOL via my iphone, received as I sit on a chair in my office between appointments.

Quick, be active, I say out loud to myself.

Should I run around the room?

Should I lift up the chair, throw it in the air vigorously and catch it at specific quad muscle angles during various intervals of the day?

I always have exercise in mind.

After all, I make it a point to walk briskly everywhere, even to my car every time I approach it.

I’m hoping this counts!

What I think is most dangerous is constant worrying about what is dangerous.

Knowledge is a good thing.

But for those of us genetically aligned with Woody Allen, (that is, having the worry gene), the imagination doesn’t stop with mere information.

Oh no.

This is where we start.

A red bump on the skin is not necessarily just a red bump on the skin.

After all, early diagnosis of a tick spear can possibly preempt lyme disease, or so I have read.

And what does a tick look like anyway?

Here is where we dance into a danger zone.

Medical websites, such as have burrowed, tick-like, into our routines.

The technology of DIY (do it yourself) medical investigation is a slippery slope.

In other words, a hard habit to break, and one that grows exponentially into mini-career proportions if left unchecked.

We baby boomers have learned from personal experience or from the anecdotes of others, that no doctor in the world can be trusted 100% to definitively know anything.

This is the real medical news of our age and age group.

Doctors are human and imperfectly so.

Those who came before us still approach the doctor as God.

We don’t.

In some real cases, we are just as likely as an expert to solve the mysteries of our physical idiosyncracies and symptoms.

Stunningly, we sometimes have even deeper knowledge of our own bodies that do the medical professionals.

Yet, here’s the disclaimer.

Just because this is possible doesn’t mean we don’t need the support of those who have academically studied the body and are deemed in charge of the physical realm.

We are at our best a team with our (hopefully) brilliant doctors.

That’s all I’m saying.

By the way, if you ever are inclined to study what a tick looks like, don’t do it at night.

40 Is The New 70

Monday, July 9th, 2012

There’s a brilliant new comedy on television.

It’s a car commercial.

It’s dark, and apparently subtle, as comedy goes, but some adolescent advertising intern sure has a gift for cutting-edge funny.

It involves a voice-over narrative of a 20-something son describing his parents as examples of aging people who naturally, because we all know this happens to the aged, have become anti-social.

But wait!

Just in time for a life makeover, the parents buy a mentality-saving car.

Push into scene in car with laughing aged, 40-something parents.

The punch line or the assumptive message, depending on the mental abilities of the audience, is clearly the slide-in negative about what being 40-something means today.

In other words, this is how advertising plants unconscious seeds of attitude and propaganda, perceived by people to be truths.

So what is their implanted message about being 40?

Unless you need to believe 40 is old and over, it’s not good news, and

why would anyone need to believe that?

Now that I think of it, this belief is the reason why younger and younger people are feverish for face work.

Am I alone in outrage over this insidious, nauseating little 30 second media hate message?

I’ll say it again.

Forty is being broadcast as old.

Are we going to buy this, or are we going to say, “Hell, no! We won’t go!”

Naturally, no one dares anymore to utter aloud the word, “ageism”, specifically because that expression is an oldie, thereby suggesting the potential speaker is very old, lives in the Bay Area, and wears Birkenstocks.

Let’s face it. Getting older is so frowned upon that there is a billion dollar business in the removal of any trace of that frown line.

And guess what?  It’s not just women who are targeted for being aged and anti-social.

It’s both 40-something Mom and Dad.

Not that there is a fair comparison to be made between the ages of 20 and 40.

I’m guessing that underneath this toxic commercial is the car company’s hope that we agree, without thinking about it (and that’s the point: we’re not thinking) that people in their 40’s are: a) old; and b) “anti social” because they are less likely to pretend to be “friends” with people on Facebook and other social media.

If I’m right, “anti-social media” is synonymous with “anti-social”.

The existential question of trees falling down in an empty forest applies here.

Only now, we’re talking intelligence and real friendship instead of trees.

We’re also talking about how age is perceived.

Younger is increasingly older and there’s no one in the forest shouting out against, or even hearing, the stupidity.

The way this is going, 21 could become the defining age line between young and old.

In Hollywood, 22-year-olds are already there.

For the rest of us, am I the only one who cares that 40 is the new 70?

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