Today’s blog post was inspired by reading a status update from my fabulous writer friend Patti Winker the creator of http://remarkablewrinklies.com/. She was sharing a blog post from Barbara Younger, another friend to the It’s Hip to be Hot Community, which I encourage you all to check out called, “ From the Other Side of the Kotex Box http://friendfortheride.wordpress.com/2012/06/10/kotex/.”
The timing of Barbara’s posting was so applicable to thoughts and occurrences in my own life. You see…I have not passed on to life on the other side of the Kotex Box, and recently found myself feeling a bit resentful of all of my friends who have. So many of them muse about how wonderful life in their world is now that they no longer experience a monthly menstrual cycle. It was as if once again I was the girl on the outside of a super secret club and I was missing out on some great party of which anyone who knows me knows…I HATE missing out on great parties. All kinds of memories came flooding back to me. All the times I wanted to be ‘like them’…you know who ‘them’ are… it’s the girls who got to wear bras months…heck for some of them years before I had to. Truth be known…I didn’t even need my first bra when I begged for it. I begged and begged until my mother gave in and then I was like WHAT??? Where was the glamour in it? Oh sure…the pretty little rose buds (the embroidered ones on the garment itself and definitely not the ones I was sprouting)…were kind of attractive, but the attraction wore thin quickly as did my excitement of wearing such a torturous advice. AND to add further insult to injury the taunting of the young boys who delighted in singing…Ashes to Ashes…Dust to Dust…Why do you wear a bra without any bust? Then there were ‘them’ girls who got their periods first. Secretly whispering amongst themselves about how they were now women and so much more mature than the rest of us who had yet to reach this magical plateau of womanhood. Wasn’t my noticeable bra straps womanhood enough? Apparently not and so I hoped and prayed for my period to arrive. It arrived alright…it arrived on the 4th of July of my 13th year surrounded by all my extended family at a poolside gathering of which I was wearing a white swimsuit. It was nothing like what I had hoped for…in fact, it hurt and I was miserable. None of my cousins could understand why I was suddenly no longer able to swim with them and I sat silently hiding tears and attempting to accept the fact that I would need to get use to this thing the size of a small mattress strapped to my underwear.
Then it got worse…the school year had resumed and I found myself in gym class where we had to participate in swimming. I was always like a fish in water as a child when it came to swimming, but as a pre-teen with naturally curly hair the last thing I wanted to do was have to swim in the middle of the school day and return to class with wet hair that would turn Buckwheat when the style of the era was Farrah Fawcett. But there they sat…’them’ girls…the ones who didn’t have to participate and I wanted to be one of them. Little did I know however that in order to be one of ‘them’ girls, it involved a note from your Momma explaining to your male gym teacher that you could not swim because you had your period that day. UGG the ever increasing AGONY of it all! So now I was one of ‘them’ girls and the whole world (okay, not the whole world but to a teenage girl it might as well been) knew it and it was embarrassing. So Momma took me in to the bathroom one day and showed me this ‘miracle product’ that would allow me to swim every day of the month…heck it would even allow me to do additional things like horseback ride, climb mountains…even sky dive and all you had to do with it was….WHAT? OH HELL NO! And back to that skydiving thing as a side note…how was a little string down there going to serve me? If I’m dropping out of an airplane from 15,000 feet or how many ridiculous feet it actually is…I want a string the length of the drop minus a few inches….not one that is only a few inches…but I digress. ( If you ask me…that’s as beneficial as being on an airplane and hearing that your seat bottom can act as a flotation device. A handy bit of information should you be flying over the ocean, but since I rarely do I would appreciate one that could bounce)
Next stop…’them’ girls…the ones who were old enough to drive and so were old enough to go in to the store and visit that one aisle….You know the one…the aisle of shame. You would circle and circle hoping to get in and get out without anyone noticing you. You’d have to purchase a magazine or two first so that you could hide the contraband. Without fail you would get to the front of the store where the registers were and there he would be…the handsome high school jock earning gas money for his cool ride by working as a bag boy. I cannot tell you how many times I disserted my magazines and Stay Frees somewhere in the bread aisle while making a bee line for the door with empty hands and sweaty palms.
Now here I am many years out of high school and in need of some FHP’s and annoyed that I am not one of ‘them’ girls who are bragging about how cool life is on the other side of the Kotex box. I grab one of those little baskets at the front of the store and reluctantly head to aisle 9 for the umpteenth time of my life. I suddenly take a more conscientious look of what surrounds me and I realize that I am not in such a bad place. To the right of the FHP’s are the Depends and to the left are the Pampers. I’ve been one of ‘them’ girls to the left and don’t miss it one bit and I’m in no hurry to become one of ‘them’ girls to the right. I am exactly where I need to be and I had better come to terms with the fact that I have many more years of visits to aisle 9. I grab my purchase with pride and then add a bottle of wine, a bag of Dove chocolates and at the absolute last moment toss in a magazine with a headline that grabbed my attention…something about casseroles. I then come face to face with the handsome high school jock working the register who asks me if I have found everything I need…Yes! Yes I have thank you!!!
To my dear friends who have reached the other side of the Kotex box…I quote the motel commercial…”Leave the lights on,” I’ll join you when I can and can’t wait to celebrate alongside you, but for now I’ll be patient. Besides, there are perks to being on this side of the Kotex box as well…for one thing I get a license to bitch at least one… sometimes two times a month and if left in a conspicuous place on the bathroom vanity…I don’t have to fake a headache.