Well at least it’s the question in Kotex’s latest tampon commercial. A woman stands outside a drugstore and asks random men if they would purchase tampons for her. The premise that she doesn’t have a lock for her bike prompts one man to offer to watch it while she goes in herself; another tells her flat out no and she asks if he would do it for his mother. One can’t say tampon and yet another offers to buy her toilet paper instead.
It’s funny because it’s true. Have you ever had to call your husband/boyfriend and ask him if he would stop and pick some up on his way home from work? It’s like asking him to remove his manhood and leave it in a jar by the door. It’s not just him either, you actually feel bad asking him to do it. Somehow, much like the way curse words got to be “bad” we have attached some sort of socially demeaning stigma to men purchasing feminine products.
I have had to make that call a total of three times since I have been married. Sometimes the kids are sick, the car is busted, or your Present-Menstrual-Status just won’t allow for you to go out and get them yourself. If you know me at all you know I was at once mortified that I had to ask Dreamy to do such a thing and at the same time tickled at the thought. I picked up the phone and asked him where he was on his journey home. As luck would have it he was only a minute away from the store and what did I need. “Well since you asked I need man-hole covers. Do you mind getting those for me?”
Then my saint of a husband asked me what kind! They may not like to admit it, they may not want to acknowledge that it’s part of their life but they sure do know all about it. Well I told him what brand I preferred and he asked me what size! The humility of this man knows no bounds! How could I not say super? Even though it feels like asking him to throw himself on the double edged sword of manhood. I had to laugh out loud, the dogs noted my suspect behavior, and they may have felt bad for Dreamy. I envisioned him standing in the checkout and the cashier was a pimply faced teen aged boy whose best laugh all day is my husband buying tampons and a pack of Altoids. The only thing that would make it better was if someone he worked with got in line behind him, preferably the smart ass kid from down the street. Dreamy forks over his ten dollar bill and is waiting for change when he hears an ominous tone; “Well I guess that explains your attitude all week.” Now I am really laughing and wondering if I should ask him to get me some depends too.
You know he’s embarrassed doing it. You know he’s put off by what people must be thinking of him. They’re thinking wow this poor guy, his wife’s got her period and she’s such a bitch she won’t even come out and get her own tampons. If I was the cashier I’d be thinking how wonderful is this guy to come out and get his wife tampons because she has cramps so bad she’s crying and telling him it’s worse than when she gave birth to their two beautiful children.
But it doesn’t answer the question does it? Of course not, there is no answer except that people are mental. A woman can go to the store buy men’s deodorant, athlete’s foot powder and a jock strap and no one would bat an eye. A guy buys man hole covers and everyone wonders what’s wrong in his relationship. The answer to that is absolutely nothing.