About 20 minutes before the end of a hike that she had gone on with three male friends, Jane* began to feel it hit her: The tell-tale blood seeping through her shorts as her period came.
In a perfect world, there'd be no shame around getting your period — after all, it happens to roughly 50% of the population — but in the world we live in, Jane immediately shrank back from the rest of the group, frozen in horror.
As it turns out, Dave*, a friend who was on the hike with her, noticed that she was acting strangely after her leak.
"'Do you need to pee?'" she recalled him asking. "I'm like, huh? Then I realized I'm like doubled over with my hands on my crotch. Seemed obvious. 'No, I, that's not,' I'm stammering. 'Period issue?' he says next. At that point I'm like this and I just mumble 'yeah.'"
Dave, thankfully, managed to find a way to help her without drawing any attention to the situation.
"And then, this guy, this fucking glorious, magnificent guy, he calls out to John and Teddy: 'Hey, Jane's scraped her arm on a tree or some shit, I'm gonna tend to it but it's gonna be like five minutes. Just get to the road and set up lunch and call the car,'" she wrote.
But that wasn't all — he also slid off his backpack and opened a pouch, asking her, "Pads or tampons?"
"He pulls out three tampons, the good kind, and a handful of wet-naps," she continued. "Hands them to me and then he opens the main compartment and pulls out a long sleeve black t-shirt. 'Go in the trees and take care of it, then tie the shirt around your waist.' He then pulls out a big band-aid and slaps it on my arm to keep up his cover story."
When she asked why he had menstruation products handy, he just said, "I've been hiking with women for years, you think I'm stupid?"
Again, we shouldn't have to feel embarrassed about getting our periods in front of anyone, male friends or otherwise. But since we haven't dismantled the period stigma yet, it's nice to see someone dealing with a period leak as if it were no big deal — because it really isn't.
*The Reddit user indicated that names in the story were changed.