I haven’t had my period since February 10, 2001.
This date is etched in my mind along with the day I gave birth, both of those “special” days involving my marriage vows, and my daughter’s first day of pre-school.
As well as less universal, but perhaps more traumatic events such as the night my boss took me to a swinger’s party (or so he thought) and the last time I wore high heels.
All moments that that reside in that “memory-hall-of-fame’ in the corner of my mind.
My friend, let’s call her Aunt Flo, for old time’s sake, hadn’t made a visit in over a year. In fact, I was pretty sure she had gone on permanent vacation.
But there I was on the toilet in a ladies room, in a concert hall when she arrived.
“Oh, God!” I cried out, scrambling through my purse for what I knew wasn’t there.
And not only wasn’t I prepared, but the dispensers on the wall were empty.
I envisioned myself walking back to my seat with a wad of toilet paper between my legs, my butt pinched tighter than a miserly old woman.
But God must have heard my cry because within five minutes, Aunt Flo left the building.
She has rushed in like an old friend having left something important behind, with only a few minutes to spare. And then she was gone.
Perhaps in her case, it was to remind me of all the time we’d spent together and just because she was no longer in my life, it didn’t mean I was any less of a woman.
Well, I didn’t feel like any less of woman. It just reminded me of how many times I had actually forgotten to carry a tampon. Times when I really needed one.
And back then we didn’t have to remember to take many things with us. No cell phone. No iPad. No iPod. No laptop. Not even a debit card. Just a wallet and some lipstick.
So why was it so hard for me to keep that necessary item in my purse at all times?
By not being prepared, was I hoping it would end?
I don’t have the answer to that question.
In many visits to the ladies room, I’ve seen a young women’s startled expression and pleading look as she bangs on the tampon display.
But I do know that look. The one of fear and embarrassment. The one that says I have the toilet seat cover jammed between my legs.
The one that asks “What’s wrong with me? How can I be so forgetful?”
Just now you’re not alone. And well, you’ve got a good story to share with your friends.
Read more from Janie Emaus on her website