The Skeev Factor

Okay, the world is determined to leave me running around with a permanent case of the willies. Last night I went to the grocery store, and you know how they print those coupons at the end of ringing you up, tailored to the kind of stuff you’re likely to buy? For instance, you buy cat food, you get a coupon for cat treats or cat litter. Those things already make me nervous, as does most targeted marketing, but here’s the thing: last night, I got three coupons, one for pickles (the same ones I’d just bought, so okay), one for pasta sauce (inoffensive, and I did buy something that could loosely be construed as pasta, so alright). And one for what I will delicately refer to as a feminine hygiene product.

Now, I didn’t buy anything that would indicate that I’d be in the market for such. I bought shampoo and conditioner, sure, and a bottle of shower gel, but there are no real sex implications to such purchases. So already I’m a bit weirded out.

But then I look more closely at the coupon, which reads (caps and size included):

DO YOU WANT TO FIND THE BEST [name of brand] PROTECTION
FOR YOUR DAUGHTER?

What am I to draw from this? I used my grocery store club card, so they’ve got my demographic data. Did they look at my age and decide that I’m likely to have a daughter coming into puberty? Or are they just handing these things out to everyone? Which of these two options is less upsetting?

And the questions just keep coming. Are parents really so interested in their daughters’ menstrual supplies that they’re going to direct their purchases? And, quite honestly, if I’m really looking for the best protection for my daughter, are menstrual pads really what I’m after? As opposed to, say, condoms? Or mace?

I make light, in order to be less creeped out. But it’s frankly not working.

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