Have a Happy Period!

IN which I pull on my ranty panties…


Tonight I had to run to the drugstore so that I could buy some “feminine hygiene products” because in a house with 3 women of childbearing age (ok, two of ‘em had best not be bearing any children until after grad school and I’m done but you know what I mean), we tend to run out real fast.

SO there I am, in the “feminine hygiene” aisle, staring at this vast array of plastic wrapped, colorful, over-packaged products in complete bafflement. And I had a few thoughts that I wanted to share with my readers.

First. “Feminine Hygiene products.” Ok, nuff said. How about “Stuff for when you are bleeding because you’re a girl and that happens.” or just “Maxipads and Tampons” there in the aisle header.

Second. Wings. On maxi pads. Okay? Who thought that up? Who thought little plastic sticky wings were a good idea? This is not a remake of Aladdin for my vagina. I am not going to fly anywhere. It is not a whole new world. Why then, I ask, do I need wings? Can someone answer this question?

“To keep your panties fresh.” I am sure some Madison Ave. exec is muttering. “Duh.”

I am here to state, for the record, that wings don’t help with the freshness issue. What wings do is get all stuck the wrong way and then when you try to adjust things, they stick themselves to the bottom of the pad and become unusable. Then there you are, in the second stall in the ladies room, swearing at your panties and wondering why your coworkers all look at you funny when you walk out. And if you do by some lucky chance get the wings wrapped around there right, creating a little plastic freshness ensuring panty burrito, the odds are very good that at some point during your day (unless you have a Brazilian), a stray hair will work its way into the adhesive, creating a very painful pulling sensation that must be rectified immediately. And there you are, casually limping into the nearest broom closet or bathroom to fix things but trying to look as if you haven’t a care in the entire world.

“Well gee whiz, Martha Sue. That there gal sure does have a curious hitch in her gitalong.”

Thank you Madison Avenue, I’ll skip the panty burrito. The only reason I might want wings anywhere near my panties is so that the rabid mongoose currently residing in my uterus can hop on and fly away, back to rabid mongoose cramps land.

Third. Little adhesive strips that read, “Have a happy period.” I’m sorry? Have a happy what? What is that all about? Please refer to item #1 and the part where I talked about the rabid mongoose. There is nothing you can write on my hygiene products that is going to help with that. Unless I suddenly get a houseboy with mad skills at hot fudge sundaes and foot massage, I probably am not going to have a happy period. At last put something helpful on there like, “How about a nice cabernet?” or “For God’s sake, eat some chocolate.” or even “Put the .22 down and go take a nap.”

Madison Avenue, I don’t want pink plastic or cartoons, cute little sayings, quotes, pearlescent coverings, tampax dusted with pixie dust or symbolic flowers. I don’t need six sizes and absorbencies of ultrathin now with super absorbent power and wings and a cute quote on the back plus flower fresh perfume. I am not embarrassed by my body’s functions and do not need these things to make the experience more palatable to myself or anyone else. BUT I am a little abashed when I have to stand there blocking the aisle for ten minutes scratching my head and trying to figure out which box of “hygiene” products has been specially formulated for my specific needs while some pubescent box boy unpacks aspirin 7 feet away. That process is not palatable to me one bit.

If you’re going to try to make the experience a little nicer? I wouldn’t say boo to a complimentary Ritter Bar or 3 pack of Godiva truffles inside each package. Or a coupon for a nice Merlot. That would not be overkill, in my book.

And for god’s sake? Lose some of the plastic over-packaging. I really don’t want to destroy the environment over this.

Next time on The Too Much Information Channel… trying to buy over the counter yeast infection treatments. Why they keep that shit locked up behind plexiglass and why I always get the one clueless male checker who has to shout across the store “What kind of YEAST CREAM did you want again, lady?” when I have three frat boys in the line behind me, is beyond me. Hilarity always ensues.


About Maia Rainwood

Owner and Maker at Maia Rainwood Design. Wearable art for wise women, birth keepers, witches, and world-builders.
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19 Responses to Have a Happy Period!

  1. geogrrl says:

    This made me gigglesnort–totally agree. It also reminded me of Crazy Aunt Purl’s blog entry about tampons with happy little sayings on them. Like our vaginas would appreciate them. I don’t get either why a perfectly natural function is surrounded by all this gauzy pink flowered cheeriness. It shouldn’t be treated like a disease, but it’s no picnic, either.

    I used OB tampons because I hated the applicators other brands used. I laughed at a friend who said she didn’t like them because “you have to touch yourself down THERE.” Um, yeah. Your vagina IS part of you.

    I used the “wings” type of pads because it kept the bleedover under somewhat better control than the other types. Not much, but it was a help. I got really tired of washing blood out of my underwear.

    Before my hysterectomy at 31 (fibroids and bleeding that literally wouldn’t stop) my periods were HORRIBLE. The cramps felt like I was going into labour every month. I felt sick, and was in pain, and because of that I was bitchy. I didn’t have a problem with PMS. I once asked my mother how bad labour had been when she had me (I was her first). She had said that with her cramps having been so horrible, she didn’t find labour that bad and wondered what the fuss was about. Those were the kind of cramps I dealt with. I knew a few girls with cramps so bad they’d start vomiting.

    Well… that was cheerful, wasn’t it? I just wanted to say I totally understand where you’re coming from.

  2. Mouse says:

    I nearly woke my son up in the next room by laughing at your post.. it was SO GOOD! I agree whole-heartedly with all of them and I really think I need the “put the .22 down and take a nap” message. My cramps are AWFUL to the point where I used to throw up or pass out from the pain. If someone ever told me to have a “happy period” I think I would beat them to death with their own arm.

  3. Will Pillage For Yarn says:

    Geo – I have to go look for CAP’s post! She is always so funny – I imagine her take on the subject is a hoot. Do you remember when (approximately) she wrote it? I imagine this must be a fairly universal ranty “wtf?” moment when one is confronted with cheerful messages on maxi pads. I have fibroids too – I am probably going to have to have a hysterectomy in the next few years. My OBGYN says there’s no point in continuing to operate on fibroids that just keep coming back. Next time, we take it all.

  4. loopykd says:

    First, Bravo! I agree on all counts. However, I can’t relate to your three women in one house thing! Holy crap that must be a nightmare! I am in “transition” so my nice and regular periods have turned into complete periods from hell, when I have them. So, “Have a nice period” might send me off the deep end. Can’t wait for the yeast infection!

  5. littledevilworks says:

    I love it! I do have to say, though I may be the lone voice of dissent, that I have always been a wings girl. I think it stems back to when I was too squeamish to use a tampon and had a few bad accidents and lost some favorite underwear…but I can only use one kind of pad with wings – all the others do EXACTLY what you’re describing. I’m sending you vibes… this is my week too.

  6. geogrrl says:

    It was July 10, 2005 (link below). It was an item included in other things she was writing about that day, but she found the whole idea stunning (as did I).


  7. Phoe says:

    This reminds me very much of the Famous Period Rant of Naamah’s over on lj. (http://naamah-darling.livejournal.com/66235.html)

    And I agree. I actually use cloth pads now but ohmygod those stupid little wings and the copious plastic and just… ick. Ick x a million.

  8. Ragnar says:

    Thanks for reminding me why I switched to washable pads. Everytime I found a “product” that I liked, the next time I went to buy some they had changed the god damned things. Thankfully I’m on the breastfeeding plan right now so no bleedy for me, but I’m going to try a diva cup when the red baron comes back.

    And can I add a little to your rant? What the fuck is that blue stuff they use in commericals to demonstrate how wonderful their absorby pink pearly shit is? I don’t bleed blue? Do you bleed blue? And I don’t bleed in petite little shot glass sized portions. And how come the blue shit doesn’t have chunks in it? Huh?

    Good rant. I think we should all rant about things. How about a rant-a-long?

  9. Marie says:

    Fabulous, I needed to start this day with a good laugh!
    I don’t use pads, myself (I’m a big fan of OB tampons) but I’ve got another WTF? for you – pantiliners with wings for thongs! I mean, come on? Thongs with a pantiliner – pick one or the other!

  10. teabird says:

    I just laughed so hard that… (fill in the blank)…

    I had my hysterectomy at 34 and was I ever glad to be RID of these things. I’m old enough to remember the tv ads that were so discreet you didn’t know what the hell they were advertising.
    “Modess, because” purred the voice as a woman in a white evening gown glided down the stairs. Because of what? Huh?

  11. Lucia says:

    I like the wings too, truth to tell. Being, ahem, a bit older than you, I keep hoping that I’m done, but no, every three to six months, hi! remember me?

    At least my daughter isn’t quite there yet, although she’s certainly working up to it. To hear her tell it I am unquestionably the dumbest mom on the planet. And she’s only 11.

  12. Christie says:

    You feel my pain. You are in my head…I think that same shit every month. OH…so funny!

  13. geogrrl says:

    You have GOT to read this. Nothing to do with the topic at hand, but it does deal with one of my pet peeves–and is hilarious. Where is it written that I must always wear sexy underwear? and for whom? Bah.


  14. Ina says:

    I rather like wings. I can do without fragrances, excessive packaging, and little notes. Liquid ibuprofen helps.

  15. Jess says:

    I’m definitely a wings fan. Has saved my undies (not to mention pants) from many rusty brown parallel stains. I never get sticking issues, but I wrap the wings pretty tightly and then press each part of the pad firmly to the undies, to get the best adhesion.

    But I’m 100% with you on the cutesy sayings. grrrr.

  16. Roxie says:

    Get the hysterectomy. Evict the rabid mongoose. It is wonderful to be able to wear white panties again. To never have to lurch out of bed and dump the sheets in cold water again. To cease keeping stashes of pads and tampons everywhere because you will have no more red surprises.

    Get fit beforehand. I was walking two miles a day, and was on my feet a week after surgery.

  17. KnitNana says:

    I must say, you did a great job of reminding me why I like being “a woman of a certain age!”

  18. Mea says:

    Whoo boy!! I just had to comment here, My cycles just recommenced after a 10 month post-partum hiatus. And I have NEVER in my life experienced such a horrific period. The pads I had were those with the stupid sayings on them and every time (once per hour at least) I had to change them I wanted to find the person who thought up the saying and stick their head in my toilet. I’m a big fan of the Diva Cup myself and would suggest that for the gal who posted about maybe trying it.

  19. Tassiegal says:

    SOO SOOO True. MY rant? I tend to buy by the packaging as my shopping expeditions tend to take place when I am half asleep…except the stupid bloody company keeps CHANGING the packaging so I end up with chunky monkey no wing maternity pads, instead of ultra thin wing overnight moveable.
    I’m trying to convince the powers taht be I dont NEED my girlie bits as I am nearly 30, and DONT want kids, but no one want to listen!!!
    Least we only get useless facts on the back of ours, and they havent yet done the scented thing…I think I will revolt if they do that.

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