Say what you say

By Mir
January 2, 2006

I realized that I forgot to share one of my favorite moments from our latke party, yesterday, and then I thought, “Oh well.” Was I just going to throw a single line up here as a blog post? I could, but it would seem self-indulgent and whatnot (as opposed to the REST of what I write here… ha!) so I was ready to let it go.

But THEN I just got SO LUCKY. Because a few more things came to my attention and I thought HEY, I could put all of these things together and they would still be complete non-sequitors but I could pretend like they were related. And they are, in the sense that they’re all… ummm… things. Things that struck me. Because I prefer to spend my days in an inattentive haze, and the few things that penetrate my fog are noteworthy, I believe. Yes. And then I write them down for you, and you agree with me, dammit, because doesn’t everyone?

[Side note: Apparently not, no. Um, I belong to multiple listings where users have the ability to leave a rating on a site, anonymously. And no matter how many times it happens, I am always just SO TICKLED when my site is highly ranked and then someone comes along and gives me the lowest possible rating, as if that will somehow make me storm off the playground in a huff, leaving them king of the sandbox. Yes, I get it. You don’t like me. Certainly you’ve shaken my world and everything, but I’ll try to soldier on, somehow.]


So, the latke party thing. You have to understand that I was raised Jewish, but my children are being raised Christian. Nonetheless, Judaism is part of their heritage. We have our little Chanukah celebration (which, okay; it’s mostly an excuse to eat latkes) each year and discuss other Jewish holidays, etc. The friends with whom we celebrate are Jewish. As yet my kids seem singularly unimpressed with the history behind Chanukah. But to be fair, they’re not nearly so interested in the birth of Jesus as they are in how a fat guy manages to squeeze down the chimney and whether or not a sleigh can really land on a sloped roof.

Each year when we have this party, we sing “I have a little dreidel” as we’re preparing to play dreidel. We’ve been having this party–and hence, playing dreidel, and singing the dreidel song–for years.

Yesterday, we were singing the dreidel song, and Monkey picked up the dreidel and held it up with an exasperated look on his face. “This is made out of WOOD,” he said in a perfect you-people-are-too-stupid-to-live tone. “Not clay. WOOD.”

He has a point, I suppose. But it’s just not the same if you sing:
Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,
It’s made out of wood.
My mom got it at the store
and it probably came from a sweatshop in a third world country!

Well, I thought it was funny.

* * * * *

Chickadee went to a GLAMOUR PARTY today. That is, a birthday party at a kiddie salon. The girls were hooched up and then paraded out for a fashion show while we parents clapped and oohed and aahed. The part I really loved is that the woman running the party actually asked them each a bunch of questions so that during the show they were each introduced as if it was a spokesmodel competition:

This is Caitlyn! Caitlyn’s hair is done in the “movie star” style, her favorite color is pink, her favorite food is ice cream, and her favorite singer is Hillary Duff!

It was… slightly terrifying. I mean, the girls were having a BALL, and how can you dislike that, I suppose. But the girly-girl stuff is just not my thing. I sat there and tried not to think about Jon-Benet Ramsey or the twelve pounds of glittery paint that were already causing my daughter to break out in welts and instead sat chuckling over the fact that most of the girls all claimed pink as their favorite color. Then the announcer lady got to Chickadee.

This is Chickadee! Chickadee’s hair is also done in the “movie star” style, her favorite color is pink, her favorite food is candy, and she says her favorite singer is… HER MOM!

I melted into a puddle of viscous goo, vowing that if I ever regained corporeal form she could have candy for every meal. With her pony. Her pink pony.

* * * * *

From the further adventures of commercials that perplex me:

I was happily wasting brain cells on the television tonight, when a commercial for Always sanitary napkins started. Now, in general I dislike commercials where the setting and/or plot are so disparate from the product being discussed that you have to wonder how stupid these people think we are. I mean, a bunch of beautiful, smiling, deeply in love and well-coiffed people MIGHT all have genital herpes and be so relaxed because of the miracle that is Valtrex, but I sort of doubt it. That irritates me. So I probably should’ve been pleased that this particular Always commercial featured only… a single pad.

Yep. The pad–with the stain of ubiquitous blue liquid that I know we all secrete during “that time of the month” (when we’re overdoing the curacao, maybe?)–folded this way and that, eventually fashioning itself into a little beach lounger looking thing, while the disembodied voice talked about how your protection ought to be comfortable. Other than my general DISCOMFORT with watching animated sanitary products, I was sort of getting the idea. I was sort of thinking it was cute. It was certainly better than watching skinny girls on the beach saying “Yeah, I’ve got my period, but it’s no problem… because I’m an ANDROID!”

Then the commercial drew to a close with what I’m assuming is supposed to be their memorable tagline: “Have a happy period.” Yeah. Um. I actually know how to make your period a happy one, as it happens. Here’s how you do it: YOU HAVE A HYSTERECTOMY. Then and ONLY THEN will your period be HAPPY. Anything short of that, and the goal should only be TOLERABLE. Not to mention that–unless that pad contains some tranquilizers in that blue puddle–the form of sanitary protection a woman chooses is going to have very little bearing on her mood while she’s hemorrhaging.

I was so taken by this commercial, I wanted to share it with each and every one of you. So I went to the Always website, hoping to find a video of it. Alas, I was unable to find it anywhere on there. But I did find their manifesto for the entire campaign, which frankly scared me even more than the commercial. It’s something about the curly script, I think, that’s most troublesome.

I then continued on, wondering if there was something else invaluable on their site. And there was! This section, geared at explaining the menstrual cycle to young women, just continues the joy. I don’t know why I’m surprised that people who want me to believe that a wad of contoured cotton is going to make my period happy also believe that

The female monthly cycle is a right of passage for young women everywhere.

The female monthly cycle is a royal pain in the ass. It may also be a rite of passage. I believe the fine folks at Always may have been distracted, in writing their website copy, by fighting for their right to par-tay during their HAPPY PERIODS. That might explain it. Because it’s not like a little operation like Procter and Gamble can be expected to actually, I dunno, proof the ridiculous stuff they’re using to promote their company. Who needs proper usage when your period is happy?

I think I’ll go sing something happy while building a pony out of hormone patches.


  1. Paige

    You know what’s the MOST annoying thing about the Always website? That they are encouraging women to use their periods as a time to eat whatever they want, not exercise (cuz those two things? Make us feel SO much better) and to let the world know every. single. thing. that annoys us. And to cry at everything.

    For years I’ve been arguing with boys who, when I cry, or get upset, or call them on something, insist that it’s my time of the month.

    Thanks, Always Maxipads, for perpetuating the myth. That’s GREAT.

    BTW, Mir, I love your website. Screw the people who want to be Kind of the Sandbox.

  2. ben

    No, I’m sure it’s a RIGHT of passage. Well, it WAS a right of passage, before Terrorists decided they Hate America and All That It Stands For (apparently, they can’t stand our “happy periods” and want them to all be “blue periods.”) I don’t know what we have now.

    And, speaking as a penis-enabled member of the species, let me tell you this: I’d like to wish the world a happy period. I’d like to buy the world a coke, and keep it company. It’s the real thing.

  3. Crystal

    I hate my period. It’s not a HAPPY event, as Always would like ti to be. It’s a miserable event that caused me embarrassment in my teens, heartbreak now that we’re trying to have a baby, and costs me money. Money I could be spending on Starbucks. When Always starts hiding Valium in their pads, I’ll start buying. In the meantime, pass me the Tampax while I cuss Aunt Flo out… stupid wench!
    (sorry, the hormones and all, I needed to get that out.)

  4. Carla Hinkle

    I am sorry, but this is the funniest post you have ever written. OK, so I haven’t been reading that long, so I can’t vouch for all the archives, but I was CRYING during the Always crap.

    Who uses pads anyway? How do the pad companies even stay in business?

    Rock on, lady.

  5. elswhere

    Monkey might enjoy the alternative dreidel song a friend of mine made up:

    Oh, dreidel, dreidel, dreidel
    I bought it at the store
    And when I cannot find it
    I’ll go and buy some more.

  6. Dawn

    Yeah. Happy period, ya’ll. Whoopee.

    But your kids? Adorable!

  7. Eric at Paris Daily Photo

    Well, I’ve obviously stumbled into a place I don’t belong! Bonne année anyway! I hope it’s not a whole year like this! Love your blog!

  8. Chookooloonks

    Mir — so happy that someone else finds that lounge-chair-pad slightly disturbing. But reading that manifesto? I many never sleep soundly again.

    And Ben? You slay me. I’d gratefully accept your gift of a happy period.

  9. chris

    i watch ads like you do, and am also (usually) disturbed by what i see. maybe P&G would be interested in hiring you to polish some of their copy. and yup, hysterectomies DO lead to happy periods. blissfully so!

  10. ben

    Okay, y’all, that comment up above, by “Ben?”

    It wasn’t me. I swear.

    That must’ve been ‘Eggnog Ben,’ a creature so foul and ugly you wouldn’t want to ever meet up with it. Hope this clears things up.

    Carry on.

  11. ferd

    Rite or right led me to think of another crime against language. Do you know that 52 is ALMOST half of 100. Heard in another TV commercial.

  12. Aimee

    I have the right to make it the best period it can be? Really? And all this time I thought it was WRONG to be scarfing ibuprofen and chocolate in equal measure while snarling at my husband and my cats and crying at phone company commercials. I’m so glad they cleared that up for me.


  13. dad

    This post conjured up memories of a particularly onerous assignment from a freshman English course in college called “An introduction to Reading and Writing.” The task involved writing a coherent essay involving two, totally unrelated subjects. I’ve suppressed what my two designated subjects were but I do remember that I failed terribly.

    Only you could find a connection and make humerous the saga of the dreidel and the maxi-pad.
    Where were you when I needed you?

  14. Melanie Lynne Hauser

    Quite a variety of thoughts today, Mir! I particularly like the furor over “rite.” I hate typos on professional websites! And the only happy periods I’ve ever had have been the ones that occurred just about a minute before I was gathering up the courage to go take a pregnancy test….

  15. DebR

    “Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,
    it’s not clay it’s wood.
    And if you use an Always pad
    your period will be good.

    Dreidel, dreidel, dreidel,
    made of wood, not clay.
    Telling Always they’re not “rite”
    Will really make your day!”

    Also, I loved Chickadee’s fashion show commentary! :-)

  16. Snow

    You haven’t lived until you’ve gotten one of their Happy Period! ecards in your email. Just wait. I’ll send you one. HA!

  17. Jan aka Warrior Knitter

    A Happy Period e-card! OMG!

    You & Snow ALWAYS keep me laughin’!

    I am OVER so OVER that wright of passage.

    I can see the lone pad after it’s lounge chair gig morphing itself into a drei. . . . never mind~way too weird. That’s what I get for reading all the posts THEN commenting.

  18. Amy-GO

    Menstruation sucks. Personally, I can’t wait to get my hands on Eve. Although I realize I will have to get in a very long line to do so. Ah well, we’ll have eternity, right?

  19. Karen

    Puts me in mind of the Tylenol commercial where the happy lady hops out of bed after her C-SECTION and…. a dose of Tylenol?


    Um. I don’t think so. I took Vicoden, but I’m a weenie that way.

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