So today is menstrual hygiene day. How many people knew that?
I didn’t, until recently.
I’ve noticed something interesting though. Every single time I speak to a female about anything to do with menstruation, I notice this almost instant shift in their eyes. It’s almost like they’re ashamed of the topic. I find that quite funny.
Sure, there was a time I felt uncomfortable talking about it and while I can’t pinpoint the exact turning point between then and now, I can confidently say I am no longer shy about it.
It’s a part of life. Period.
Mostly, the mention of menstruation reminds me of horrible menstrual cramps more than anything else.
For a couple of years before I actually started my period, my family ensured I had sanitary pads. I remember all the experiments my friends and I carried out with them in school. It was fun. We had no worries of cramps or fear of stained clothing.
Still, the first time I bought a pack of sanitary pads myself was an experience!
I remember being so self conscious as I walked to the store. Immediately I entered, I was hit with a wave of confusion. What size to buy, what brand, what colour???
The salesman was attending to someone so I waited, nervously shifting from foot to foot.
I desperately wished I could be anywhere else. I mean it just had to be a man! 😩
Finally he turned to me and I whispered under my breath, ‘I want to buy sanitary pad’
And surprisingly, I lived! I didn’t fall to the ground like jelly!
I thought the worst was past as I looked everywhere but at him.
But then he said, ‘Is it for your aunty or your mother?’
I didn’t see that coming so I had to think fast.
I thought to myself, ‘maybe the pads were made for age groups, so since my mother is supposed to be older than my aunt, it will be safer to say my aunt’
And so I responded, ‘my aunty’
He then picked up one and put it in the most transparent black nylon bag I’d ever seen. Who knew those bags were that transparent??
I mean, seriously?!
After paying, I turned to leave the shop and gently folded the bag around itself to make the content less visible. I then began my nonchalant walk back to the house.
As I got to the top of the stairs and turned the door knob, I breathed a sigh of relief.
I made it! My first sanitary pad buying journey was a success.
But then, I took a step into the house and my brother popped out from God knows where and asked, ‘what’d you go and buy?’
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