I first got my period at 12. I am now 27 years past that. My oldest got hers about 2 years ago. My youngest? Well she got hers during the pandemic–in March! So, let me say this.
Being female is hard in the best of circumstances.
Being female in this pandemic? That is something all together different!
Where I could just go buy my feminine hygiene products and be pretty much unnoticed, now it feels like a recon mission! I mean I started using Instacart because it was necesary–grocery shopping used to be my reprieve! Just like my Target runs!
I mean, I have always not liked having to buy these things! But at least there was self-check out! Now, to go get stuff for me is a reminder that need to go get stuff for my daughters! I mean, I have to gear up to go to Wal-Mart?! Something about this just doesn’t feel or seem right! What other alternative is there? I don’t feel right (read: comfortable) asking the shoppers through InstaCart and whomever else to get panty liners, 2 boxes of pads, and on box of Tampax Pearls! But, I am not part of this ‘free bleeding’ movement. I still see my period as mad inconvenient and an alert that I am not pregnant.
No more. No less. I am slick waiting on menopause, and my kids to get jobs to they can buy their own lady things!
When I, a 5’10” walk into a store with a mask and gloves on to buy this stuff, I feel more eyes on me than ever before! I mean, I’m just coming to buy stuff for me and my female children! I don’t need the man with the gun looking at me like I’m up to something nefarious, while the cashier wearing her mask just over her mouth wondering what are these things for! I am just trying to get through these 5 bleeding days with as few pairs of ruined panties as possible?
That’s all. Save the judgement and suspicion for the Peter Parker-looking dude behind me asking for liquor with a box of Captain Crunch Oops! All Berries, Black & Milds and a pack of Magnums–without a mask.
[image from nationalgeographic.com]