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When Typos Start Getting Their Own Mail

If TV advertisements are to be believed, then there are basically three things the American woman has an all-encompassing preoccupation with:

  1. The eternal search for yogurt flavors that taste like real desserts such as apple pie and strawberry cheesecake
  2. Going to extreme lengths to disguise reasonable purchases (like a basic air freshener) as more irrational ones (like a 'boutique-y fragrance,' whatever the hell that is)

While I cannot profess to share these priorities, I know someone who does: her name is Lauren McHahon, and she is my accidental alter-ego.

Lauren McHahon was created one day a few years back after I filled out a subscription card for a shopping magazine and dropped it in the mail.  Apparently my Ms resemble Hs, because a few short weeks later that magazine showed up in my mailbox addressed to Lauren McHahon instead of Lauren McMahon.  I was not terribly bothered by this misspelling because I found it kind of funny, and plus it led to an intriguing side effect: I could always tell when I was receiving junk mail as a result of that magazine selling my contact information, because it would come addressed to Lauren McHahon.

It is amazing how much mail Lauren McHahon gets, especially when you consider the fact that I let my subscription to that shopping magazine lapse after just a year.  I naively thought that when McHahon stopped receiving those damn renewal notices ("Lauren McHahon, renew and save;" "Ms. McHahon, ALERT!  This could be your last issue;" "RENEW TODAY MS. MCHAHON, OR THE KITTEN DIES"), her existence would quietly cease.  I could not have been more wrong.

Lauren McHahon continues to receive mail every week, and over the three-plus years this has been going on I have slowly come to regard her as an almost-real person (approximately an 8 on the Addison-Weemer scale of realistic imaginary friends).  After all, would a fake person have three sheets of puppy-and-kitty address labels?  Or a free coupon for designer checks adorned with little pictures of shoes and handbags?  Or--and this is a very recent acquisition--a set of "calendar stickers" she can use throughout her planner to denote such important McHahon activities as "SPA DAY!" and "Shopping trip with _____________?"

Lauren McHahon also has an impressive collection of coupons, and nary a month goes by when she doesn't receive an exciting VIP discount magazine subscription offers from Elle or Self.  Unfortunately, headlines like "Five Weighs to Lose Five Pounds" carry little appeal to a nonexistent being weight in at zero lbs., and they are quickly discarded.

I used to get annoyed at commercials that make women look like idiots, but now my outlook has changed.  Now when I see a lady in a commercial throw a conspiratorial wink my way because her husband TOTALLY fell for it when she said it took her all day to clean the house when REALLY she just Swiffered that shit in 15 minutes and then sat on her ass watching soaps for seven hours, I just think, I wonder if she knows Lauren McHahon.  They'd probably hit it off.


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I think you were alluding in the first paragraph to those Glade candle commercials where the woman pretends she actually has some fancy imported candles, and then lies about it, and then her friends call her out on it, right?

That commercial makes no sense. Why would she lie about Glade candles, are her friends that big of candle snobs? And why would her friends be such jerks to call her out on it in the first place and humiliate this obviously very insecure woman? And then why would she keep lying about it to the same women in separate commercials?


I abhor those Glade commercials and have boycotted their product since that campaign ad. I also hate hate hate the Jared commercials. Read Gene Weingarten on Glade: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/discussion/2008/12/02/DI2008120202816.html and on the Jared commercial too: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/12/05/AR2008120501809_pf.html

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