Have a Happy Period

The Red Army. The Rag. The Curse. The Sicklies. Your period. Your Cycle. The Crimson Curse. Witchin’ Week.
The menstrual cycle-whatever you call it, can be a bear. In my teens it always came unexpectedly. It never arrived at an opportune time…you know, like all those days when I was sitting about the house just wishing I would begin gushing blood from my nether parts!!?!
Nooo, it always exploded at the most ‘entertaining’ moments. I remember one particular day when it made its entrance while I was innocently teeter tottering with my confirmation class. What kind of sick practical joker would let that happen to an impressionable young woman?
Then there was the week I was camping with friends. Seriously. Out in the wilds with nary a feminine product for a hundred leagues!
I don’t even know what the purpose of this red tide is. And please, no, don’t explain the scientific causation to me. I am entirely uninterested. Because the truth is, it’s a ridiculously bad idea…a long running joke perpetrated on the women of the world. And for the most part, it’s ONLY women. Females of other species have come up with more civilized means of getting through the year. When was the last time you saw a prairie dog carrying around a box of tampons? Does that mean the prairie dog is more advanced than our own species? I often wonder.

Recently, however, my daughter introduced me to something called the menstrual cup. It’s a small silicone device that takes the place of a tampon. I won’t get into the gory details. But let me say, it has made my life a bit simpler and more environmentally friendly. Here’s a link for the Diva Cup site if you’d like to check it out: http://www.divacup.com/

And here, my blog lovin’ sisters, is the best thing ever written about Aunt Flo. It’s an actual letter penned to the brand manager of Proctor and Gamble. Enjoy!

Dear Mr. Thatcher,
I have been a loyal user of your Always maxi pads for over 20 years, and I appreciate many of their features. Why, without the LeakGuard Core™ or Dri-Weave™ absorbency, I’d probably never go horseback riding or salsa dancing, and I’d certainly steer clear of running up and down the beach in tight, white shorts. But my favorite feature has to be your revolutionary Flexi-Wings. Kudos on being the only company smart enough to realize how crucial it is that maxi pads be aerodynamic. I can’t tell you how safe and secure I feel each month knowing there’s a little F-16 in my pants.
Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from “the curse”? I’m guessing you haven’t. Well, my “time of the month” is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I’ll be transformed into what my husband likes to call “an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.” Isn’t the human body amazing?
As brand manager in the feminine-hygiene division, you’ve no doubt seen quite a bit of research on what exactly happens during your customers’ monthly visits from Aunt Flo. Therefore, you must know about the bloating, puffiness, and cramping we endure, and about our intense mood swings, crying jags, and out-of-control behavior. You surely realize it’s a tough time for most women. In fact, only last week, my friend Jennifer fought the violent urge to shove her boyfriend’s testicles into a George Foreman Grill just because he told her he thought Grey’s Anatomy was written by drunken chimps. Crazy! The point is, sir, you of all people must realize that America is just crawling with homicidal maniacs in capri pants. Which brings me to the reason for my letter.
Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: “Have a Happy Period.”
Are you fucking kidding me?
What I mean is, does any part of your tiny middle-manager brain really think happiness—actual smiling, laughing happiness—is possible during a menstrual period? Did anything mentioned above sound the least bit pleasurable? Well, did it, James? FYI, unless you’re some kind of sick S&M freak girl, there will never be anything “happy” about a day in which you have to jack yourself up on Motrin and Kahlúa and lock yourself in your house just so you don’t march down to the local Walgreens armed with a hunting rifle and a sketchy plan to end your life in a blaze of glory. For the love of God, pull your head out, man. If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn’t it make more sense to say something that’s actually pertinent, like “Put Down the Hammer” or “Vehicular Manslaughter Is Wrong”? Or are you just picking on us?
Sir, please inform your accounting department that, effective immediately, there will be an $8 drop in monthly profits, for I have chosen to take my maxi-pad business elsewhere. And though I will certainly miss your Flexi-Wings, I will not for one minute miss your brand of condescending bullshit. And that’s a promise I will keep. Always.
Best,
Wendi Aarons
Austin, TX

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19 Responses to Have a Happy Period

  1. Kylie Brant says:

    Lois, you crack me up 🙂 My biggest problem was always forgetting I had the damn thing and walking out the door without anything with me. I learned to always keep a tampon or two in my purse. By the time ‘great need’ descended, they were out of their wrapping and coated in the gunk that invariably coats the bottom of my purse. Niiiiice.

    This generation has it ever so much better. My daughter is on the pill that only allows one period every six months. I’d be insanely jealous if I didn’t know just what sort of agony she went through when one period lasted, wait for it, a full year.

    The most ingenious use of a tampon I can recall is when the boat we were riding in on the Mississippi sprang some sort of leak thingy in the engine. My dh demanded a tampon which I supplied. He then used the applicator in the place of a valve. Every summer he checks and it’s still there. Put that in the letter to Mr. Proctor and Gamble!

    • Kylie, was the year-long period the one that came on after 6 months? Frankly, I worry about some of these new birth control products. A good friend’s daughter has been trying to get pregant after going odd one of those new miracle drugs–a patch? or some such. She just had her second miscarriage. She went online and found others experiencing the same thing.

  2. loisgreiman says:

    Kylie, in genius!!! And yes, the damned things always escape in my purse to float around like tiny missiles. I didn’t know how handy they could be…other than the normal uses.

  3. Leanne Banks says:

    Lois! roflmao! I personally think they should include chocolate and some sort of strong pain reliever with tampons and pads.

    I was bringing in bags of groceries one day when my husband was watching my 9 month old and 3 year old. The 3 year old dug into one of the bags, pulled out the panty shields and proceeded to make airplanes out of them by putting two together.

    My other favorite thing is when your purse is searched because you’re going to a concert or something like that and you know the security guy is going to encounter tampons or pads. I just smile and say “Well, you wanted to see inside,”

    xo,
    Leanne

  4. Kathleen O says:

    ROTFLMAO!! Thanks for the great post.. I always…whoops excuse the pun, love a good laugh..I wish they had that Femince Diva cup around when I was still having my “friend”… Believe me when I say that “friend” was never welcome each month… But if you want to see homicidial meniacs, just wait for menopause…
    I remember when when I was young, and young and tampons were not the thing to use, and I needed to get some “pads” and my mom told me my dad would take me to the drugstore to get them. I was so embaressed for my dad to take me into the store, But he just have me the money to go inside and get them. And then there was another time I was in the drug store and bumped into an old boyfriend from school and I had the ‘Giant’ size box of Kotex Maxie pads in my basket.. Lets just say it was not one of my finest moments.

  5. Michele says:

    A good laugh for this morning! I have the classic ‘purse tampon’ that sits at the bottom of the purse for so long, that when you finally do need it, it’s torn apart and squished and useless.
    You know you’ve got a great hubby when you send him to the store for an emergency tampon run, and he actually does it, and he comes home with the right kind. That’s my guy! 🙂

    • Mary Louise says:

      OMG!! One of the funniest things I have read EVER. I wonder what response Wendi received from Mr. Thatcher. By the way, the date of my LMP 8/1/01. The freedom is glorious.

  6. Kylie Brant says:

    My dh was always okay about buying those products, too, Michele. He never could understand why other guys refused to. He always asked, “Are they afraid people will think they’re buying them for *themselves*???”

  7. catslady says:

    Oh that was hilarious. I had read another one to that company but this one was so much better. I have to say the best thing that ever happened to me was when I was finished with all that!!! I actually can wear white pants now!! Back in the day my mom wouldn’t let me use tampons and in school I use to have so many mishaps – It would go through my panties, girdles (yeah when you didn’t need one but it did hold up my nylons lol), slip (we weren’t allowed to wear pants yet) and of course the skirt or dress I was wearing. I wouldn’t go back to that for anything.

  8. lois greiman says:

    Leanne, I have a friend who calls it ‘chocolate week’. I need a t shirt to wear monthly that says, “Just give me chocolate and no one gets hurt.”

  9. lois greiman says:

    Mary Louise, ahhhh freedom. I hear good things and am beginning to dream of the day. I may buy better sheets for my bed then.

  10. Helen Brenna says:

    So glad I’m close to entirely finished with that process. Post menopause is a mighty wonderful thing in so, so many ways.

    Kylie, can’t believe your dh used one of those applicators in a boat engine! That’s hilarious.

  11. lois greiman says:

    Catslady, do you remember what we called garters?? They were like cute colorful girdles for girls. Crazy. I think the trend only lasted a couple years.

    • catslady says:

      I do and I finally got a garter belt when I was allowed to shop for myself lol. I was a lot happier when pantyhose was invented!! But boy were they expensive because we ate at wooden tables with wooden stools and the runners arghhh. At least with nylons you only lost one at a time. Girls have no idea how lucky they are to be able to have always been able to wear pants lol.

  12. I can match and go one better with most of you for childbirth–36 hours hard labor the first time–but God even it out for me by letting me have like-clockwork periods with very rare cramps. Mama had terrible problems, and so did my sister, so I guess I lucked out. But I was away from home the first time–went to the Cape with a girlfriend and her mother to open up their beach cottage, so I know it was late spring–and I was too embarrassed to tell either of them. Toilet paper got me through. I knew what was going on–Mama prepared me without any horror stories, so I don’t why I kept it a secret.

    Later that summer I had a period when we were visiting my grandmother, and she came to the bathroom door and asked if I needed any safety pins. Safety pins? How awful! Hadn’t she ever heard of a sanitary belt? I think I hurt her feelings. I suppose I’ll get my comeuppance when I ask my granddaughter if she needs and Flexi-Wings. (I’ll tell her about walking 20 miles to school wearing a sanitary belt.)

  13. loisgreiman says:

    🙂 You make me laugh, Kathy. I remember sanitary belts. Yikes.

  14. mjfredrick says:

    Ugh, the belts! I’m so lucky–I had my period the last day of school (when you don’t dare leave your classroom for fear your children will kill each other) and I will have it the first day of school next week. JOY! I have tequila waiting for when I get home.

    I’ve read that letter before but today this part had me laughing until I cried: If you just have to slap a moronic message on a maxi pad, wouldn’t it make more sense to say something that’s actually pertinent, like “Put Down the Hammer” or “Vehicular Manslaughter Is Wrong”? Or are you just picking on us?

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