Journal entry: June 30, 2006 (age 37)
Nothing brightens up a day like receiving an unexpected package. This afternoon, as I turned the just-arrived Fed Ex shipment over and over in my hands, I thought of all the things it could be. Perhaps a friend was sending me the first season of Lost on DVD as a belated birthday gift. Or maybe my in-laws had decided that Amanda and I deserve his-and-her monogrammed iPod shammies.
Excitedly, I sat down at our kitchen table and opened the package with a steak knife. As I cleared away the shipping peanuts, the first words I saw written on the contents were “5-Day Detox.” Below that and in a much larger, bolder font, was the word “BOWEL.” Further inspection led to a medicine bottle labeled “Intestinal Formula #1” and an even larger bottle labeled, creatively enough, “Intestinal Formula #2.” There was also a catalog, a book, and a motivational audio tape.
As I thought to myself, “It’s going to take a lot more than an audio tape to motivate me to do this,” I checked the address label again. “To: Timothy Mollen.” So this was indeed intended for me. But who in the world would send me a kit to “cleanse, detoxify and regulate my colon?” The very thought of someone thinking about my colon was unsettling. With friends like that, who needs enemas?
Then I recalled a phone conversation I had a few months ago with Julia Dellapenta, a friend from my high school days. Her married name is Julia Curiel, and she now lives in California. We keep in touch with occasional e-mails or phone calls. During that particular call, she described two things that had changed her life. One was a Tony Robbins motivational seminar, and the other was an intestinal purge. I asked if the two events were related, since Robbins’ mantra of “Awaken the Giant Within” seemed apropos in either instance. I don’t recall her laughing.
Today, when I realized that this was a gift of sorts from Julia, I knew I had to call her again. “Oh, hi Tim,” she answered, “Did you get the package?”
“Yeah,” I said. “Um…thanks?”
She said that I had seemed interested in the concept when we last talked, and that she had already bought the kit for her husband, Ed, and some of their friends. I voiced some surprise, to which she replied, “Oh yeah, I got them for my whole family for Christmas.”
That image was too much for me. Julia patiently listened as laughter strangled my attempts to further the conversation. I kept thinking of the whole Dellapenta family gathered around a Christmas tree, and the horrified expressions on each of their faces as one after another opened this most unusual of gifts. (“Oh, it’s a…oh, my dear Lord!”) I asked if she had attached a card to each that read “Here: you know what to do with it.” This time she laughed.