Select Page

As I put all the last-minute finishes on the great Thanksgiving trip of 2008 to the northeast of the United States and ready myself for a long semi-sleepless night on the plane followed by a confused taxi trip back to my small lavender and blue abode in beautiful downtown Santiago, I am called to think upon language.

You see, in addition to the stripping of the bed, the packing of the breakfast cereal (don’t laugh unless you have a good supplier of breakfast cereal in South America) and other goodies, my tasks include going through the pile of mail that has accumulated since the last time I was here. Try as I might to put myself on the “don’t send” list of every catalog that might once have bought my name, and get credit card and bank statements electronically, still, the crap continues.

I generally take only a cursory look at the mail before recycling or shredding it as the content requires. But today I paused to see the offerings at Victoria’s Secret, a catalog I did not come by honestly. I have never bought anything of theirs by catalog, unless you consider the credit card fraud executed at my expense when I was living in Columbia Heights, DC, some five years ago. And I do not. Also, I don’t see how that would have given them my name and current U.S. address.

So Victoria’s Secret, now with no formaldehyde. I took a peek because, I don’t know? It’s underwear? I’m killing time? My mother took the copy of Real Simple and I’ve already read all the sections of the New York Times I like? The Victoria’s Secret catalog it is. What exactly are they hawking here?

And there, on the inside leaf of the very last page is a stickum-stuck card, with a sexily-posed pink-underweared arms-crossed model offering me $10 off any purchase, with the instructions to “please see an associate for redemption.”

Redemption. The meaning that immediately comes to mind is: Salvation from sin through Jesus’s sacrifice. (exact wording courtesy of So what is going on here at Victoria’s Secret? Is the secret that they are really a front for a Christian organization, waiting to offer redemption to unsuspecting Christian lingerie shoppers? In that case they’re really barking up the wrong tree. I’m Jewish. Darn mailing list purchasers. Stymied by the WASPy last name. Again.

Next update from beautiful sunny, summery Santiago Chile