Monday, April 27, 2009

It's All In The Name

There I was, sitting in front of my computer, with my list of what I thought were perfect names for a blog such as mine—something fun, original and fresh. I typed in my first choice. “Sorry, but that name is not available,” the message read. I typed in my second choice. Again, the same message. I typed in my third…fourth…fifth…eighth…tenth…. Same damn message.

So there I sat, staring at my computer screen, rethinking my entire existence. I could understand two or three, maybe even four of what I thought were original names already being taken, but all of them? So much for standing out from the herd. Apparently, I’m smack dab in the middle of it.

I was at a loss. Blogging didn’t sound fun anymore. I was ready to hang it all up. What was I thinking anyway? If I couldn’t even come up with an original title, how in the heck was I going to write about anything worth reading? In an attempt to make myself feel better, I popped a few M&Ms into my mouth then glanced at the clock to see how much longer I had before it was time to change my tampon. Then BAM! It hit me. Two things that a lot of us women share in common turned out to be the something original I was looking for.

So how about them tampons?

For me, tampons are something I would not want to live without. In fact, I think tampons are one of the best things ever invented. I think they’re right up there with electricity. I mean, if I had to choose between going a week without electricity and going a week on my period without tampons, I’d go straight to Wal-Mart, grab a variety pack of tampons, and fill up the rest of my cart with candles.

Which leads me to two of my biggest questions in life—who in the heck still wears pads? And why? Now, I know that the pad has come a long way since I was introduced to them by my mom many years ago. They are a lot thinner than they used to be, and thanks to the magical, super-absorbent, meshy stuff they have in them now, they are also a lot more absorbent. Heck, some of those things are so absorbent, they could have been used to help in the clean up after Hurricane Katrina. And let's not forget all the pretty fragrances they come in. But do you really want your sanitary pad to smell pretty? I sure don’t need to be put in the awkward position of having someone ask me in line at the grocery store, “What’s that perfume you’re wearing?” and me having to answer, “Oh, that’s not my perfume you smell, it’s my pad.”

The fact that some women still use pads is beyond my comprehension. Now, I’m not talking about those women who are gynecologically challenged and cannot use tampons. I’m talking about those women who can use tampons but still “choose” to wear a pad. I just don’t get it. I have worn pads. They are uncomfortable and no matter how thin and absorbent they make them, I still feel like I’m hauling around a couple chapters of Harry Potter in my underwear. And what is up with the so-called “wings?” Other than taking one out of your purse and shooting it across the waiting room at your kid’s doctor's office for his or her amusement, I don’t see the purpose. I know the wings are supposed to help keep the pad in place, but to me it’s just another sticky part of the pad that can get twisted the wrong way when I move so that it faces sticky side up. Ouch!

My apologies to any men who might be reading this. I realize you can’t really relate. And you should be thankful! But if you want to know what it’s like to wear pads, just try duct taping an old soggy sponge to the inside of your underwear for about a week—you’ll get the idea.

Tampons, on the other hand, are hassle free. I can just plug it in and go. I can’t feel it, there aren’t any misunderstandings about my perfume, and there’s no sticky tape trying to give me a Brazilian.

I asked my mom once why she chose to wear pads over tampons. She told me it was because she tried a tampon once and it was too uncomfortable for her. When I explained that she probably didn't have it in right and that she was supposed to stick the tampon completely inside her and not lay it in the middle of her undewear like she did her pads, she still had no desire to try again.

Of course, tampons are not 100% hassle proof. There is still the occasional leak, even when you’ve got a tampon the size of a missile stuck up your ying yang. I will never forget when my son, who was 7 at the time, pointed out that I had blood on the back of my pants. I calmly explained that I was just on my period and my tampon was leaking, then went directly into the bathroom. While in there, my son, so innocent yet so very serious, yells to me through the door, “Make sure you put lots of them in there, Mom...like ten of them!”

And then there’s chocolate. What woman does not like chocolate? I sure hope it’s not the ones who wear pads over tampons. I don’t think I can bear the thought of them living without both. Now that’s a charity I would donate to.

Just as I need my tampons during that time of the month, I need my chocolate just as much. I don’t know why. I just do. And I know I’m not alone. There are a lot of women who can’t make it through their monthly cycle without chocolate somewhere along the way. For me, it’s right before and during. It’s so much a necessity for me, that everyone in my house knows that the small stash of chocolate in the door of the fridge is not just chocolate. It’s “Mom’s chocolate,” which for them simply translates as “Leave it alone and you will live.”

Tampons and Chocolate. For me, it's the perfect name for my blog. And to think I have my period to thank for it. I think the last time I was thankful for my period was the time I was several days late and making deals with God just to have it start again. But that’s another story for another time. And no matter if you wear pads or tampons, like chocolate or hate it, or if you’re a man with an old soggy sponge duct taped to the inside of his underwear right now, my hope is that you will all join in the fun at Tampons and Chocolate.