Tampons: Both a necessity, a burden

Illustration by Rachel Dugo
Illustration by Rachel Dugo

I have done everything in my power to avoid buying tampons since the red wave hit my sophomore year of high school.

Instead of being a normal woman who could buy her own feminine hygiene products, I put the burden on others, namely the unsuspecting men in my life, to buy them for me.

Countless times I would send my oblivious father to the Walgreens down the street from our house to buy tampons. Meanwhile I, the impotent damsel, would sit at home on the toilet reading People Magazine, awaiting his return.

I treasure those times, which were often in the wee hours of the morning, because they truly portray the depth of my father’s affection.

It didn’t even matter that he usually bought the tampons with the cardboard applicator, which inflict a pain worse than death. As long as I didn’t have to buy them, I was happy.

Unfortunately, a time came when my dad couldn’t save me: college.

My parents bought me a seemingly endless supply of tampons with plastic applicators, an invention I will be forever thankful for, when I first went to school.

I would be prepared for my period for a good long while.

Recently, that supply ran out.

It was time for me to face the music and buy my own feminine hygiene products. I told myself it would be okay.

I used this as an opportunity to purchase that new sweater I’d been wanting … which would conveniently double as a shield to cover up the tampon box.

I went to Target with two trusted people I had informed of my tampon-buying phobia. I’d hoped they would help me get through such a difficult time.

Upon our arrival, it was obvious that my “supporters” were solely there to torment me.

They began loudly questioning which kind I would purchase, pronouncing tampons “tampens” in an upper-Midwestern accent.

My so-called friends started tossing the box of tampons back in forth between each other, and when we arrived at checkout, abandoned me to pay the male cashier on my own.

I don’t know how I made it through the ordeal, but I did.

Once I arrived safely back home, I ripped open my sacred box of tampons to discover rows of neatly-wrapped cardboard applicators.

Madison Holmes can be reached at [email protected] or @madisonholmes95 on Twitter.