Of Eggs and PR People

In the eight weeks from when I first found out I was going to have all of this surgery, I did what I'd say was a remarkable job of avoiding Dr Google. I considered my situation a need to know basis, and I didn't. I needed to show up. I'm great at showing up.What I'm not great as is understanding basic human anatomy, so when they doctor told me I was having a Total Hysterectomy, but keeping my ovaries, I was a little confused.

I had my marching orders in hand from the doctor and the admissions people at the hospital and they all said Total Hysterectomy with blah blah blah other procedures and I was confused because I assumed that meant Uterus and Ovaries because who gives a shit about the Cervix and that is why I have tree unplanned children. As it turns out, your ovaries aren't actually attached to your uterus and don't count as part of it. Your cervix totally does. And some people get to keep their cervix. I am not some people.

Anyway, it's been three weeks since my surgery and four weeks since my last period and that means that I, right now, am having my first un-period. I actually prepared for this. By searching Google. Because I'm an idiot. I just couldn't fathom what my ovaries would do if there wasn't a uterus dangling near-by them and everyone in Googleville told me that I probably wouldn't have much in the way of PMS anymore since my eggs had no place to go but it turns out that my eggs don't dig the whole "unrequited" thing and have gone on the offense.

That is to say that, for the first time since my first period on October  8th, 1988, I have raging, evil, inexplicable PMS. How do I know this? Exhibit A:

PMS Striketh

Exhibit B: My Sent Email box.

I've been blogging for five years and 10 months. I get my fair share of email pitches, and most of them are bad, but I've never really care too much about them even though it's like the new rite of passage in blogging to publicly commiserate with your peers about the audacity of your PR pitches. This has always screamed to me of bragging, like, OhMyGod, Becky, I really need you to know you will never believe how many people didn't realize I was too good for them today harumph. Until I got some PMS. And now I get it. No my head is exploding every time I open my email.

PR people are seriously emailing bloggers and saying 'Hi, I work for this random obscure company you've never heard of. Please send all of your analytic information from the past six months to random at email address dot com'. REALLY. And that's it.

They want to 'suggest' articles for us to write or 'guest post' for us on our blog so that they can get uncompensated advertising on our blogs? Really? Ask the Wall Street Journal to link to you for free, I double dog dare you. No, I don't think my blog is the Wall Street Journal but if you think I write 'articles' and am in the habit of ''publishing' press releases, you clearly think I am.

Someone asked me to post pictures of their clothing in exchange for a VIP link to their website. Like, is there a line to get it? Do I have to get a boob job and extensions to order your clothes? Do I get an double pour of Hennessey in my snifter if I enter your site through the VIP link?

A PR person for a brand new mommy blogging toy review company thing who has zero experience in PR and less in grammar asked me what I charged for my email list. I will not only not sell you my email list, because A) I value my readers and B) it's fucking ILLEGAL, I will flag your name and the name of the site you're working for and the second I get a commerical message from you, I'll know you bought someone's list and I'll report your ass to canspam because guess what? I do email marketing for a living.

And the thing is, since my ovaries have no where left to funnel their rage anymore, I need a new outlet - which has come down to gorging on cheeseburger or replying to these people. I've chosen the latter, with my ad rates. Or advice. Which, oddly enough, really effectively shuts people up because I think a good many of these PR people have gotten the Public and the Media parts down, but they seem to have forgotten that Public Relations contains the world Relations. Social Media contains the word Social.

But not all of them.

Companies like Chevy get that we're people and we like to be treated like people. The fact that I can meet the regional PR rep for lunch and just have lunch speaks volumes about the character of the company. The fact that I've asked them for way more than they've asked me for, that they took the time to read the words on my blog before they emailed me tells me that they're in this for the relations and it makes me want to work with them.

Companies like Kenmore rebrand and rebuild themselves based on the the input of normal old people. They asked people to describe their company in a word, turned those into word clouds, and based their new product line on the results...from the font up.

I'm a sucka for a cool director's chair.

I found it fascinating and refreshing to see how, at every level, this major corporation was hearing people, rather than trying to make them listen. They're tapping into local media with their Kenmore Live Studios and Social Media with the funniest PR person the world has ever known and treating bloggers like people and professionals and actually paying them for insane things like their TIME and OPINIONS and all the while delivering a solid product that my kids could use to play hide and seek.

Big enough for 100 sodas or one kid

That's, like, the perfect storm of marketing and I suddenly wish my house wasn't top to bottom Whirlpool because I totally want to put my money behind the company that is putting their money behind customer relations.

Companies like XBox seem to understand that if I'm on Twitter asking my friends if Santa should bring an XBox 360 or a PS3 and one of your paid spammers replies to me with a link that looks legit but really isn't, I'm going to hate you. But if you reply to me even though I wasn't talking to you and you say actual human things and are actually humanly helpful over the course of 30 minutes, I'm going to buy your product simply because you as a company are willing to invest in your relationships with consumers.

But of course I screwed myself because I decided to buy the damn Xbox right when Burger Kind decided to have their "we're giving away an Xbox every 15 minutes" thing and my kids will.not.shut.up.about.it so I took them to try and win one, which cost me $30 and an hour of my life I will never get back. Also, their dreams are crushed. Thankfully, Christmas morning should see that mended and see my without another pedicure for two years. Such is the price we pay for childhood whimsy.

But to say thank you to Xbox for the good service and Burger King for the burgers with mayo, I'm giving away 20 $10 gift cards to Burger King so you can try to win your kids and XBox Kinect, too. The whole giveaway they're doing ends on the 28th, so we have to do this fast. I'll draw 20 winners on Sunday so we can mail the gift cards out on Monday. If we don't get them there in time, go here. You can get 6 free codes online to enter, but you don't get a Whopper with that.

And really, I just want the Whopper. With extra mayo and tomatoes.  More than I've ever wanted anything in my whole life. Is this really what PMS is going to be like for the next 30 years?