Thursday, 29 November 2012

Periods, Condoms, Road Trips, and Truck Stops

The family traveled up to my mom's for Veteran's Day weekend. We left early Friday. Whenever we go visit Mom (a 3 hour trip), we always stop at Laval Road West on the north side of the Grapevine on I-5. It's about halfway between our house and Mom's. With food, gas, and clean bathrooms, it's a good place to stop, stretch the legs, and powder the nose. After two hours or so in the car, Lily and I are always ready to powder our noses. We pull in and park. Lily and I do the usual and make a beeline for the bathroom.

Now, mind you, this place started as a truck stop, and despite all of the new fast food joints (McD's, Panda Express, In-N-Out, Chipotle, Starbucks, Subway, Wendy's, etc.) being built there to service all of the travelers, it's still a favorite stop for truckers too. There's even a coffee shop in the original building with a little convenient store.

We always go to this building with the coffee shop because this is where the bathrooms not attached to any restaurant are. When you walk in, the coffee shop is to your right. If you turn left, you'll get Wendy's. Just past the coffee shop is a tiny Baskin-Robbins, and just beyond that are the bathrooms. If you walk a little further down past the bathrooms, there are showers and other amenities. Across from the bathroom is the convenient store.

Lily and I ignore everything before the bathroom. Mother Nature is calling, after all.

I'm feeling great and then I notice it. Crap! I've started my period. I shouldn't have started my period, but I have. And, of course, I have nothing with me because, well, I shouldn't have.

So, I take care of business and stroll across the hall to the convenient store in search of pads. I wander through the store, scanning the shelves, until I see some toiletries. If they are going to have anything for females, it should be in this area. But as I scan the shelves, I can't find anything. I'm about to turn away when I see condoms on the top shelf. Several different kinds of condoms. Probably about eight different types of condoms to choose from. From Trojan to Durex to some other brands. From ultra thin to "ribbed for her pleasure" to who knows what else (maybe even the vibrating kind I've heard so much about). If they were going to have pads, they had to be around this area somewhere.

Aha! There, buried two shelves down, were my choices: Tampax tampons and Stayfree Maxipads. Wow! That's some selection! o.O Tampons (not unless I'm swimming) or throwback pads from the 80s. Yay! Lucky me! Then I look at the price. $5.69.

Holy smackerole! Five dollars and sixty-nine cents for--I pull the package out--six pads. Ooookkkkaaayyy.

Out of options, I took my booty over to the register and paid, even as I chuckled about the condoms. So many options for condoms, but only two, very hard to find options for women in dire need.


We know the audience they cater to. (grin) I guess I should just count myself lucky I was able to find pads at all. Heaven forbid women should actually have periods and men should happen to accidentally see sanitary napkins. If they do, maybe they'll be turned off and not need the condoms anymore.


Valerie Mann said...

As I thought on this post, something occurred to me. Women will stare at condom boxes, even pick them up and inspect the features. "Interesting - this goes on a penis. I wonder what that penis would look like wearing this neon green, ribbed condom?" Men, on the other hand, will pretend a tampon box doesn't exist, let alone pick one up. So, the question is this: why is a man so afraid to pick up a tampon, knowing where it goes, when in reality, all he thinks about is putting a part of his anatomy in the same place? As frequently as possible.

Yes, I know, I know. There are bodily fluids of the unsexy kind involved, but that doesn't stop many men from seeking entry when Aunt Flo is visiting. So what is the aversion to a sanitary pad?

Having four sisters and three daughters, my husband is fairly immune to the whole feminine product thing, although he'll never buy them for me. There's a limit to his love. But when our teenage boys start giggling at the mention of menstruation or various parts of a girl's anatomy, I remind them often - "got news for you guys - 50% of the people on the planet have vaginas. Vaginas! With a capital V. Get used to it."

Their response is usually to belch or fart. Capital B, Capital F.

Some things will never change.

Faith said...

Sounds like you paid the equivilant to 6 pads out of the machines found in many women's restrooms. I couldn't believe it when I was at the mall and saw a Stayfree Maxi pad was now $1 when they used to be a quarter each.

Inflation shows up in some really bizarre places, lol.

Jessica Subject said...

Oh gosh! I've been in that situation before, and learned to always carry some with me. Just in case. It's better to use up that extra room than to walk around with a 2x4 between your legs.

Yes, obvious who the truck stop caters to, as the grocery stores have a huge aisle dedicated to pads and tampons, and a much smaller section containing condoms.

E. Ayers said...

My hubby was outnumbered in our house so the seat was always returned to the down position. He was also good about buying "necessities." Since he was colorblind, the options were overwhelming for a man. He simply asked that the girls rip the side panel off with the name and he'd match it. He'd stick that torn cardboard panel into his shirt pocket and leave for work.

Then one day a fellow worked asked what he had in his pocket. He simply replied that it was something for his daughter. It must have seemed very intriguing. What man carries a gift for his daughter that looks like torn cardboard? So the guy reached over and withdrew it.

Hubby said the guy turned about three shades of gray. That paper must have been 450 degrees Fahrenheit as he couldn't get it out of his hands fast enough, and he acted as though the gates to Hades had opened for him. My husband just looked at the guy and said, "Don't know about that? Guess, I'm lucky. I've got three beautiful women in my life."

Got to love that man!

LKF said...

I can so relate to your story. I also had an experience while camping.
Only place to purchase items was a bait shop, yes I did say bait shop. In the back there was one shelf that had your toiletries and medicine. they had one box of pads that would of been past there expiration date, if they had one. I had to blow off the dust to find the price but when you're desperate you will buy anything. Great post, thanks for sharing.

Anthology Authors said...

I don't get it either. I think it's a societal idiocy. It's only been in recent years that discussing Aunt Flo has been acceptable in public. My mom recounts how when Aunt Flo first visited her, she thought she was dying. Why? No one, including her mom, told her what would happen when she hit puberty.

Charlie has, on pain of death, actually gone and picked up pads for me before. However, it really embarrasses him. But he's also embarrassed about buying condoms. (Guess who does that? LOL)

I've discussed the process with Lily. She gets grossed out by it, but I explain that it's part of nature and it's what allows women to have children. It's a hard sell. LOL

If they aren't already, those teenage boys will soon be interested in vaginas and what they can do with them. Yeah, you knew that and probably didn't want me to say it. ;)


I was a bit flabbergasted, but what can you do? It is odd how expensive pads have become.


Oddly enough, I almost brought some. Yeah, I know, that's like saying the condom almost worked after you got pregnant. :D

Oh, I wished I'd been there to see that guy's reaction, E. Better yet, to get it on video. :D Imagine the money you could make from that. LOL

A bait shop, Lynda? HAHAHAHAHAHA I practically had to dust these off, too, and I took the last, maybe only, package on they had. These weren't as old as yours were. They at least had "wings." :D


Janice Seagraves said...

I always try to have at least a couple of pads in my purse for emergencies. When I was young I didn't know to do that and I went up to church camp and got my month visitor. Luckily my mom showed up with a whole box of pads.

Anthology Authors said...

I was doing that for a while, Janice, but I think I used them all. Obviously, I needed to replenish. LOL

Fiona McGier said...

Since I was a girl scout leader for years while our daughter was young, I learned to always have a few pads in my possession. Never knew when one of the girls would need one, but even besides that, they make EXCELLENT absorbent pads for any kind of injury that blood is leaking out of in a big way. I've had them in my first-aid kit for years. Her brothers used to say, "Ew!", but I've stopped some major bleeding when we were camping in remote areas, with those things.

Funny, I'll bet the video section in that convenience truck-stop also has lots of "Debbie Does Dallas" type movies. Just like insurance companies fall all over themselves to cover Viagra, but heaven forbid they cover birth control of any kind! Can you say, "Male-centric"? Sheesh!

And for the record, even a vibrating condom won't make up for a man whose tiny equipment hasn't been seen by him for years because he looks like a typical trucker!