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.