These days, I’d hardly be embarrassed if I found myself at work dripping menstrual blood from my backside. Well, that’s completely false: I’d surely be mortified. But a spreading red stain (I think any reasonable person would agree) = go home early. And home early means: NAPTIME.
I’d suffer a lot to get a nap in.
Not long ago, a co-worker approached as I was standing by the copy machine in our front office.
She leaned close and, without preamble, asked in a low, shaky voice, “Do you have any tampons?”
Startling and unexpected as the question was, I said right away, “Let me check. I might.”
If I remember correctly, she was wearing a white summer dress.
Do you have tampons? is one of those questions all women understand and know the protocol for. If a strange lady approached in a public place and asked me that, I would commence rummaging through my huge purse, which contains one of each item found in the travel supplies section at the pharmacy.
If a strange lady approached and asked pretty much anything else, well … I hate that.
Anyway, I went back to my cubicle — in a large, open space called “the pit” because, I presume, it’s dank and half underground — and retrieved one of those small, free make-up bags, in which I keep lozenges, alcohol wipes, band-aids, and period accessories of all sorts.
(A few weeks before this incident, another colleague asked me if I had any floss — she had something in her teeth. “I figured you of everyone here would have that,” she said kindly while trying to avoid smiling at me. I didn’t have any floss. Because I had run out. I’ve clearly got some kind of reputation at work, but I’m not quite sure what it is. I gave her some toothpicks, which I did have in stock.)
I walked back to my co-worker in the white dress and without comment handed the whole make-up bag to her.
Young, thin, blond, and pretty, she occasionally sashays down the hallway and I roll my eyes, though it is more at me and my inability to achieve that level of physical attractiveness, rather than any resentment toward her. She’s really quite pleasant.
And I’m trying to direct my anger to actual jerks and assholes rather than some nice girl with good genes and more willpower than I have.
“Thank you. You’re a lifesaver,” she gushed in obvious relief as she returned the bag to me a few minutes later.
Another disaster averted by my responsibility, preparation, and general inability to just go with the flow (haha!) and let life come at me without the safety of a bunch of hand lotions, tissues, over-the-counter pills, antibacterial gel, and maxi pads.
I think that deserves a nap.