And now for something COMPLETELY different and a topic I don’t normally address…but this week I feel compelled to because of what I saw.
Red calendar via Shutterstock
I’m stuck at the back of a crowded bus headed down a busy downtown Chicago street. I look out the window and see two teenage boys make the ewww face at each other, and they seem like they’re in disbelief at what they’ve just seen. I look past them and they’re gawking at a 30-something year old woman. She is wearing a pastel colored mini skirt. She is slowly walking up the street, staring at her phone and texting…totally oblivious to the stares from everyone around her and the giant blood stain spreading all over the back of her skirt.
OMG. Nightmare by proxy.
I so wanted to jump off the bus and be like noooooooo!
But there was no way I could do anything. And when I was finally able to see this poor lady’s face, I fully expected her to look confused or disturbed…something to explain why NOBODY had seen fit to tell her “excuse me ma’am, you have a situation that needs to be addressed urgently…” and she looked perfectly normal. Just preoccupied with her phone, is all.
As the bus rolled away I found myself dealing with my feelings. Although nothing like that’s ever happened to me **knock on wood**, I can just imagine how that would feel. And that lady I saw isn’t alone – when I shared the story with a few friends the embarrassing personal stories came flooding out (so to speak). So many of us had experienced prior incidents that left us feeling ashamed and self conscious. And so many of us hadn’t shared these stories before, instead they remained bottled up inside. Maybe I couldn’t help the woman I saw on the street, but I can try to help others, right?
Aunt Flo. The crimson tide. The curse. The red accident. We all know what it is, and we all deal with it. And it’s no fun but it is what it is. Here’s how I deal with mine.
Best time-of-the-month apps
The Smartphone is the best thing to happen to women dealing with their menstrual cycles since the disposable tampon was invented. Thanks to Smartphones, we can now keep track of things without having to think much about it. This thing doesn’t have to be a surprise.
For iPad and iPhone there’s MANY to choose from. My Days has the best reviews, and users claim it’s incredibly accurate in terms of assessing ovulation, and you can use it to add text, remember if you took your pill, and more.
Pink Pad is a period tracker and social media network unto itself, where you can discuss women’s health issues in a safe space and get answers from users like yourself. Also now there’s a shop with carefully curated fertility items
Mood Horoscope and Period Tracker is exactly what it sounds like, but instead of sassy humor it gives you sensible advice, like how much iron you need to ingest and what exactly your hormones are doing to cause the emotional rollercoaster you’re experiencing.
The products I always turn to
This isn’t the kind of shopping I spend a whole lot of time thinking about. I have an order of preference, and that’s entirely based on durability of product and cost. In general, my order goes like this:
I keep a collection of pads and tampons on me at all times, so no emergency situation can get the best of me. This is ESPECIALLY essential when traveling. I speak from experience.
Also, it’s a sensible bit of advice to wear super comfortable shapewear or bike shorts during your time, to avoid accidents like I witnessed. It’s not always going to work depending on your outfit, but it’s valuable insurance for the menstrual cycle unsure and insecure.
Best tips for unfortunate laundry of this nature
Seeing the woman on the street made me so sad for her emotions and for her wardrobe. To add insult to injury, that cute mini skirt may have been ruined. Here’s what helps when you’ve got to deal with unfortunate laundry of this nature.
– blot the stain. Don’t rub. Blot. Use a paper towel. Absorb as much of it out as you can.
– only wash the stain with COLD water. Hot water will essentially ensure that it won’t ever come out.
— there are several methods you can try, including saltwater, detergent, and ammonia. This Wikihow page is very helpful.
— Remember that these things happen. You’re not the first person this will happen to, and you won’t be the last.
Not a fun subject to tackle, but a necessary one – and one I don’t think many of us are discussing enough. Those are my top tips for the woman I wish I could have helped.
What’s your advice for that time of the month, bellas? I want to hear your stories too!