No, I Don’t Need a Bag For Those

Because I am a woman, half the world’s population are women, and you wouldn’t be reading this today without it.

One of the harder things to do since moving out is scaling down. I’m cooking for one person now, I’m buying for one person now, and I’m the only one who’s there to eat the leftovers if I overshoot.

The one place I didn’t really care about scaling down  was my toiletries. Most things like toilet paper and cotton pads don’t expire, and they’re cheaper. I went on a huge shopping spree with my sister for bathroom stuff at Wal-Mart. We got lots of things in bulk: Q-tips, cotton pads, shampoo, soap–some of it I don’t think I’ll finish before my lease ends and I’m moving back in with my parents.

But one of the things all us ladies in our twenties needs is sanitary napkins/tampons. That’s non-negotiable.

I’ve lived in a house with three other women my entire life. Buying pads in bulk wasn’t an option, it was a requirement. They don’t have expiration dates (as far as I know) and they are so much cheaper when you buy them in bulk. And so when I went toiletry shopping with my sister, I naturally picked out a big bag of Always and put them in the cart.

Fast forward to check out and the cashier begins to pull out a giant bag for my giant bag of feminine hygiene products when she sees me load it back into the cart after scanning it.

And she gives me a look.

And then she says, “Don’t you want a bag for those? Most women do.”

I shrugged and said no. The packaging has a handle on it, so I didn’t see the need for one.

And she sort of looked at me in awe.

But she shouldn’t have to.

I don’t understand the stigma towards periods. A regular period means your body is healthy and able to bring new life into the world. What’s wrong with that? I wouldn’t be here writing this post today if women didn’t have periods.

And I love the idea that women are less squeamish than men about blood and body stuff because of periods. I have no idea if it’s actually true, but I remember when I had to perform a dissection in high school and I was in a group with two guys and another girl, and the guys just could not handle it. The girl was totally fine and helped me while the guys lost their appetites. When I told my mother this story after school, she told me that it was because boys didn’t have to deal with bodily fluids every month.

And I admit I’m guilty of avoiding the topic. In my house my sister and I say our Japanese flags are raised. Which is stupid, I know, and sort of silly. But it’s important because while it makes me a hypocrite, it also points out that even if I’m willing to carry my giant bag of pads from Wal-Mart openly, I’m still feel obligated to use euphemisms when talking about why I need it.

And I shouldn’t have to.


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