Column By Melissa Martin
After I bought a bag of Nestle’s Dove milk chocolate candies, intrigue set in as I read the phrases on shiny wrappers. The neurons in my brain fired and wired. Eureka!
Who writes the motivational messages inside Dove candy wrappers? Fire him. Promote her. Because I want that job. It’s like a piece of therapy with an inspirational saying and a tasty tongue soother. Shazam! Food for your mood.
The flavored universe sent me the following Dove messages as I pulled each one out of the bag, unwrapped it and nibbled. “You should charge for your great advice.” Exactly! Hire me and pay me. “Lend an ear. And a chocolate.” I’m a listener by profession. I can do that! “Escape for a moment.” Yes, I can teach eaters how to go to their woo-woo, foo-foo places without leaving the couch. “Coin a new catchphrase.” Okay, here goes. A tweet and a sweet is all you need. Yes, I’m on my way to a new career.
The other Dove phrases on the wrappers did not fit. “You’re gorgeous.” I’m getting squishy as I age like an overly ripened banana. A tropical fruit with wrinkles. Wrong message to the wrong person. “Get dressed up with no place to go.” Not a good idea. Dog hairs will congregate on my black pants.
In fact, many of the phrases seemed cheesy as I savored the cocoa flavor and reflected. The Nestle Company desperately needs me to rethink and rewrite their pie-in-the-sky sayings.
My creative juices started oozing.
I could write quotes to give parents a boost during turbulent teen times. “Stay out of power struggles with a teen — you’ll lose.” “Do not scream, even if your eyes pop out of their sockets.” “Teens are gigantic blobs of emotion. Run!”
I could write quotes to give teenagers hope that 18 is just around the corner. “I know parents are embarrassing. Suck it up. They stay that way until you’re grown.” “Some days your parents need a hug.” “You change your underwear so you can change your mind.”
I could inscribe empathic messages when partners dump each other. “Tears are tiny heartaches that slide down your cheeks. Blow your nose and move on.” “Eat your feelings of loss with more chocolate pieces and numb the pain.” “A cheater doesn’t deserve creamy chocolate.”
Nestle could create a bag of chocolates just for politicians. “When you get caught with your hand in the candy bag, blame the cook.” “A lie isn’t a lie unless others believe it not to be true.” “A chocolate a day keeps impeachment away.”
Here are some of my random phrases. “Nibble like no one is watching.” “Chew with your mind and mind what you chew.” “Cherish your taste buds.” “Digest your day.” “Spit out your fear.”
I perused www.nestle.usa for employment as a writer of wrapper messages. But could not find a job description. Maybe the phrases are written by an anonymous author and kept in a secret vault. Will I need a security clearance? Hmmm. I’ve never plagiarized. And I faithfully use spell-check. Oops. I do eat other brands of chocolate. Maybe snarky humor isn’t their thing.
I hope my dream job doesn’t melt away like milk chocolate on a sunny day.
Melissa Martin, Ph.D., is an author, columnist, educator, and therapist. She lives in Ohio. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.