We live in a society where ordinary, everyday people will reduce themselves to eating rotten gorilla gums for money while the rest of us... who firmly believe we are better than they are...will sit in our living rooms and watch them do it on television and call it entertainment. Our progress boggles the mind.
But despite our willingness to talk about, watch and take part in any number of disgusting behaviors in our never ending attempt to stave off boredom, there remains one subject about which we are so gentile, we must only discuss it with those closest to us.
That's right. I said it. Our periods. Our menstrual cycles. The monthly curse. Aunt Flo. The pip. Whatever you want to call it, if you're female you've likely either had it, gon'na get it or just getting over it. It's part of what makes us women and somehow over the course of time we've allowed men to convince us that our periods are something we need to keep to ourselves. They just don't want to hear about it. And frankly coming from a group of humans that very often feel the need to announce the frequency and length of their own bowel movements, I'm saying as women we need to band together and put a stop to this double standard.
As Cher said to Nicholas Cage, "Snap out of it."
I myself have come forth and taken a stand for women everywhere. What did I do? Well, if you've ever been running a 104 degree temperature, haven't bathed in two days because you've been so near death you swear you saw your dead Uncle Bert standing by the microwave, and then had your period start only to find the Kotex box had nothing in it but the tiny,folded up pamphlet about toxic shock syndrome, this one's for you.
Ladies, I made my husband buy my feminine products.
Right now, you're gasping in disbelief. I know, I know. Not since Mary Tyler Moore threw her beret in the air has the women's movement been so advanced by a single act. Men simply will not buy feminine products of any kind. Every woman knows it, but for the life of us we can't figure out why.
What possible reason could they have? Maybe they worry the clerk will think they use them themselves. Maybe they are afraid they'll look gay, even though I'm pretty sure gay men aren't typically seen walking down the street with a box of maxi pads swinging from their belts. They can ask us to buy everything from jock itch powder to bunion pads to condoms, but if we dare to ask them to pick up a tiny box of "woman things" at Wal-Mart, the response is always the same. "I'm not buying that stuff."
So it was in the interest of feminism that I sent my Mr. Man out into the wilderness to forage for the much feared woman things. Not wanting to send him out on his own this first time without proper training, I gave him a quick crash course in all things feminine.
Over coffee we talked at length about pads and tampons, wings and liners. He was clearly mesmerized. Feeling secure in his newfound knowledge, my hunter set out bravely, in broad daylight even, to provide for his mate.
I have to admit, I was amazed at how easy it was to get him to go. He didn't put up too much of a fight. In fact, after he left it occurred to me that he wasn't going to get my menstrual supplies at all. I imagined he was probably at a cock fight or something equally manly trying to build up the testosterone he felt he had lost after spending the afternoon talking about tampons. As time passed and he still hadn't returned from his journey, I started to think maybe I wasn't imagining things.
Just when I was about to call the local cock fighting arena to have him paged, he drove up. I saw him get out of the car and he had not one single package, the rotten little man. Crouching down into prime pouncing position so as to mount a surprise attack on his genitalia, I watched him walk around the car and pop the trunk. Low and behold, he had actually been to the store. He pulled out a bag... a really big bag. That's just like him, I thought. Send him to get one little thing and he comes back with fifty things we don't need.
Then he pulled from the trunk another bag. And then another. Mr. Man had three big bags stuffed to the top.
"What did you buy? Did you even get what I sent you after?" I said as he walked in the door.
He sat the bags down on the floor and without saying a word, one by one he unloaded his bounty. Box after box after box of every feminine product manufactured in North America was now covering my living room. The man had bought every size, every shape, every color, every absorbency. He had things with wings, little things, big things, flat things and things that I wasn't too for sure weren't premie diapers. I had enough menstrual supplies to open my own periodical warehouse.
"What in the world were you thinking?" I asked, not knowing what the proper response might be when one is presented with such a windfall.
"I love you," said Mr. Man. "And nothing says loving like a trunk full of tampons."
What can I say? You gotta love a poet.
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Copyright © 2004, Sherri Bailey
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