When Wendi Aarons penned a witty letter to Proctor & Gamble, showering the company with praise over the power of its maxi pads, she hadn’t known at the time it would be read 14 years later at Letters Live, a series of events in London that’s co-produced by the award-winning Benedict Cumberbatch.
Using the questionable “Have a Happy Period” campaign presented by the multinational corporation as inspiration, Wendi, a tart-tongued comedy writer, captured the attention of the world with her hilarious letter applauding the innovative maxi pad.
The majority of women appreciate the biting satire of Wendi’s letter, which mocks the “Have a Happy Period” maxi pad campaign. The promotion suggests that the Always magical maxis have revolutionary features, making monthly visits enjoyable, triggering talents like salsa dancing, runs along the beach or horseback riding.
The real showstopper though is how Wendi, now 55, describes the Flexi-wings, that make the sanitary pads “aerodynamic.”
The letter from Wendi, a freelance writer from Texas, addresses James Thatcher, who was at the time, brand manager for Proctor & Gamble.
“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.” She continues, “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.”
Calling Thatcher out, she then asks, “Have you ever had a menstrual co, Mr. Thatcher? 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.’”
Women, or anyone who’s ever lived with a woman, know that monthly visits come with a host of troubles, like cramps, bloating, fatigue and intense mood swings.
And the man, who headed the campaign, is told: “You surely realize it’s a tough time for most women. 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.’”
Diplomatically expressing her rising fury, Wendi further communicated that there is nothing “happy” about having a period, urging Thatcher to write something “actually pertinent, like ‘Put down the Hammer’ or ‘Vehicular Manslaughter is Wrong.’”
Wendi signs off, announcing that she is taking her business elsewhere and “will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bull.”
Wendi, the author of the book “I’m Wearing Tunics Now,” that suggests women should have a menopause party, explained on Today that her letter to Proctor &Gamble–written when she was in her 20s–is what launched her career.
“My funny voice that I’d buried finally came out the day I saw the condescending message “Have a Happy Period” on an Always maxi-pad, and decided to write a hilarious, satirical piece about it from the perspective of a middle-aged woman. The piece went viral,” she said. “As the saying goes, ‘Don’t get mad, get funny,’ and that’s exactly what I did.”
Recently, the memorable missive gained traction again when it was read by Scottish writer and director, Dawn O’Porter, at London’s Royal Albert Hall, at the Live Letters series, where the crowd erupted into laughter and applause.
The Live Letters is a series of events where “remarkable letters are read by a diverse array of outstanding performers,” including the Sherlock Holmes actor, Benedict Cumberbatch who also presents the show.
Fans around the world were thrilled to hear Wendi’s words read by the Scottish personality and shared their thoughts on the video and content.
One writes, “I distinctly remember seeing ‘Have a happy period’ the very first time. My response was something like ‘What idiot thought that was a good idea? And can I rip his intestines out through his mouth and use them for shoelaces?’ Because of course this had to be from a man. Surely no woman was that stupid.” Another cyber fan, who called the campaign manager a “tosser,” said: “I’ve spent the last two decades or so watching the adverts and thinking, ‘Who the feck are these aimed at?!’ Horse riding? Tennis? Artistic gymnastics FFS?! …bloody tossers!”
Commenting on the “Have a Happy Period” peel-off, an Aussie woman shares, “In Australia the protective sticky cover on pads lists multiple trivia facts. Now when a woman comes out of the loo telling you random information you know she’s menstruating.”
Meanwhile, a gentleman chimed in and referencing his wife, he writes, “I’ve learned to not make any sudden moves, and when to keep my head down.”
Wendi Aarons is incredibly funny, and we agree with the statement, “don’t get mad, get funny!” Her humor-driven writing is brilliant and really delivers the message in a way that commands attention!
Do you remember when this letter first made it rounds? What do you think of it?