Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Musings on being a Woman

(In anticipation of having either no internet or no electricity or gods help me - BOTH - Wed as a result of Snowpocalypse part Deux, I am reposting an entry I originally wrote in June 2006 but was reminded of today in the grocery store. Male readers who don't have women in their homes might want to move along.)

I was in the store the other day, facing the giant "Wall of Feminine Hygine Products", scanning the boxes, when I noticed how desperate their makers actually are to make themselves stand out in the crowd. A quarter of a century ago, when I first faced the Wall, it was not a Wall. Your choices were small. Stayfree, Kotex or Tampex. The pads that stuck to your underwear & did not require a belt were a new innovation. Then one day there were "wings" on the Stayfree and Always joined the brands. Then the pads got thin. Then they started coming in assorted absorbancies and thus a Wall was born. For the majority of those 25 years I stuck with Tampex & failed to really notice just how many different types of pads there are. Tampons themselves were straining my decision making abilities as it was (scented? cardboard applicator, plastic applicator or no applicator? light, heavy, medium or multi pack?). The whole idea of choosing a pad was just too much & so I always bought Always when I needed some. The hospital where my sons were born sends you home with a couple packages of Always and I stuck with it. But the other day I was waiting for a prescription & had time to contemplate the bounty before me. Every brand has a gimick, but one stood out above all others. On the box of Kotex Ultra Thin (with Leak Lock), in bold letters, is written "SHHHH Quietest Packaging"

Is noisy pad packaging a problem?? Did the results of some poll say "Yeah, we'd like to use your product but that wrapper is just so darn *loud*" Are there women out there concerned about the sound their pad wrapper makes when they open it? I imagine a woman, frozen in a public restroom, needing to change her pad but too embarassed to open the new one because the loud rustling will announce to everyone else in the room "SHE HAS HER PERIOD!" Then I began to wonder if I had ever noticed the sound of pad packaging being opened when I was in a public restroom. I cannot recall. I've never thought about it. You hear noises sometimes from other stalls. I, for one, choose not to speculate on what those noises might signify. Perhaps it is time I started.

I bought the Kotex because I just *had* to know if they were that much quieter. Always has a plastic wrapper that is taped down & sealed up the sides & there is a definate ripping noise when you open it. The Kotex wrapper was more cloth like & thinner, not taped but still sealed up the side. It was much quieter when it was opened. But unless Kotex has pointed it out too me I don't think I would have noticed.

I never thought I would one day be in a bathroom comparing the relative loudness of pad wrappers. It's just not something that ever crosses your mind you might be doing. Cooking dinner? Yeah. Weeding the garden? yeah i thought I'd probably do that. Comparing noisy pad wrapping? no, never.

9 comments:

humel said...

OK, so when I'm next in a public restroom and I find myself listening out for rustling sounds from other cubicles and comparing the volume of said rustling sounds, I shall know who to blame.... ;-)

Cheri said...

too damn funny!

Creative Junkie said...

No way. I can't believe that "loudness" is a factor in buying these things! Like you, I stick with Tampax and Always - I don't even bother looking at the other stuff. But now I'm going to have to take a closer look. God only knows what they'll come up with next as a perk - big fat happy smiley faces on the pads to make you forget your hemorraghing to death?

Lizzie said...

So funny! I must admit I had noticed the loudness, but more because I wasn't sure *how* loud it was and whether it would wake DH in the middle of the night (we now have an en-suite), when he was tired out. Decided it wouldn't and forgot about it.
I guess some people are more relaxed about such stuff and some are more easily embarrassed. Ah well, they have a choice now!

Aunt Becky said...

That always amuses me too. Like, huh? WHY do people get weirded out by that? Cracks me up that someone else thought the same thing that I did.

Too Many Hats said...

They gotta do something - not only is their fierce competition from other makers of the same product, but now we can take a pill and only get our monthly visitor 4 times a year.

When they come out with a product that does all they do now, plus makes me look 10 pounds thinner that time of the month, I'll start comparing. Until then, I'm a creature of habit.

Wolfie said...

This made me crack up!

SaraAmarie said...

*giggle* Oh the joys of womanhood! I skip the Wall completely and go with the DivaCup.. so much easier! lol

SaraAmarie said...

*giggle* Oh the joys of womanhood! I skip the Wall completely and go with the DivaCup.. so much easier! lol