Friday, 2 September 2011

Return to Sender

Last night I saw that nerve-janglingly irritating advert …

“It’s Mother Nature here, with your monthly gift.”

Oh boy, it’s just as well I’m not suffering from PMT at the moment because the effect that it has on me when I’m ‘normal’ is bad enough - I want to maim someone.

I’ve taken part in many market researches in the past and I quite simply cannot believe that this ad was run past sane, level headed women for approval.

Along with ‘Have a happy period’ the advertising agencies have just got this so wrong.  It can only have been a group of suits who came up with these mad campaigns.

Let’s set the record straight, shall we?  The monthly cycle is neither a gift nor happy.  Would you like to open a beautifully decorated box only to discover a period?  No, I thought not.  And unless delighted not to be pregnant, I don’t know of many women who skip joyfully down the street with a glint in their eye and a song in their heart on the day of its arrival.

Here are the facts:

Periods can be painful.  As a teen the only thing they’re good for is getting off sport.  I once had three in a month!
They can be worrying.  You can spend your life trying not to get pregnant and then when you want to, you can’t.
They mess with your sex-life, your underwear and your moods.
They will always arrive on the day you least want them.  White trousers today?  Oops sorry!
They make you look and feel like a slug.
They make you eat the most ridiculous amount of chocolate.
They don’t just arrive - they take their time.  Agonisingly sore boobs, swollen belly, a zit here, a zit there - NOW I’ll move in for the kill.

Periods cannot and should not be glamorised.  ‘Pearl’ tampons don’t make the whole experience prettier.  I like to wear pearls around my neck and on my ears and don’t want to associate them with monthlies.  Similarly, a zany little leopard skin holder is not a discreet way to carry our ‘needs’ - everybody knows what’s in it! (Funny story here; my son saw one in a charity shop and nearly bought it for me because he thought it was a mini cigarette case!).

Why do these products need to be advertised at all?  It’s not like we have a choice as to whether or not we buy them.  I can honestly say that I have never watched an ad and thought, “Mmm, must give that a go next month.”

I’ll soon be approaching the menopause (another one of your lovely gifts, Mother Nature?) so I will be able to say goodbye to the ‘joy’ you have provided me with month after month since I was thirteen.

Forgive me if I don’t wipe a tear from my eye and look back fondly over my time as a menstruating (what a word!) woman.  But you see, as gifts go, this one stinks.  It wouldn’t have been quite so bad if you’d managed to level the score sheet up and provided the male species with something equally as yucky - and don’t go throwing the “Oh but they have to shave every day” line in - I know some post menopausal women who have to do that as well.

So as my time with ‘Auntie Flo’ draws to its close, the only thing that gives me a real laugh is the day I found out about her.  My mum called me into the kitchen where she was furiously ironing sheets and very matter-of-factly filled me in.  It wasn’t until years later when my two sisters and I were discussing it with her, that we found out she’d used the same ‘distracting ironing technique’ on all of us.

Now, pack your bags and get out of town.

For a peek into my debut novel 'Diary of a Mummy Misfit' (or synopsis at Amazon link to right), view my previous posts 'A Taste of Mummy Misfit' and 'Second Helpings of Mummy Misfit'.  Now also available in paperback at Lulu.

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