In movies, when a young woman gets her first period, as well as getting blood everywhere (the back of her pants, the chair, the roof, the dog etc.) her mother, or a friend, offer her a knowing look, and then hands her a tampon with precisely no instructions.
No mention of the angle. Or perhaps a foot on the toilet seat. Or how far up precisely it’s supposed to go. No one gets out a notebook and points to exactly the hole one ought to be aiming for, the hole, which I might add, the young woman has used the least over the course of her lifetime.
She’s intuitively just meant to know how to manoeuvre some weird cotton sponge into her nether regions at the same time that blood is coming out of it and GUESS WHAT?
Sometimes she gets it wrong.
But no one tells you about those stories. Mostly because they’re confronting and people beg you to please SHHHHH once you start.
But I shan’t be shushed any longer.
It was a very hot December day when I decided to go into battle with my mortal enemy – The Tampon.
I was 15, I was perioding quite heavily (sorry but that word obviously needs to be a verb), and I wanted to go for a swim very badly.
Now, I wasn’t an idiot. I knew I couldn’t swim with the nappy/surfboard contraption that was sitting in my underpants. I’d float for goodness sake.
So I went to the cupboard and got reacquainted with the bullet-looking thing.
You see, it just wouldn’t go in.
This was probably because I was pushing it up straight where my bladder sits. Or was shaking so much out of nervousness that it was actually ending up hanging out of my left nostril.
But this day it was time.
I just… put it in.
It took 12 seconds, just like the movies. And I was f*cking stoked.