Dear Good People of the Pillsbury Corporation,
I am writing to you from the depths of Christmas cookie despair. My holiday cheer has all but evaporated and I am asking that you take pity on me.
For the fourth time in a week, I have tried, as your cheery little ads direct, to “stir up a batch of memories” by making delicious cookies with my sweet little children. I have tried and I have failed.
Emulating the example given by your oh-so-very-realistic commercials, I have played the Christmas carols in the background, stuffed the kids into their coordinating reindeer sweaters, and made sure that there are plenty of matching mugs on the counter, filled to their brims with steaming cocoa. I have imagined the children just as they are in your ads…behaving, sharing, smiling gloriously as they sample our sugar cookies, iced to perfection with the tiniest little garnishes for facial features. Oh yes, I have imagined. But fantasies only go so far.
I’m wondering if you would do all of the women out here in reality world a favor and recreate your ads, just in the spirit of the holiday, to portray life as usual, so we know not to watch your latest commercial and get inspired to join the neighborhood cookie swap (you know, the one that requires 45 dozen cookies baked and wrapped by Saturday). Feel free to borrow some images from my life and show an already exhausted mother muttering four letter words as the heaping pile of dough sticks to the table, the rolling pin, and the plastic cup she keeps next to her filled with “mommy juice”.
You see, there seem to be some inconsistencies between your holidays and mine. Where are the children who stuff fists full of raw dough into their cute little mouths while trying to calm their rapidly unwinding mother with words like, “Really, it’s OK, we like them better this way”? Where in your ads for the “perfect winter day” is the teacher asking that this year, cookies be cut out in “non-denominational yet festive” shapes? (I can’t even manage a circle!) Where is that nasty little dough boy when I need him? I would really love to know.
Who are these smiling, happy women serving platefuls of steaming, perfectly rounded cookies to their grateful children? Are they real? And, if so, can I hire them to come over and help? Maybe they could keep watch over the baby so she doesn’t get stuck in the tree again, as she tries to feed tinsel to the dog she’s holding by the tail. I must say, that’s a real inconvenience as I try to scrape a malformed gingerbread man off of my poorly floured surface onto my cookie sheet that is being balanced atop a pile of dirty dishes.
I wonder if there is a place in your ads for the clumps of dough in my hair, the smell of singed sugar in the air, or the sound of two children arguing with me over why they can’t use the Halloween ghost cookie cutter and just pretend it’s an angel.
I have come to realize you are poisoning the American woman’s self confidence. You pretend to make it easy by putting the ingredients together yourselves and packaging it to look like a plastic sausage. All I’m supposed to do is roll it out and cut the darn shapes and presto! Happy kids, clean kitchen, smiling mommy…right? What am I supposed to do when the gingerbread girl is so thin she looks like she’s on heroin and the stars have mutated into some sort of deformed octopus?
What then? How does one make an angel, whose body comes out two inches thick and whose head is still stuck to the kitchen table, look at all appetizing for a bunch of four year olds?
Where is MY happy winter day? Where are MY batches of memories? What would the little dough boy say if he heard my husband come home, whiff the smell of burnt cookie in my hair and say ” Wow, is that new perfume? Wanna go upstairs?”
The American consumer deserves better!
Please, do not insult us any further with commercials featuring robot women who can bake mini-masterpieces. Please, no more smiling kids with twinkling eyes. We want the truth for Christmas. We want to feel like we’re not failures just because we can’t bake. And while you’re at it, could you please contact the gingerbread house people and tell them their kit is a joke? The icing did nothing to hold my candy house together but it’s somehow sturdy enough to have helped my son glue his matchbox cars to the fireplace.
This Christmas, I say give it to us straight.
Bring on the mother who’s tempted to shape all of the cookies like her middle finger (that’s me, in case you haven’t been reading more closely). Bring on the kids who are sick from eating raw dough and secretly hoping that their mother signs up to bring paper goods to the class party from now on. Bring on the Christmas music that isn’t playing because “someone” left the bathroom door open again and the baby put the CD’s in the toilet (true story). Show me the mother who would rather strangle the fat little dough boy than poke his tummy. I think we all deserve it at this point. Because then, and only then, will we be able to “stir up a batch of memories” that any reasonably sane person would want to hold on to.
Happy Holidays. I’m sure you’ll be hearing from me again at Easter.