Tag Archives: menstruation

Suck it, Sanipod!

Public bathrooms have really upped their technology game.

Toilets flush themselves, water magically appears when you place your palms in the communal sinks, hand dryers have become so powerful that you can literally watch your skin get sucked dry in a matter of seconds.

What a time to be alive!

Most of these newfangled public bathroom upgrades are pretty self explanatory and have been implemented to make doing your business away from the privacy of your own home a less disgusting experience.

Last week, I was with my family at a museum out of town when my daughter and I needed a bathroom break. We found a seemingly standard public restroom and used stalls next to each other. Lucky for me, it was my time of the month and I needed a fresh sanitary napkin. Just as I was about to swap my old pad for a new one, I noticed there was nowhere to dispose of my “waste”.

No tiny silver box drilled into the stall wall! What was a girl to do?

It was then that I noticed a white plastic tube fastened to the wall beside the toilet. It looked exactly like the picture below.

sanipod

I don’t know why, but when I first entered the stall, I thought that it was an overly large air freshener and didn’t really pay it any attention. Upon further scrutiny, I discovered that this tube was in fact a space aged, feminine hygiene disposal unit. The word “Sanipod” was written across the front of it in cursive writing.

Jazzy!

I wrapped my used pad in toilet paper and was excited to use the Sanipod for the very first time, but then I got totally confused. How the hell was I supposed to get my feminine “waste” inside the tube? There was no obvious opening, no little trap door or tiny garbage shoot. There were no directions visible on the Sanipod. What was I missing? I knocked on it a little and then my daughter started to ask me what I was doing. Wanting to avoid a conversation about maxi pad disposal with my five year old in a public bathroom, I panicked and put the used pad in my sweatshirt pocket. Feeling like a moron, I washed my hands and then stealthily tossed my pocket pad in the garbage on our way out of the bathroom. For the rest of the afternoon, I couldn’t get the stupid Sanipod out of my head. Why couldn’t I figure out how to use it? What was wrong with me? This was a product designed for menstruating women. I WAS A MENSTRUATING WOMAN, DAMMIT.

Our day at the museum was coming to a close and I knew that I couldn’t leave without solving the riddle of the Sanipod. I informed my children that they all needed to use the bathroom before leaving. My daughter and I entered the very same bathroom and used the very same stalls.

There it was again. That smug little Sanipod. Hanging on the wall like it was better than everyone else.

I channelled my inner Crime Scene Investigator as I scrutinized the Sanipod. What was I missing?

Suddenly, I noticed a small black circle on the very tip of the Sanipod. I touched it and nothing happened. Frustrated and about to give up, I held my right hand just above the black circle thinking that maybe it would somehow sense my presence like the faucet in the communal sinks. Like magic, the top of the Sanipod popped up exposing a small compartment for my personal feminine “waste”. I hurried to change my pad and giddily placed it in the Sanipod. With a cool swishing sound, the top of the Sanipod collapsed back down on the tube as I faintly heard the dull sound of my pad hitting the bottom of the inside of the tube.

SUCCESS!

I HAD TRIUMPHED OVER TECHNOLOGY!

SUCK IT, SANIPOD!

Researching the Sanipod for this post, I discovered that it comes in both black and white and a variety of sizes.They are available for both personal and commercial use. You can also get decorative wraps for your Sanipod if you desire to make your feminine “waste” tube more cohesive with your bathroom decor. In my opinion, the best feature of the Sanipod is its unique shape. Does it remind you of anything?

Anything at all?

sanipod 2

Thanks for reading and I wish you all positive Sanipod experiences!

Your friend,

NFred.

 

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Period Piece.

Surf's Up!

 

Do you know what I did on June 5th, 1990?

I went on a field trip with my grade seven class to an authentic Victorian village.

It was brutal.

We had to dress in old timey clothes and go to old timey school and watch old  timey people do weird, old timey things. And the smell!  I remember the whole joint reeked of manure and vegetable soup.

As much as I loathed that field trip, there were some high points to the day. The boy I liked sat with me and my friends at lunch, we got to peruse the gift shop and I became a woman.

It all went down at lunch.  I had just finished eating and needed to go pee. I went to find the bathroom with some girls from my class. I remember there was a huge line up and I really needed to go. It felt like hours went by before a stall became free. I hustled in, locked the door and pulled down my navy blue Coconut Joe shorts and white cotton underwear. Then, I silently freaked the fuck out. Staring up at me from the crotch of my underthings was a jarringly red brown smear of what appeared to be blood.

BLOOD.

My twelve year old self could not comprehend what was happening. A wave of panic came over me. My brain went into deductive reasoning over drive. Maybe it wasn’t blood? Maybe I sat in some rust coloured paint or on a rogue cranberry? Maybe I had a mosquito bite “down there” and it was bleeding? What else could it be? My period?

NO.

NO. NO.

NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!

Wasn’t I too young to get my period? I thought you had to be at least thirteen? I never imagined that I would get my first period in a public bathroom OR in the freak’n Victorian Era.

I felt dizzy and nauseous and then I remember telling my little preteen self to PULL IT TOGETHER. What was I going to do about this “situation”? Of course my teacher was male that year. Did I have to tell him? What if I did tell him and then he told one of the old timey women? And what if that old timey woman forced me to use an old timey sanitary napkin? And what if that old timey sanitary napkin was made out of sheep’s wool and spit and moss?  Telling my male teacher was definitely out. Suddenly, I  had a grand idea. I grabbed a handful of toilet paper and stuffed it into my underwear. I figured that would pass as a pad. I frantically went pee, flushed the toilet, washed my hands and tried to act natural as I joined my class.

The rest of the afternoon went by in a blur.  The one thing I do remember is that our old timey guide seemed to use the word “period” excessively.  He was all, “blah, blah, blah Victorian time PERIOD” and “blah, blah, blah PERIOD  costumes”. I felt like he was looking right at me every time he dropped the “p” word.

Finally it was time to leave. Lucky for me, my crush decided to sit right  next to me on the bus. I was horrified. What if my period got like super heavy and leaked all over his leg? What if my makeshift toilet paper pad fell out of my shorts and landed on his feet?

After the longest and most stressful bus ride EVER, we finally got back to school. I bolted off the bus, grabbed my stuff from my locker, ran home and locked myself in the upstairs bathroom. l dug around in the cupboard under the sink until I found a box of my mom’s pads. I carefully unwrapped the soft pink paper with shaking hands and unfolded a fucking mattress of a maxi. That thing was huge! I could have literally gone surfing on it. I disposed of my toilet paper pad and tried on my mom’s mattress. I checked out my reflection in the mirror. That pad was so big that I could see its outline through my shorts. No way I was going to wear it  to school. Everyone would know. So I took off the pad, grabbed some scissors and cut that puppy in half.  Much better! And so clever!  I stared at myself for a long while in the bathroom mirror until I heard my mom calling me from downstairs.

I took a deep breath, knowing that I had to tell my mom the news. I walked down the stairs at a snail’s speed. I managed to make small talk for a few minutes before I worked up enough courage to drop the bomb. I’m pretty sure these were my exact words…

“So, something happened on the field trip today…in the bathroom…to me…erm…you know…I…*cough *cough… got my…erm…you know…um…period.”

I thought I was going to pass out from the awkwardness of it all.  My mom looked at me and said “okay” and that she would go out and buy me some pads. I told her she didn’t have to because I just cut hers in half. Apparently this was not acceptable, so she went to the drug store. Moments later she returned with my very own box of “teen” pads. She asked me if I had any questions and I obviously had about a billion but there was no way in hell I was going to talk to ANYBODY about my own personal vaginal bleeding.

That night went on without any mentions of menstruation, until bedtime. My parents were already in bed and as I went in to say goodnight, my dad hugged me super hard and said, “my little girl’s a woman”. I flat out died as soon as those words left his lips. DIED. I believe I yelled something to the tune of , “AS IF YOU TOLD HIM”,  to my mother and then stormed out of their room dramatically. Those period hormones sure did kick in fast!

Once I had calmed down, I got into bed and grabbed my copy of  Teen Magazine off of my night table. There was this one column in each issue called “Ask  Always” where girls could write in their questions about their periods. Surrounded by my stuffed animals,  I read those questions and answers over and over. I remember feeling a slight tinge of excitement. I could finally read” Ask  Always” and actually know what they were talking about. I felt like I had been invited to join a very exclusive club.

And then it hit me…HOLY CRAP, I WAS A WOMAN!

What did being a woman even mean?

I had no clue.

Would I have to start wearing high heels and frosted blue eye shadow? Did I have to stop playing with toys and rolling down hills and biking with no hands? My body was telling me that I was ready for this major leap into womanhood, but my mind wasn’t there yet.

I was a mix of confused, excited, anxious and curious as I put down my magazine and reached under my pillow for my diary. I wrote “June 5th, 1990” in big, bold letters across two pages. Then, I slipped my diary back under my pillow and drifted off to sleepwith thoughts of pads, tampons, periods, my crush, becoming a woman and the Victorian Era.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Bleeding and Cleaning

PERIOD

My five year old son had his tonsils and adenoids removed two weeks ago today.

It’s been a long two weeks of morphine and snot and naps and meltdowns and cabin fever and sleepless nights and cuddles.

To help my son heal from his surgery, he’s been prescribed a heavy dose of TV time. I swear the TV hasn’t been off in over fourteen days. That kid will watch anything and everything. Baby shows, pony shows, cooking shows, he doesn’t discriminate. Like most kids, he loves watching the channels that solely air kids programming. I’ve gotten remarkably good at tuning out the annoyingly repetitive and shrill sounds of the cartoons that he gravitates towards. But yesterday, something on one of his “kids only” channels totally grabbed my attention.

My kids were huddled in front of the TV, zoned out like zombies. I was sitting at the kitchen table,  huddled in front of my computer, also zoned out like a zombie. I don’t even remember what I was looking at, but it probably had to do with cats.

A few moments later, a commercial for feminine hygiene products and the sound of my eight year old son’s super high voice jolted me from my computer coma.

“Mom, Mom, MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM! There’s a commercial for your diapers on TV!”

“Cool”, I replied, totally confused. Why was there a maxi pad commercial airing at four o’clock in the afternoon on a TV channel that catered strictly to children?

I pondered this and then noticed that the following commercial was for laundry detergent.

How odd.

Why not commercials for toys or video games or super delicious sugary cereals?

I pondered some more.

And then everything became clear.

The advertising executives for this particular TV station probably got together for an epic brain storming session over coffee and danishes. They knew they needed to increase viewership, but how?

I bet a very smart man in a very smart suit came up with the very smart idea to expand their advertising to include all the bleeders out there. You know, the moms, sisters, babysitters and aunts of small children who have no choice but to watch crappy kids cartoons when in the presence of their youngins.

I would personally like to thank Mr. Smart Suit for interrupting my precious computer zombie time to remind me of my menstrual needs. I’ve only been a “woman” since I was twelve, so I pretty much have no idea how this whole period thing works.

I also think that it’s awesome and not sexist or a massive generalization at all that Mr. Smart Suit thinks that all the bleeders out there LOVE doing laundry. Oh boy, do we LOVE it! Us bleeders get positively jazzed about new laundry detergent.

It’s all we can think about!

It’s all we can talk about!

It’s our raison d’etre!

How brilliant of Mr. Smart Suit to put both our love of bleeding and washing together in the same sixty second frame.

Bravo!

You know what would be amazing? If I sent my eight year old son to one of those advertising executive meetings and Mr. Smart Suit could answer his questions about why his mother needs special diapers. Mr. Smart Suit just gets me and my needs as a woman and could probably explain menstruation to my son in a way that won’t leave him confused or horrified.

Mr. Smart Suit is so in tune with his feminine side that there is no doubt in my mind that he fully understands everything there is to know about being a woman.

He so gets women, I bet he even menstruates…or dare I say MANstruate?

I wonder what other delightful commercial combinations Mr. Smart Suit and his amazing female intuition will come up with next?

Tampons and toilet cleaner?

Douches and dish soap?

Weight loss and washing machines?

I can’t wait!

As a woman and a bleeder, I feel it’s my duty to thank you again, Mr. Smart Suit.

Thank you for reminding me of my womanly duties.

Thank you for inundating me with your spot on  ideals of womanhood.

Most importantly, thank you for reminding me how much I love to bleed and clean.

THANK YOU.

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