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Dear Mr Detergent Manufacturer,

I think we need to have a little chat about a couple of slightly scary subjects, as follows: Pregnancy, and Commitment.

See, back when I was first pregnant, in the summer of 2002, you got together with Bounty and gave me a large plastic carrier bag full of free samples. Specifically, you gave me a lot of detergent samples.

And you know what? I threw them all away.

Then, in 2005, I was pregnant again. And you went right ahead and did it again! Plastic bag! Filled! Free samples! Washing detergent! I was all set to throw them away again, but this time my husband was too quick for me, and he put them out in the shed, where the washing-machine lives.

I’m proud to say they have been there ever since.

Free samples of detergent make me cross. I don’t like the implication that I can be convinced so easily, after just one date. How dare you assume I’m the kind of woman who will change her washing-powder because some smooth talker catches me at an emotional moment, and invests a small amount of money to get my attention? I notice that you carefully timed the arrival of these samples so as to not in any way coincide with the arrival of my baby.

You claim I’ll want to wash all my baby’s clothes before he / she arrives. Why on earth would I want to do that? And what can I possibly learn from your performance under these circumstances? How does you being able to wash clothes that are already clean help me assess your capacity to clean up after a small toxic person who has just pooed up their own back and into their hair for the fifth time in twenty-four hours? This is the washing-powder equivalent of taking me out to a restaurant neither of us can afford to visit ever again, then projecting the next forty years from this one experience.

Alternatively, you’re saying something even more disturbing, which is that it actually doesn’t matter if I put myself about a bit, and try a few different products before making my choice.

I can see only two possibilities here. Option one: my baby’s delicate skin requires a specialist washing powder and only the very best specialist washing powder will do, in which case I can’t possibly afford to risk getting it wrong even once and will not be swayed by your feeble attempts to romance me. Option two: it’s all a load of marketing bullshit, you’re all the same, and I might as well stick with what I’ve already got.

If your washing powder is really so great, stop messing around and give me a whole box of the stuff. That will give me enough time to see you under all conditions, not just this frankly unrealistic let’s-wash-some-clean-stuff-under-stress-free-conditions first-date nonsense you’re trying to talk me into.

Do you hear what I’m saying to you, Mr Detergent Manufacturer? Your entire approach is wrong. If you want to win my heart, then either commit properly, or leave me alone.

Thank you.

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