Once upon a time I wanted to be in advertising. I kind of regret that I didn’t continue that path. Especially because I know I could come up with better campaigns than the Chevy Malibu Eco Spandau Ballet commercial with the chick in the car who I want to punch right in the mouth. Or Kraft’s complete bastardization of the somewhat edgy 90’s EMF song, Unbelievable, to advertise “crumbelievable” shredded cheese. Or the Ragu commercial that somehow ties in a kid walking in on his parents having sex to the soothing powers of America’s favorite spaghetti sauce. What? Or the geniuses at Bic who decided to create a line of pens called Cristal for Her (if you haven’t read the comments on Amazon for this product, do yourself a favor and go there now). I’d love to have been a fly on the wall of the marketing meetings where this stuff was approved. Where is Don Draper when you need him? Also, there is no one named Cristal who isn’t a porn star or a stripper.
I have a sinus cold this week, which has caused my throat to be dry and sore. So I’ve been sucking down Halls cherry cough drops at a clip of one or two per hour. For some reason today I looked at one of the wrappers. They have little messages on them. The tagline reads: “A PEP TALK IN EVERY DROP.” I need this? I already feel like dog shit and I’m completely aware of how unproductive I am, so I need to be lectured about it by a fucking throat lozenge?
“Don’t wait to get started.”
“Dust off and get up.”
“Fire up those engines!”
Fuck you, Halls. I don’t need your condescending bullshit little phrases. I need you to just shut up and do your damn job, which is providing soothing relief to my aching throat and cool menthol to clear my sinus passages. That’s it. So just sit back and leave the motivational speeches to people like Vince Lombardi and Chris Farley.
I noticed this trend a few months ago when I happened to read the individual wrapper of a Playtex Sport tampon. What dumbass thought, number one, a woman is going to sit there and read the plastic packaging of a tampon, and secondly, that she needs any words of wisdom or encouragement at that particular moment of her day?
“Go with your gut.”
“Who cares if you win or lose – play the game!”
“Care about efforts, not outcomes.”
“You are a champion.”
Again, take the express bus right to hell, Playtex. As if your simpleton high school junior varsity basketball coach clichés are helping me AT ALL. How does this tie in to my time of the month? Are you assuming because my body is going through its normal biological cycle, that I’m somehow rendered incapable of competing or doing anything worthwhile without some pseudo-cheerleader pushing me on? It’s ignorant at best, ridiculously insulting at worst.
If you want me to feel better, Halls, how about at least getting a little creative?
“Go breathe on that obnoxious co-worker. Why suffer alone?”
“The good news is, a nice bout of stomach flu can help you lose up to 15 pounds.”
“Turn your newfound husky Kathleen Turner voice into cash by doing phone sex.”
“Your tissue consumption killed three trees today.”
Or Playtex, why not go all the way, and play into the stereotype of the psycho, hormone-affected woman on her period.
“You deserve some chocolate.”
“Think twice before cooking with knives around your husband.”
“Everyone flies into a fit of rage when their TV program doesn’t record.”
“There’s a two-for-one wine sale at the liquor store right now.”
“It’s okay, the hedges will grow back.”
“Put the baseball bat down.”
© Jennifer Alys Windholz, 2013