Saturday, July 13, 2013

Women Laughing Alone with Tampon Boxes

I'm not sure why everything has to be a digital experience, (she types, ironically, on her laptop, in a post intended to be published online).

Yeah, yeah.

But really.

I have this thought nearly every time I walk into our small bathroom and see my box of tampons on the shelf above the toilet with a QR code handily displayed on the cardboard packaging. Some marketing whiz thought that what I really needed to add into my monthly bout with menorrhagia and will I/won't I/pro/con mental gymnastics about either surgical intervention (or option B, which E fondly calls "scorched earth") to stop what can only be described as the prolonged, painful monthly seige of Ladytown is a scenario in which I take out my phone (my phone!), scan a square pattern, and then delight myself in thumbing through what I am sure are the many cotton-candy-pink-hued pages of

(I have not done this, because:

1. I feel like giving them a page view is letting them win, a little bit.
2. The idea of my phone out in the bathroom gives me the yuckies.)

Let's talk about that. From my bathroom? I'm supposed to be doing this from my bathroom while I'm trying to manage a medical condition that's medieval, at best? Or in this imagined scenario, am I supposed to be scanning this package in the store before I get the things home? Because, why? This is all part of the great mystery to me, part of what has kept me for months trying to decode the intent behind such a marketing strategy.

Why do I need a QR code on my tampons? Why does any woman?

I can go ahead and admit that I am dismayed or frustrated or even grossed out by many companies' marketing choices, anyway. I'm looking at you, Charmin. Enjoy the go? Really? You had a meeting of grown-ups where somebody pitched an idea where bears would tell people to feel good pooping and you were like YES, YES, THAT IS GOLD. PUT A TEAM ON IT?

Can this just not be a thing we say out loud to each other in a society, please? Enjoy your poop?

I just can't even.

This, clearly, is why I am making public schoolteacher money and not Charmin Poop Slogan Money.

And, a word about my current level of enthusiasm for my reproductive system: it is quite low. Our relationship has been troubled since about 13, but we incubated some amazing new humans in our twenties. Now we're done with that babies thing, and she's decided she's going out in a blaze of glory, resulting in my not being able to teach a one hour English class or sit through a one hour lecture at grad school without worry that I will leak through whatever barricades of feminine protection I have laid in as insurance against awful, embarrassing incidents that make one look as though it's seventh grade all over again and one does not yet know how to be a woman.

See: sweatshirts tied around waist, running out of class with small purses in hand, etc.

And, never mind my frustrations with the fact that every drug and grocery store within a five mile radius of my house has decided not to stock anything remotely close to meeting the flow needs of anyone over the age of 12 and I have to order the damn things from Amazon, now (I'm realizing, here, I have some misdirected rage, or at best, I'm giving you an example of how estrogen-addled my brain is, currently), but I am currently also spending a lot of time in the restroom (for obvious reasons), and it's giving me a lot of time to imagine what this QR code does.

Is it a game where your character stands in front of a giant, cartoony boxing glove, and gets punched in the ute every ten minutes or so (because you forgot to make sure you got your Ibuprofen level-ups?)?

Is it just a link to your bank account so the people who make feminine products (hate that term and that grocery store aisle) can funnel the money more easily from your personal account to theirs?

Is it a Tumblr of Women Laughing Alone with Tampon Boxes (along the lines of Women Laughing Alone with Salad)?

That QR code has inspired many an imaginary scenario, yet not one single scan.

Many times I just imagine that I would scan it and it would just be this clown face, laughing. Just this awful, mean laugh. Over and over again, chortling at my week of pain, my frustration with the fact that I can't do much but wait this out until it comes again next month.

1 comment:

  1. But did you 'Like' your tampon brand on Facebook? Join with your community of tampon users? Maybe that's your problem. Stand-offishness. Embrace the pad and it will embrace you, something like that.

    As a gay guy, I have to ask. Did you try the one with the wings?