Well, the women will think this is funny. The men... I bet not so much. *grin* I wrote this a couple months ago to some girlfriends. Before I started blogging, I used to just write weird stuff to family and friends... odd things I'd see or something my kids had done. Flash forward to a couple days ago when I sent this to a guy friend as a joke and he laughed and said I should blog it. So here it goes... a man's worst nightmare for a blog! Also, at the end, I have intentionally edited a word in case you are reading it at work. I don't want work sensors banning people from my blog. I tried to send this to my sister via e-mail a couple months ago and her work wouldn't let it pass through... I guess it came off as porn.
I don’t loathe going to the store to buy feminine hygiene products, but I don’t like it much so I save it until the last possible moment. Occasionally, I’m down to enough “items” to last me two hours when I decide I will make the trek. Sometimes I plan in advance, but that is only if I don’t have the boys. I haven’t the energy to explain to my boys what these items are used for and with my luck the questions WON’T occur while in the van, barreling down I-95 at 75 MPH, but rather while actually in Publix, with a crowd around, in their outside voices. Yes, they’ve seen these items in my bathroom drawer, but only when they were inquisitive and small. One time I was in the shower and came out to find Son#3 having unwrapped 20 tampons, and pulled the cotton out of the applicators. There was cotton, applicators, and paper wrappings strewn all over my floor. Another time Son#1 had taken off the adhesive tape protector from the back of a panty liner, and stuck the liner on his forehead as if it were some type of sweat band. Yes, these are memories we keep, but do not take pictures of.
When I actually venture out to buy the products, I quickly pick something and throw it in my cart. I never buy things with it that are indicative of PMS such as Advil or chocolate. I don’t know why, but I just have this aversion to everyone around me knowing I might be PMSing. I have my tried and true brands I prefer. I prefer the Playtex and not to get to graphic, but because it is a plastic applicator and as a young woman, it just psychologically seemed like it would be easier to ‘use’. I have not varied from it over the last 26 years, but although there have been other new Tampon brands out, for the most part how much can you change that product? Not much. You have three basic absorbencies: super, regular, or light. Three applicators: plastic, cardboard or self. I guess it’s kind of like bagging groceries: Do you want paper or plastic? Blech. I digress.
Of course over in the pad arena, things are constantly changing. Just from my glimpses, since we now know I don’t actually stand there and spend 30 minutes shopping and reading packages, I have seen we have quite an array of choices. We’ve gone from those thick horrible things I swear you could see through your pants in the 70’s, to ‘the darn things got wings!’. If I want to try something new, I randomly pick a new product, throw it in my basket, and keep walking, figuring it will more than likely do its job.
Recently, however, I did notice that Playtex did come out with something new. I had my trusty pink box in hand, about to throw it in my cart when out of the corner of my eye I found a ‘new’ pink box with bold print stating something like, “Now! New Applicator for more comfort!” I am getting these words wrong, I am sure, but trust me when I say, I believe I got the gist of it correct. Part of me thought I should just keep walking. I mean, please, I’ve had three kids, and not to get vulgar, but nothing is really all that uncomfortable anymore. Maybe if I was 20, but at 38 with having had three (3) 8-81/2 pound kids with heads so big we nicknamed them Bubble Head or HEED! (think Mike Meyer’s Movie, “I Married and Ax Murderer”), nothing like a tampon could be deemed uncomfortable at this stage in my life. However, the other part of me was curious. So I put my trusty tried and true pink box back on the shelf and got the NEW pink box and threw it in my cart.
Back at home, I take a good look at the box. God Forbid should I stand in the open aisle of Publix and over analyze the product in public. It says the applicator now conforms for better comfort. I open one up and the applicator is now cardboard. I’m OK with that, but what strikes me most is the shape. I’ve opened up one of the super absorbency ones, so granted, it is ‘larger’ than the other, but it now has this weird tapered end. Tampax has always had a blunt end. Playtex has always had a rounded end. This one is distinctly tapered, but not to a point. With its pink cardboard applicator, its super absorbency width, and its tapered end, it now looks just like a …. Pen-is! Oh My God! I thought I would die laughing. That must be what they mean to conforms to more natural comfort. I wonder if they had some Advisory Group of Women and could the conversation have gone something like this?
Playtex: What could we do to make our product better?
Advisory Group of Women: Make it more comfortable… not so ‘foreign’ feeling.
Playtex. And how might we achieve that.
Advisory Group of Women: Make it shaped like a pen-is, after all, that’s what really belongs there, right???
Hmm. Just wondering.