As we all prepare to sit around our dinner tables and share the things that we are most grateful for, I can’t help but be reminded of the many reasons why I am so thankful for tampons and pads.
Like that time I had been so focused on making sure that everything was perfect for a show that I was doing that I forgot that my period was coming and right before I was set to rock the first world on stage, a crimson avalanche started brewing in my nether regions. Kicking into a light panic (read: freaking tf out) at the prospect of having what I’d hoped be an emotionally-touching musical showcase turn into some bloody horror show. But the crisis was quickly averted by the polite friend of a friend who was kind enough to lend me her tampon plus an extra one for backup.
Or the time that I was on a business trip and the hotel that I was staying in didn’t have a single piece of period supplies in stock. And after having gone on the scavenger hunt from hell, made complete by stares of abject disgust from the male front desk clerk, I remember wondering if I was in some strange Twilight Zone universe where period supplies didn’t exist. But, then, my hour and a half crisis came to a quick halt when my roommate woke up and gave me a maxi pad that she’d brought along.
Or the time that my friend set me up on a blind date. “You need to get out more,” she said. “It will be good for you,” she said. But, then I get to this hole-in-the-wall restaurant that he chose (and kept saying that the food sucked, but it was all that he could afford. Like, he KEPT saying it) and the pungent, aromatic smell of mushrooms and onions were not the savory smells that I expected to come from the kitchen, but were, in fact, coming from his armpits. Therefore, any hopes that I had of attempting to eat the food (which would have been a long shot despite the circumstances because the food looked like it’d been shoveled from a dumpster onto a plate) waved hasta la bye bye. But, in an effort to get out of the date without completely shattering his obviously fragile self-esteem, I did the unthinkable.
He was telling me about some work drama that he was having with his supervisor and his one and only work friend. I nodded and “mhm”ed in all the right places. I could see that this conversation, or monologue, rather, was going to go much longer than I could have ever hoped that it would.
While he was talking, I fished out a tampon, unwrapped it, and plopped it into my long island iced tea.
I sat there, sipping my drink through a straw, as if I didn’t have a tampon bobbing in it like a buoy, a goofy grin plastered on my face.
He stopped talking.
He stared at me.
I stared back.
He found a way to make a quick exit (“You know what? I just remembered that my cat had an appointment tonight…”) and he was never heard from again. My friend and I had a good laugh the next day as I told her what happened.
But, thank goodness I had a tampon and, more importantly, he didn’t have some weird fetish with girls who put tampons in their drinks.
Reflecting on these stories remind me of being grateful for a few things.
First of all, I am so grateful that tampons and pads were invented.
I know that women have been managing their periods before these conveniences were adopted, but the ease of use and disposal are amazing for the modern woman on the go.
I am also grateful that men still get weirded out by period supplies. Would anyone get weirded out by a tampon in a drink? Probably. But, in a day where men become violent when rejected, being able to stumble upon a simple solution where one just walks away is simply priceless.
I am also grateful for my friends, even the ones that set you up on terrible blind dates. Good friends are in your corner when you need them. They are there to share your joy, sorrow, laughter, and great sex stories.
Most of all, good friends remind us that we love and are loved. It reminds us that we are connected, despite how disconnected our busy lives may make us feel.
With so much to be grateful for, I am adding to the top of my list being a woman. If not for my uterus, these funny, happy memories would not have been possible.