I have a friend who is somewhat unconventional. This is exemplified by her tampon poem. Yes, she wrote a poem about a tampon. It was a really sad poem (and not sad pathetic, sad like “sniff, sniff, I feel bad for that little tampon”). There was a line about how the little wad of cotton must be sad since it will never be anything fun like an oxford shirt. Weird? Maybe, but I suppose she has a point. If you were a wad of cotton this might be the least desirable product you could aspire to be.
I started thinking about tampons today thanks to my work husband. He was looking for whiteout. He didn’t have any and wanted me to go through the desk drawers of our co-worker to find some.
Work Husband: “Will you go look for whiteout for me, I would do it myself but I wasn’t sure if there were girly things in there”
I was confused. Girly things…like collections of googly eye stickers and pencils with heart shaped erasers?
Work Husband: “I know she has a huge drawer of supplies but I don’t want to go through her drawers. I thought maybe you could do it for me”.
Now I realize that he feels I am the better choice to forage through her drawers because I am female and “girly things” are man code for MENSTRUAL PRODUCTS. (Sorry, I felt the need to capitalize it for impact.)
Me: “Go look yourself and if you find the tampon drawer it’s ok, they don’t bite.”
10 minutes later
Work Husband: “She didn’t have any whiteout but the tampons are in the middle drawer”
Me: “Great and if you need some more, mine are in the bottom left”
What is it with men and their goofy behavior about feminine products? I blame 6th grade. That was the year they took all the boys into one room and the girls into another to have “the talk”. From that point forward it became a weird girl secret. We watched Julie’s Story, a movie about our grand entrance into womanhood. Sadly IMDB offers little information on this cinematic gem. It was apparently released in 1984, described as follows:
“Julie gets her first period in her dance class and tells her best friend and their teacher. The teacher informs Julie of what to do during her period. This is an informative piece for pubescent girls who have or will begin to menstruate.”
Frankly that’s more than I actually remember about the movie. Since we weren’t the steroid/growth hormone infused pre-pubescents of today, 99% of us hadn’t even gotten our periods at this point. And if someone did have it, they certainly weren’t broadcasting it. I mean c’mon, who is going to own up to something as corny as “experiencing womanhood”. No one is that stupid.
Oh wait, I was wrong.
Before I tell you what was actually said, you need context - an understanding of the individual if you will. I share this strictly for illustrative purposes. (and maybe because it's a little funny)
Movie Day – Sometime in 1986
She was escorted out of the class movie to the nurses office (you know the kind of movie I mean - old projection machine, big ass spools, cool click, click, click noise, back when the teacher needed a PhD in AV to make the damn thing work). She had been absently twirling her hair around her finger, intently watching a badly narrated film about ancient Egypt when she started crying. As it turns out her finger had become hopelessly knotted in her hair and now she couldn’t get it out. So there she sat crying with her limp hand dangling from her ratty hair. They ended up having to cut out.
Context my friend. And now we continue…
Back to Julie’s Story. We had just sat through a terrifying 30 minutes where they told us some day soon we’re going to start unexpectedly bleeding for no good reason which only happens to girls and we could talk to our mothers about it because they too bleed unexpectedly for no good reason.
There was now a very uncomfortable silence as we sat staring at the ceiling while biting our fingernails praying that they would let us leave in time to hide our sample pack of feminine products from the boys. Out of the silence comes a whiny voice…and I preface this by saying that I can’t remember if there was an actual question posed to us or if this was just unsolicited commentary.
“Ummm, I have a little bit of something that comes out of the hole sometimes but I’m not sure if that’s it. It’s kind of white. I didn’t tell my mother.”
Sweet Jesus! What is wrong with her? This resulted in nervous tittering in the room for which we were promptly reprimanded and sent on our way. (I should mention that years later she was still the girl that had a little bit of something coming out of THAT hole.)
Life went on after Julie, "it" eventually came, it still comes and my work husband has figured out that it's just his luck that I share the same cycle with his real wife. Unfortunate...for him.