Traditionally commercials after New Year's are about diets, exercise equipment, and vacations in the Caribbean.
I can remember years ago just after Christmas, Talbots would send out their "Resort Catalog". It was like a breath of sunshine and warmth to brighten the cold wet days of February. Were there really folks who could escape the wintry blahs to a tropical paradise? Or worse than that - were there really so many folks with perfect physiques, tanned bodies, having so much fun? Never in my life was I able to run on the beach, in the edge of the surf, wearing a flowing white dress, holding the obligatory straw hat.
The catalogue was filled with pages of clothes in bright blues, sunny yellows, and festive pinks. I could look past the perfect size 2 models and the smart clothes. All I saw were pages of green grass, sandy white beaches, and palm trees. The locations for the photo shoots were traditionally exclusive private tropical resorts with colonnades of adobe walls, red tile roofs, and fountains. There were waiters in their smart khaki uniforms carrying trays of colorful drinks with little umbrellas in them.
I will admit that several years ago, I did escape to the West Indies in January. It was like being thrown into a different universe with the warm air, the wide white beaches, and the clear turquoise water. And, yes, there was Juan, dressed in his khaki shorts and crisp white shirt carrying a tray of Bellinis complete with little umbrellas. As much as I enjoyed the trip, I never was that lithe beautiful young woman running through the surf, hat in hand. But, that didn't matter. There was the sun, the sand, the surf, and the Bellinis. This was truly paradise, an escape from reality.
However that real world quickly returned when we landed in Richmond, Virginia. The weather was dreary and cold with temperatures in 20's and six inches of snow on the ground. The brisk wind was truly a slap in the face.
The following morning at work everyone was complaining about the cold. I shared in their misery. The weather was wretched. Thoughts of the warm air and white beaches filled my mind. Was my escape really that sublime? Yes, it was. Calgon, take me away (again). And by the way, where was Juan when I needed him.