Saturday, March 8, 2008

Wendy Aarons to Proctor & Gamble

It's taken years, but my friends, the web-savvy ones are well-trained when it comes to forwarding things, be it virus warnings (most of them now check one of the many hoax sites before forwarding) or funnies (they never forward without a note, letting me know my life will be poorer if I don't take the time out for whatever it is they're sending). The few acquaintances left who blindly forward everything that someone else forwards to them each have their own filters in Outlook. >-) (And they wonder why I don't ever reply to the one e-mail where they actually say something once ever six months.)

Last night, a forward arrived in the read-this-I-promise-you-won't-regret-it category. The sender was so right. As it turns out, this is not new. In fact, the author of the letter below, Wendy Aarons, posted it to her own blog back in March of last year, after it gained famed originally on in February of last year. McSweeney's has an entire section devoted to "Open Letters to People or Entities Who Are Unlikely to Respond." The point of all this is, yes lot's of stuff that gets forwarded isn't what it pretends to be, but this, so far as I can tell, is exactly what it claims.

And beyond that, it's the funniest thing I've read in weeks. A good friend of mine who also happens to be an award-winning author likes to say that the mark of really good writing is when you think, "Wow. I wish I'd written that." Well, this is like that. And those of you who know me, also know, if I were a woman, this is exactly the sort of thing I would write about something like this. So, kudos to Wendy for what follows; and hat tip to Freda, for forwarding it.

An Open Letter to James Thatcher, Brand Manager, Proctor and Gamble

Dear Mr. Thatcher,

I have been a loyal user of your Always maxi pads for over 20 years, and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core™ or Dri-Weave™ absorbency, I'd probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I'd certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can't tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there's a little F-16 in my pants.

Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from "the curse"? I'm guessing you haven't. Well, my "time of the month" is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I'll be transformed into what my husband likes to call "an inbred hillbilly with knife skills." Isn't the human body amazing?

As brand manager in the feminine-hygiene division, you've no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers' monthly visits from Aunt Flo. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it's a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend's testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey's Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy! The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in capri pants. Which brings me to the reason for my letter.

Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: "Have a Happy Period."

Are you fucking kidding me?

What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness—actual smiling, laughing happiness—is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you're some kind of sick S&M freak girl, there will never be anything "happy" about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and KahlĂșa and lock yourself in your house just so you don't march down to the local Walgreens armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory. For the love of God, pull your head out, man. If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn't it make more sense to say something that's actually pertinent, like "Put Down the Hammer" or "Vehicular Manslaughter Is Wrong"? Or are you just picking on us?

Sir, please inform your accounting department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flexi-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bullshit. And that's a promise I will keep. Always.


Wendi Aarons
Austin, TX