Meredith Carroll: Meredith Pro Tem

Meredith Carroll
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

Never has there been a more remarkable time to be a woman. Or more specifically, to be a female consumer. Manufacturers and marketers are working overtime to cross the thresholds of our all-important purses, knowing full well that the power we wield with the allowances bestowed upon us by our husbands. And let me be the first to say thank you, manufacturers and marketers, for your increased efforts on our behalf.

One of the new products I’m anticipating most eagerly is Animee beer from Molson Coors. I’ve always liked beer. Like, really liked it. Not quite as much as red wine, but a close second, for sure. Animee, described as a sparkling pink alcoholic beverage with lemony and rose flavors, is being brewed specifically for women. Sure, it sounds less like beer and more like fermented herbal tea or scented toilet paper, but may I say thank you, anyway?

Before now, if I wanted to drink a sachet of potpourri or a wine cooler, I would have either had to browse the Martha Stewart collection at Kmart or taken a time machine back to 11th grade. I wasn’t previously interested in doing either. But now my curiosity is piqued.

I appreciate that a beer company is marketing to women instead of using mostly naked women in their marketing. And I say why stop at pink beer to lure the ladies? Why not bedazzle the bottle? Or implant some lip gloss in the bottle cap? In fact, why fill it with beer at all? Why not fill it with a cosmopolitan or, better yet, some Crystal Light? Or, if you really want to appeal to women, why not fill it with a housecleaning product, like pink-tinted ammonia or bleach? That way we can kill two birds with one stone – cleaning the bathroom while also prompting our neighbors to whisper maliciously that we’re drinking before noon.

Still, if you’re among the 79 percent found by Molson Coors’ crack-research team who won’t be swayed into drinking such a masculine beverage as beer for fear of bloating or appearing indelicate – even if it is magenta, ruby, cerise or amaranth in hue – then you’re in luck: I recently learned from a new advertising campaign from the “Got Milk?” folks – the California Milk Processor Board – that milk can help alleviate symptoms of premenstrual syndrome. Granted, it was an extraordinarily sexist ad campaign, which postulated that men suffer just as much from PMS as women since they have to live with the women with PMS. But the gentler sex isn’t all that bright, so we didn’t really understand that you were laughing at us, not with us, milk folks. Hang on a sec, please, while I run out and buy some milk!

Speaking of milk, there’s also the new Breast Milk Baby doll, which allows kids (it’s presumably for kids) to pretend they’re nursing by donning a special halter top that has two flowers with embedded sensors in the nipple position. When the doll’s mouth nears the flowers, it makes sucking motions and sounds.

The point, according to the doll’s manufacturer, it to teach girls the nurturing skills they’ll need later in life. I can’t speak for any girls other than my own, but she’s quite nurturing with her dolls already. She feeds them applesauce, cuddles and throws them (the latter might not necessarily be nurturing, but she’s not even 3 yet).

I’m not sure that wearing a shirt with pronounced nipples will do much to hone my daughter’s future talent as a mom (although it will surely come in handy should she decide to take to the pole), which will either come naturally to her or won’t when and if she eventually cares for something more substantial than a stuffed bunny.

I mean, she’ll also need to have intercourse to eventually make that baby that she may or may not breast-feed, but I’m not about to buy her a doll to hone that skill. Does everything need to be learned or practiced 20-plus years in advance, or just some stuff? If it’s the former, then for that I am eternally grateful to the manufacturers of the Breast Milk Baby doll. Thank you!

Finally, Kotex has come out with a limited edition designer series of pads. I can’t speak for other women, but how thrilling to learn that there is a market for collectible sanitary napkins! Is this the next Big Thing, like the Macarena or Lindsay Lohan’s movie career (circa 2004)? I’m unsure whether I’m meant to collect the pads before or after I use them, but once I buy them I’m hopeful the answer will be indicated on the package.

I’ll undoubtedly feel sexier or sassier when I it’s that time of the month knowing I can choose from one of four designs: “Free Style,” “Poptimistic,” “Boho” or “Punk Glam.” I feel silly not knowing what makes a tampon “Punk Glam” to begin with, but I sure can’t wait to get my period so I can find out.

I might be a little slow, but as long as I’m loose with my purse strings, that’s the point, right?

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