Jun 4, 2015 Single Dad Laughing
To all men.
I think it’s time we have a little more sympathy for the ladies of this world. Actually, make that a lot more sympathy.
Look, I’m just going to say it…
I recently had to use maxi-pads for three straight weeks. Me. A man.
Get over it. It is what it is. It happened.
You see, I had a super fun invasive butt surgery (a fistulectomy if you’re super curious), and the doctor instructed me to use maxi-pads to both help care for the incision and to save my clothes from certain ruin.
Of course, prideful me whooped and hollered that I could do no such thing; I’m a man, dang it, and I will simply will the blood and drainage away with my mental grit. Ain’t no maxi-pad gonna be in these $26 fancy drawers of mine with their fancy built in front-junk-pouch. These underwear are masculine and they will stay that way.
“Man up,” he told me. “Use the pads. Nobody will know anyway.”
I gave him a death stare. I Gollum-whispered. “I’ll know, doc. I’ll know.”
He obviously was used to dealing with stubborn testosterone-driven men because my death stare didn’t even phase him. He may have even yawned.
My mom came to the hospital with me on the day of surgery.
In post-op, as I lay practically comatose, filled with the most glorious numbing drugs coursing my veins, I did something strange. My pride must also have been numbed because when my mom asked what she could get for me, I told her I needed the maxi-pads. She returned shortly after and handed me a small blue package with enough pads to get me through a few days.
It was a decent sized package. They should have lasted longer, but…
I didn’t know it was gonna be a gusher. I didn’t know the flow would be heavy and relentless. I didn’t know that I’d burn through a new pad every hour or two. And I really didn’t know that when Mommy was gone, and the pads were gone, I would be left to go maxi-pad shopping all on my own.
I’ll get to the shopping trips.
Yes. I meant to make that plural.
But first… some things us men may not have realized:
Gosh. I could keep going. And why not? It only gets better…
Oh, the things guys don’t know.
Where was I? Oh, yes. Shopping for my own maxi-pads.
SHOPPING TRIP #1:
I paced by the maxi-pad aisle several times. Not wanting to enter. Waiting for the coast to be completely clear.
‘Round about the sixteenth time the aisle emptied, I finally found my courage and entered.
What. The. Eff.
Have you ever noticed just how BIG the section of the store is for these things? I was at Target. It took up an entire aisle, both sides. That’s a lot of real estate.
I immediately became overwhelmed. So many colors. So many words. So many kinds. So many brands. I knew only this: I was bleeding from my “down there.” I needed help. I knew enough to know I needed pads not tampons. And I needed to get out of that aisle, and out of that store, as soon as humanly possible.
I saw the word “super” on one package and reached for it. The generic package next to it was five dollars cheaper and also said “super.” I grabbed the cheap one and bolted the other way just as a mom with two kids in her cart entered the aisle.
I buried the pads under a bunch of crap I was only buying to cover up the pads (maxi-pads can’t be the onlything I have in my cart, come on), and I made the purchase, acting nonchalant, hoping the checkout lady would just assume I was doing a good deed and buying them for a woman in my life. She was classy and pretended she didn’t even notice. I know what she was thinking. This poor schmuck.
Lesson I would learn soon after: You get what you pay for with maxi-pads. Cheap maxi-pads mean that the cheap adhesive sticks to your undies and never comes off.
ALSO… not all maxi-pads are shaped the same or serve the same purpose. My mom had brought me these thin, really nice ones. I assumed all maxi-pads were like that. What I quickly grabbed that day looked more like giant foam burritos. They would never work because… who wants to look like he’s walking around with a saggy burrito in the back of his pants. If you’re actually pondering your response to this: the answer is nobody. Nobody. Not even complete whack-jobs want to look like they have a saggy burrito in their pants.
The same day I bought those pads, I went home and put one in my undies (I had no choice, the others had run out), I put on the baggiest pair of sweatpants I owned, and I went back to the store to get new pads.
Little did I know my adventures were far from over.
SHOPPING TRIP #2:
I waited outside of the aisle, pretending to study the manly five-blade razors on the end-cap, my saggy-burrito butt pointed away from all passer-bys. It took a while for traffic to clear. Once empty, again I darted into the aisle, and this time took a little bit of time to look at the pictures on the packages. Just find what Mom got me and get out of here.
As I began studying the pictures, an entire Polynesian family of women moseyed into the aisle. What the heck?! Where had they come from and so quickly?! I knew I had made sure that nobody was coming from any direction. The moment they entered the aisle, I made awkward eye contact with the matriarch. I quickly moved my glance away and grabbed what looked like the same style of maxi-pads Mom had provided, this time opting for the highest priced brand. Again, I buried the package under a bunch of stuff I didn’t need, and quickly made my way out of the store.
I was so happy to be done with that forever.
Oh, did I mention that just in case anyone recognized me from shopping trip #1, I wore my sunglasses and a baseball cap on trip #2? I also avoided the first checkout lady and took the only other checkout option. A dude. I promise you. Dudes don’t want dudes seeing them buy maxi-pads. But it’s better than anyone seeing me buy them twice.
Lesson I would learn soon after: There are different sizes of maxi-pads. Why I didn’t think about the fact that humans are different sizes shows you just what kind of emotional state I was in. My thinker weren’t workin’ too well.
When I got home I was surprised to discover that I had grabbed a pack of extra-small maxi-pads.
I am 6’4”. 230 lbs.
I am a big, big man.
Again, use your imagination. Extra-small would not work for me.
I learned that lesson very quickly after trying to use them anyway.
And back to the store I went. This time, a different store. There was no way I could buy maxi-pads from the same store three times in one day. Not that I had any resemblance of a man-card left to be ripped up at that point anyway.
SHOPPING TRIP #3 (SAME DAY):
Desperately not wanting there to be a shopping trip #4, I changed my mindset as I entered the aisle. I held my head high and acted like I wasn’t bothered a bit. This actually helped, fellas. If you ever find yourself buying these things, confidence is key.
I took my time.
I didn’t worry about who entered the aisle and who didn’t.
I studied all the products. I compared them. I took my time to see what all the options were and what would be best for me. I even awkwardly smiled all giant-like at one lady as she passed by. My thoughts were probably loud and clear through my obvious insincerity. I’m so lost at the moment, but this is my life right now, and I’m going to own it.
Guys. Men. Hombres. Dudes. There is a reason there is an entire aisle dedicated to this stuff. Bleeding from your “down there” is a complicated business with a crudload of variables that we have (guaranteed) never thought of as we go about our lives being men.
Lesson I would learn soon after: You get what you pay for. Yes, I learned this with the lesson of the saggy burrito, but this time I learned it on the high-end side.
Buying the best pads made a huge difference. It made a difference to my comfort. It made a difference to my confidence level as I walked around the world thereafter with an ultra-thin yet ultra-effective maxi-pad in my pants. It made a difference to my clothes being destroyed or not. I learned that I should encourage any woman in my future to always buy whatever period products she needs, at any price. Guys… If a woman wants tampons made of solid gold, smile and hand her your credit card. Life will be better for both of you if you do.
I just wrote over 2,000 words on maxi-pads. Obviously this experience greatly affected my life, fellas.
When I was married I was a total man about this. I didn’t want to hear about it. I thought it was disgusting. I let her know I thought it was disgusting when the conversation was brought up. I was bothered by its timing whenever it happened, because it ever-so-slightly affected my life. I had little snit-fits and refused to enter the aisle with her when she needed them because the very thought was horrifying.
I was a really good husband a lot of the time, but I was a really crappy husband in that area of life. A complete wank. A total tool.
Men. I’m betting many of you are, too.
We should really have more sympathy for the women of this world. A lot more sympathy for them. They go through this nonsense MONTHLY. It lasts at least three days for them. Sometimes much longer. That’s at least 10% of their entire month that they’re dealing with all those things plus many I’m sure I never got to learn.
I am warning you now. If you are as I once was, which is uncaring, void of empathy, and oblivious…
There is a good chance the universe will find a way to put a saggy burrito into the back of your pants for a few weeks, too.
Do not let it get to that point. Make better man-decisions today.
Dan Pearce, Single Dad Laughing
PS. Men… my next question is, are you man enough to post this on your Facebook wall?
And women, I consulted exactly zero of you about this before I wrote it because I wanted it to be purely from a man’s perspective. How close did I get?
And are you joining in the Single Dad Laughing fun on Facebook yet? I hope so because we have a little bit too much fun over there.
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