The Basic Rules of Tampons
That’s right, we’re talking tampons which–if you’re a man–might be your cue to scoot on out, although you’re welcome to read on if you wish. Sidenote: Featured image has nothing to do with tampons, but I think posts should have pictures and I didn’t have anything else that subtly suggested tampon usage and wasn’t about to attempt an artsy picture with a blurred out Tampax box. So there. An unrelated photo of me and Nella from this weekend.
Let me start by saying that I didn’t talk about periods or tampons or sex or any of this stuff with my mom growing up because it was awkward as hell and we abode by the trusty philosophy of hide-your-head-in-the-sand-and-pretend-girls-don’t-have-periods. Or even vaginas. Everything I learned about periods and a woman’s body was from the instruction paper that was folded in the Tampax box which left me with two solid facts: a) there’s a very good chance you’re going to die from TSS, and b) there are a variety of ways to insert a tampon–who knew?! Since the Tampax instruction guide left me hanging, I ended up having to do some follow-up research of my own. On one of our homeschool library days, I went all Sherlock Holmes, making sure no one saw me sneak off to the reference section where I, once confirmed I was alone, looked up every Song of Solomonish thing I could think of–vagina, period, intercourse. I learned about life hiding in the reference section of the Flint Public Library, and I left…traumatized. And yet intrigued. My birds-and-bees library introduction course would later advance when we took in the daughter of an inmate from our church’s prison ministry for a while, and she told me everything. Everything.
Because of this whole experience, I’ve been hell bent on taking away the awkwardness of these subjects in our home, at least by talking about them openly and honestly–early–with no shame. The balance of too little and too much is tricky though because I also don’t want to go the other way–“Mom, please stop talking about vaginas”. At least if there’s awkwardness, it won’t be because I avoided the subject for too long. We’re still only in the introductory phase. In other words, all three of my kids know what a tampon is for if you consider, in Dash’s case, that “pocket rocket” is a proper use.
Speaking of tampons, I’ve had to reestablish some tampon rules for myself. My rules aren’t really for tampon beginners. Let’s face it, the Tampax instruction guide and the library can take care of that. It’s for when you’ve been doing this period stuff for many years. When you’re getting lazy and need to be reminded of the basics. If you do calligraphy, feel free to make some framed art for your bathroom with these.
1. Buy Them.
Seems pretty self-explanatory, right? Except after you’ve had three kids and can’t remember where you left your grocery list and you’re a little behind on your laundry, sometimes you forget to buy them. Like ever. “I don’t understand why you never have tampons,” Brett said after he caught me digging in my closet at 5 am one morning–again–in search of an old purse that might have one. I swear I made it three months once simply from digging through old purses every time I needed one, ransacking my glove compartment or bumming one off friends like cigarettes. A frequent text to Heidi: “When you pick up Ivy, can you bring me some tamps?” I mean, they’re what–$7 a box? I don’t understand why this is so difficult for me, but just to check this one off my list, I’m going to go order a wholesale box from Amazon right this second. BRB.
2. Bring Them.
A lot of good buying tampons does if you don’t actually bring them where you might need . Like, say, to the gym when you have a one-on-one personal training session with a 20-something male which, correct me if you have a better story, but might be the worst time ever to be stuck without a tampon when you desperately need one. Because, God forbid, something happens in the middle of the training session, you might have to excuse yourself to the bathroom where you will be stuck for a moment thinking, “There is no way out of this one alive.” Not that this happened to me yesterday or anything, but–you know–a friend I know. And then you might have to run to find the woman pilates instructor, yelling “I’ll be right back!” to the trainer while you do. And she might give you a tampon and her only change of clothes which happens to be a pleated tennis skort. And you might have to return to your session, explaining that something happened and, “Oh hey, yeah, I’m wearing a SKORT now, but please–do carry on.” The best part? Trainer looks at skort and says, “I think you’re wearing it backwards.”
“I would have left and never come back,” my sister told me.
Moral of the story? Bring the tampons. Stuff them in your pockets, your purse, your glove compartment, your beach bag, your diaper bag, and especially your gym bag. At least for the simple fact that you will have a hidden stash when next month you realize you’re out of tampons. Again.
Also…there is nothing not funny about a skort. Ever. Skorts are always funny.