Tampons.

I have a sparkly, humorous take on the majority of things; believe in forgiveness, understanding, acceptance, and going with the flow. EXCEPT when it comes to my flow.

Miserly bastard that I am, I figured that tampons would be cheaper in Mexico than in the US. Maybe they would have a cardboard applicator, or they’d be the applicator-less OB type, but either way, tampons they would be. What I did NOT bank on was ABSENCE OF TAMPONS.

Every globetrotting girl knows to pack enough period paraphernalia to get her through the first flow in a foreign land. Nothing is more awful than navigating unknown streets with blood running down your leg while trying to remember how to say “I need those things for my…womanly time” in a foreign language. But one can’t bring all of Duane Reade in a suitcase, and, at a certain point, will have to go to the store.

I got to Walmart, where I figured the selection would be greatest and I wouldn’t have to interact with anyone. What did I see? PADS. PADS PADS PADS. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall, those demonic diapers that I hadn’t touched since seventh grade. Because WHY, pray tell, would anyone choose to sit in a pool of their own menstrual fluid when they could simply plug it up and be none the wiser? I found, in the lower left hand corner, a row of three boxes, each containing 10 tampons. I dusted them off, grabbed all of them, and shook my head, deciding that I should start a black market.

Main problem: veneration of virginity, and the thought that if you put something Up There, you will cease to be a virgin. First of all, if it can’t come inside you, it can’t deflower you. But fine, let’s say that all virgins must use pads. Has anyone noticed the abundance of children in this country? I assume that they’re the product of sex and not the stork. Use tampons.

Second problem: people stick to old methods. In the case of the molcajete, this works. But sometimes, change is good! There’s WiFi in the Zocalo, eco-friendly taxis, and abortions are legal in Mexico City. Why why why don’t more people use tampons? You can walk around without the sound of damp plastic echoing your footsteps, you can run, jump, you can even dry hump. Why anyone would choose to live like a giant baby as opposed to a normal female is beyond my American mind.

Third problem: Tampons are seen as dirty. I finally realized that certain pharmacies have a decent supply. I asked the woman for tampons, and she led me to the corner, away from the male cashier, to hand them over. She then apologized: “I’m sorry, I can’t ring you up; the young man must do it.” I’ve found myself in stores buying nothing but razor blades, Red Bull, and condoms on more than one occasion; my purchases have ceased to shame me. Or so I thought. As she started from afar, and he from up close, probably both thinking I was a prostitute, I was humiliated, and wanted get me and my V the hell out of there.

In conclusion, I think it’s a tragedy that females here are made to feel as though they have to marinate their vagina in a corporal concoction for four to seven days a month rather than plugging up and living normally. I have stocked up on tampons, and will probably get TSS rationing them out over the next few months. But it’ll have been totally worth it.

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