8 years ago

I was
up to seventy-three before I lost count. I was standing alone in the
feminine hygiene aisle looking for the same kind of-What do they call
it? - Protection that I bought last month. I couldn't believe the
overwhelming number of options there seemed to be. But there they were
in all their pastel-packaged glory.I can not only get pads, but pads
with wings and pads with wings that flex and pads with wings with
Velcro. If I don't want pads with wings, I can get pads with ruffles
(No doubt for my more feminine-yet-formal pad needs) and I can get pads
for thongs (Which I assume are not pads for my shower shoes). There are
hospital-style pads that protect all four walls (where ever they are)
and in the future, I will always think of this pad when I hear the term
padded-room. I can get pads in petite or plus sizes. You know its
funny, I had always assumed some things didn't grow no matter how much
weight you gained; apparently I was mistaken.

The choices multiplied as I stood in the feminine hygiene aisle
perusing the pads. Do I want the pads that are thin yet long? And is
the perfect long thin pad, the super long thin pad, the maxi long thin
pad or the overnight long thin pad with baking soda? And why baking
soda? Why not basil?

But my options didn't end with the pads themselves because I needed a
carrying case . Some open silently ("Shhhh!" Is printed on the package)
for special evenings when I will be needing my pads in quiet theatres,
I suppose. This is also explained in French and Spanish; because
apparently the French and Spanish need pads in quiet theatres, too.

As I stood transfixed by all my options, I wondered if they had really
exhausted every possible pad permutation. Have the preeminent pad
people really given this enough thought? Maybe the next winged-wonder
just over the horizon?

Next month when I can't find the same pad I bought this month-And I
assure you I won't -Will I find a collectable pad instead? When I'm
lost in a sea of pastel packages, will a Limited-Edition Franklin Mint
Collectable Pad catch my eye? Or will it be the I.D. Pad with clear
slot for my picture. A pad with no wings but lots of Velcro so I can
wrap it around my upper arm to display my identification. Or will it be
the handy pre-printed business card pads? If someone hands me their
card, I could hand them a pad. Better yet, I could Velcro it to them.

It's hard to get my mind around the need for all these pads. It's even
harder to imagine perfectly normal people brainstorming new pad-ideas.
I am, however, certain that in a top-secret facility somewhere in the
desert southwest, lab-coated technicians are discussing it at this very
moment. And I am equally convinced that at that top-secret facility the
feminine hygiene companies are helping the government manage nuclear
waste because not even the Nuclear Regulatory Agency fights leaks with
the gusto of the pad people.

My musings were interrupted when a pale, dazed woman asked, "Ever tried these?" Shoving a pink package at me.
"I dunno," I told her.
She sighed. "Me either." And after giving me a defeated look, she shuffled off to laxatives.

At least, now know I'm not the only woman who feels like this in the
feminine hygiene aisle. All of us feel this way, none of us knows where
to look , and each pad really is clamoring for attention.

pads have beaten me. Uncle. From now on Im sending my kid in to get
them. And while I stand there and agonize over which one I had last
month, and which one to get this month, and which one might meet my
needs better. I have no doubt that my 17-year-old son will make it in
and out of the store in 7 seconds flat (albeit scarred for life). And
I'm betting whatever he gets will work out fine.

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