When I was a teenager I worked in Costcutter.
Every month this guy would come in and buy a box of tampons, a load of chocolate and some pain killers. Every month I fell a little bit more in love with him. Admittedly he was also very attractive, and I went to an all girl’s school so I didn’t usually see a man from month to month.
But, all that aside, the fact that this guy clearly loved his wife or girlfriend or whoever she was and wanted to get all the period-related paraphernalia she needed, seemed like the height of romance.
Years later my (now) husband came back from the shops with whatever I’d asked him to get (wine and butter, most likely) and there were tampons in the bag. I asked him why, and he said he’d noticed that the box in the bathroom was almost empty.
It wasn’t a big deal. It was £3 and a casual thought. But it was a big deal, because it was about being thoughtful and caring and organised and exactly the kind of person that I wanted to spend the rest of my life.
It said ‘I think about you when we’re not together, and I want to make your life easier.’
He seemed surprised that I thought it was such a momentous occasion.
By contrast, a guy I’d dated previously had told me I was disgusting for asking him to hold a (clean, unused) tampon for me while I was getting stuff out of my handbag.
Being comfortable with buying tampons isn’t just about buying tampons. It’s about the way in which you see women. Being grossed out by something totally natural and biologically important is unfair, childish and a sign that you’re not a very nice person.
Similarly, being embarrassed to buy tampons, pads or similar is pretty immature. If you can’t walk up to a counter in Superdrug (or a self check-out if you’re really ashamed) and buy some tampons, then you’re not mature enough to be having a relationship.
It’s hard to understand how you could be embarrassed about buying a box of tube-shaped cotton wool and yet not be embarrassed about the fragility of your masculinity.
Obviously we’re big girls, we can buy our own tampons. It’s not about having to have someone buy them for you, but sometimes it’s nice.
Especially if you’ve ever been in the emergency situation where your period has sneak attacked you and you need a tampon RIGHT NOW and there aren’t any in the house.