Stealth Friends

by f

Flickr, via SpecialKRB

So my period’s here a week early. I found this out in a Barnes and Noble bathroom, and I am thoroughly unprepared.

The pain is crippling, as it often is on my first day. I can barely move.

I’m bleeding straight into my underwear. Since it’s a week early I have no backup plan, so I have no spare napkins. The only thing I’m aware of is that I’m surrounded by books and I can’t read them. My ears are suddenly throbbing with pain.

Nobody picks up their phone. I call W, no response. My father has gone to some colleague’s daughter’s wedding reception so he’s left me here at this bookstore, which is part of a larger — but not large — mall of wealthy stores.

I know that none of these places carry feminine hygiene products, but I try anyway. The Barnes and Nobles has a maxi pad machine, but the machine is broken and the pads either stolen or never there. I don’t know which is worse. I try every single fucking bathroom in the mall. From the useless store that sells clothes for total sticks, to the other useless store that … well, you know. Try the toy store,  the fish restaurant,  the place that sells chocolates and antique furniture.

And finally, when I am desperate, I go to the movie theater. They have a machine! And yes, they sell … tampons. I have to go to the ticket booth and ask for a dollar’s worth of change. Thankfully, they give it to me.

What I want to know is, why can’t more stores carry these options? What are women to do when they have such accidents? Why can’t bathrooms have these machines available? It should not be this hard to find appropriate means to defend oneself from total humiliation at the hands of bloody jeans.

*

So, as a result of today:

(Frantic) Calls to my father: 25. Calls to W: 20. Times I throw up in a public toilet: 2. Number of minutes I spend on the phone with my best friend explaining how the Worst Case Scenario handbook of Love & Sex mentions making makeshift tampons from toilet paper and water and then asking her for suggestions on what to do: 45. Number of minutes it takes to locate tampon: 30. How many times I thank my lucky stars I’m wearing very dark rinse jeans … too many to count.

6 Responses to “Stealth Friends”

  1. Oh, I hate when this happens. I think that they don’t really install these machines is because they don’t make much money off of them when they do. Which also explains why they do not maintain those machines, either. I’ve had this same problem. In school, though. Twice. And both times there was no nurse and no way to get into her office. Well, there probably was a way, but nobody thought it was important enough to help me out. Thankfully, I had a teacher who lent me a tampon. Unfortunately, I cannot use tampons…so it was uncomfortable. But, it did the trick until I could get home (thankfully both times the day was almost over). In my school they had those machines in our bathrooms, but they usually didn’t work then, either. Or they weren’t stocked. Or both.

    • I feel that way about tampons, too. I’ll use them if I have to, but I am not comfortable with them. At all. I’m sorry to hear that you had these awful problems with your period in school. So did I. I was not comfortable with my body at ALL then. And I was never prepared.

      Wouldn’t’ve been nice if the school had those vending machines … *sigh*

  2. Oh gawd, this is one of those nightmare scenarios you always hope never happens to you. The last time I came close, you and I were at the library and we had to trek to the only bodega in the whole damn county (luckily, just on the corner) and I had to ask for a giant pack of a brand I hate, which was stocked behind the counter like cigarettes or something else you don’t want children to see.

    My poor, poor F! I say you complain to the mall management. Women make up the majority of their customers, they should be prepared to keep us happy. Not that what’s in one of those machines is EVER nice. Cheap, nasty, too small, etc.

    @banpaia at least your school had machines. I don’t think ours did, or if they did they weren’t in all the bathrooms.

    • @ D – Yeah, at least they had the machines there, even if they weren’t always in working order or stocked. It showed they at least knew the problems existed, rather than ignoring them. :p

      @ F – Yeah, it sucked, but I think that your experience in the book store was the worst of all three of our experiences. :p Still, I’m glad that things eventually worked out. o.o; Sometimes it really is damned inconvenient to be female. –; Men should be the ones to have periods, anyway, they’re the ones with outdoor plumbing. :p Much easier to take care of, I’m sure. Hehehe~

      • @V What’s the old saying? If men had periods, menstruation and abortion would be national sacraments! Or something to that effect.

        I would still rather be female… “Testosterone poisoning” (as my dad calls it!) has its own issues.

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