Sometimes having a heart to heart is really tough. However, with some honest dialogue there is room for growth. That being said… Pull up a chair and lets have a little chat. I would like to talk about something in your pants that every so often involves a man in your life.
You see the problem almost always starts out like this:
Supermom: Hey honey! Are you stopping by the store on the way home?
Me: Yeah I was going to pickup a case of Old Spice, some wood screws, and some beer.
Supermom: Great! I am trying to not stab the dog and cry randomly in front of the kids so I need you to get something for me while you are there.
Me: No problem sweetums. What do you need? (I think I know at this point)
Supermom: I’m feeling a little crampy and I think I am almost out of tampons.
Me: …… No problem. Just tell me what you need. (Yup Tampons, Oh God here it comes and she expects me to remember.)
Supermom: *Takes a deep breath and begins* Well I think maybe the blah blah wings blah blah or the blah hurts my blah with a blah blah blah but not the yellow blah blah slim because they make it with blah blah and so if they have the blah blah then just get the blah blah. But not the big package. Get the medium.
Me: Okay. (Don’t have a clue. I am going to look over the whole section and pick something that has a chance of working. No way will I call and have an in-store out-loud discussion of each feature.)
Lots of men are playing the role of strong husband and telling others, “What is the big deal?” or “Man Up.”
First off, I don’t mind the embarrassing trip to the wall of shame. I think I have established that my vanity is low and my radar for what people think of me is possibly broken. Men of a certain age usually share your pain and politely act like they didn’t see you. But I have the super power of being able to pick up full packages off the shelf and I can even touch the individually wrapped items without making a squenchy gross face.
Ladies, Ladies, remember I am married. I know it is impressive.
After all, the tampon was made for men at war. The pinnacle of manly activities is the organized battle to the death. The original idea was for a quick method to stop soldiers from bleeding out of bullet holes during a battle. Cram a roll of cotton in the hole and let it swell shut until the soldier could be transported to a hospital. Worked better than dirt so they took off in production. I can’t imagine the first woman to say, “Hmmmm I bet that would work great in a vagina”, but someone did and then someone believed her and the trend was launched. That’s not to say that I think they stole tampons from men.
No, menstruation is a cruel joke that biology plays on you women and I won’t escape the suffering because all four of my children are girls. I am planning to buy a loom and start cotton farming to save money and teach the children some humility. Nothing makes you appreciate the finer things in life like good old fashioned weaving your own tampons.
There are however, some things about shopping for feminine products that really bother me. I think the men should pay attention here because we need real social change in this area.
First and foremost is judgment from women, of all people. When I am perusing the lady section looking for the correct combination of features and color of wrapper it naturally takes time because I am unfamiliar. The picture on my phone looks like nothing in this entire store. Ninety percent of the time(yes I keep statistics on it) there will be a lady waiting for me to finish my choice before she approaches to do her own shopping. I feel like the Feminine Hygiene area is a “Girls Only” club and that I am eyeballed as an intruder. This often irritates me so I try to make it more uncomfortable by asking an awkward question like, “What exactly does Heavy mean? Are we talking leaking faucet or untended garden hose?” or maybe “My wife is about your size, what do you prefer?” That line has a totally different reaction than it does at Victoria’s Secret. I really just want to say, “Trust me lady, I don’t like this any more than you do.”
I do get it though. Women feel vulnerable with a man watching. I don’t want some chick looking through the Astroglide Gels while I ponder proper enhancement gel selection. Maybe I need that sensation gel for a medical condition. You don’t know me or my life! Stop eyeballing me!
Condom companies on the next shelf over are anything but discrete with the size descriptions. Magnum. Slim-fit. Regular. What do women think when they read those words? I bet that even to security cameras are zoomed in and watching both sections. Maybe I will switch to mail order supply. Who am I kidding? I have four kids. I haven’t purchased any of those in a decade.
If we are ever going to approach equality in this country I need to feel welcomed in the tampon aisle. Ladies, I will try not to judge when you encroach on the men’s area too. I promise not to read the Tampax box and infer things about your level of anemia or your general anatomy.
I do get confused by all the options and wonder what crazy range of vaginas and lifestyles could inspire such diversity. I tried to break the whole phenomenon into categories to make sense. I learned more than I wanted to know.
Catch Method: Tampon, Pad, MiniPad, Adult Diaper, Liner, Diva Cup (You should read up on the Diva Cup, wtf is all I can say about it)
Capacity: Light Day, Heavy Day, Overnight, Spotting Protection, Ability to Drain a Farm Pond
Installation: Applicator, No Applicator, Wings, Semi-Wings, Adhesive Backed
Bonus Features: Scented, Unscented, Narrow Installation, Stronger Removal String, Doubles as Huge Earplugs
This diversity creates utter madness across the aisle. In fact, I propose a new federal system of hygiene product packaging. Even conservatives can agree, this is an area in dire need of government regulation.
Suggestion #1: Packaging needs to be something gender neutral like a black plastic bag with simple graphics like a Lumberjack or Handguns, like I said gender neutral. In the center of the front of the package should be a large number that is assigned to an exact product. This is not building a Power Ranger Samurai Zord Robot, it is buying tampons. We don’t need to keep flaunting awesome accessories.
#1 Tampon, Light Flow, Scented, w/ Applicator
#2 Tampon, Heavy Flow, Unscented, w/o Applicator
#3 Maxi pads, Demi-wings, Long Coverage, Overnight
#4 Full pad, chrome rims, spoiler and moon roof, pink fuzzy dice, absorbent floor mats.
#5 You get the idea. Go as long as the combinations require.
Now Supermom could call and tell me that she needs a PMS Code #3. I walk briskly by the Feminine Hygiene aisle and slap a black package marked 3 into the cart and keep rolling. The lady browsing for some mega pack of #2 won’t have to worry about me eavesdropping on her selection because I am already gone.
Put some marketing into action and get the price of these bad boys down. I can already see Showtime teamed up with Tampax to do a whole Dexter series of products.
Regular Pads = Miami Metro Crime Scene
Heavy Day Pad = Dexter Kill Room
Light Day Tampon w/ applicator = Ice Truck Victim
Long Coverage Overnight = Deborah Morgan
Heavy Day Tampon w/o Applicator = The Hannah McKay
I think True Blood may want some of that sweet marketing action with a Sookie Stackhouse series.
Tweens could get characters from Twilight on the packaging just like cartoons are put on bandages. I guess that might get a little weird because the tampon has a somewhat phallic use but just some thoughts.
Put “Dad Packs” near the Condoms and Protein Shakes. These packs come in three options, Tampons, Pads, and Liners. They are meant as a short term fix until the female in need can actually make a trip to the store to figure out the vocabulary. These packs could come with a sample pack of hand lotion and some headache medicine. A sort of PMS survival kit. The lotion is for foot rubs, I can’t believe you people.
I don’t really care which route things take but we need change. If we cant get our house in order over something as simple as Tampons how can we expect to defeat terrorists? This is a matter of National Security and Mental Health. For the increased pressure on the system that my obviously viral blog will create, you’re welcome.
Underdaddy to the rescue.