Thursday, October 25, 2012

You've Come A Long Way, Baby

Fifteen and a half years ago, I was very pregnant (as opposed to "a little pregnant?"). I was also an expectant mother of, as my obstetrician's office coyly phrased it, "advanced maternal age." This meant lots of tests: ultrasounds and amniocentesis. The technicians knew the gender of my baby. The nurses knew the gender of my baby. The doctors knew the gender of my baby. Basically everyone knew the gender of my baby except my husband and me. 

We wanted to wait.

Of course, this meant that our friends and family had to wait as well. So, when my mother and sister came up from New York to co-host my baby shower with a good friend, I received gender-neutral gifts. Big important items (I think at one point I had opened three Diaper Genies) and a slew of cute little clothes in yellow and green.

Of course, as soon as my daughter was born, it was a different story. Pink, pink, pink ... as far as the eye could see. And, once she was old enough to (a) have an opinion and (b) communicate said opinion to us, my daughter demanded only the frilliest outfits and accessories. Favorite color? Pink, pink, pink! There were a couple of years in preschool when we were all pink, all the time.

Today, my teenage daughter rarely if ever wears pastels. She prefers bright and bold to soft and sweet. The more casual the better. In fact, most days you can find her in dungarees and a sweatshirt mucking a horse stall. It's still a bit of a struggle to get her to dress up for family functions or an evening at the Nutcracker.

What's the mother of a tomboy teen to do? Take heart! She may not dress like a girly-girl, but with a quick trip to Staples, I can make sure she writes like one.

Introducing Bic "for Her" pens.

They are the Virginia Slims of writing instruments, apparently. In fact, Bic could license the cigarette's jingle and use it with just a couple of words changed:

You've come a long way, baby
To get where you've got to today
You've got your own Bic pen now, baby
You've come a long, long way

Clearly this is a marketing ploy, and I can only imagine not a very successful one. I'm fifty. I'm a professional writer and a long-time journal-keeper. I've used pens for — oh — forty-five years maybe. Little did I know they were men's pens. Bic "for Him," I guess. The horror!

If the whole thing weren't so ridiculous (and vaguely insulting), it would be funny. 

In fact, it is funny.

So, if you have a few minutes, I invite you to put down your pen with its "elegant design" and a "thin barrel to fit a woman's hand" and watch an hilarious clip from the Ellen show. The best part is the commercial near the end, a touching slice-of-life spot in which a loving mother helps her adolescent daughter feel good about becoming a woman.  

You'll also enjoy this listing on Amazon. Scroll down and sample some of the 725 (!) customer reviews. Then, add your own.

That is, add your own if you can. I don't think they've released the "Keyboard for Her" yet.

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