Tuesday, March 28, 2006

A feminine product problem..

During a phone conversation last night, the glamorous and wise Mel made what I consider a controversial pronouncement. It created a grave disturbance in my mind and, when there’s a grave disturbance in my mind, the only place for it to go is here on this blog. So I ask you, my sterling readership, to comment on my dear, dear friend’s strange, outrageous opinion and, if you can, assure me that it is a position only she and she alone takes. Because, deep in my heart of hearts, I fear that her frightful belief might be utterly common and unremarkable. If this is the case, the problem will not be hers, it will be mine. It may sound unchivalrous, but I would far prefer the problem to be hers.

Alright. I can hear you out there. You’re say, “Kevin, how the hell can we reassure you when we don’t know what this appalling opinion is? Jesus Christ in hot pink Hummer, you’re neurotic!” Well, I was getting to that. There’s no need for you to get testy.

Mel’s opinion–and I tremble even to write it–was that bachelor men, living alone, should have boxes of tampons on hand in case any of their lady guests begin to menstruate during their visit. There you have it. Frightening in it’s ramifications, isn’t it, ladies and gentlemen? In case it didn’t sink in the first time, let me write it again, this time in italics: my beloved friend Mel is on record advocating the position that bachelor men ought to have a reserve supply of tampons ready to provide their menstruating female callers.

Well, I’m sorry ladies who have been to my apartment and any ladies who might be in my apartment in the days to come: Kevin-M has no tampons. He has no sanitary napkins, no feminine pads, no Kotex, no Summer’s Breeze, nor anything of that sort. This is not because I don’t care for your comfort, though. I want you to be as comfortable as possible. It’s just that--and here is the point I was trying to Mel last night--it seems to me that my owning an entire array of absorbent doo-dads would likely have the opposite effect. To illustrate this, please consider the following scenario. I am entertaining a charming and delightful woman. Her name, for argument’s sake, is Natalia. I have served her the finest wines of Poland, played for her many of my favorite CDs, set my dimmer light to “low”, and told her a series of anecdotes so amusing that tears of joy have coursed down her delicate, lovely face.

But all is not right with fair Natalia. Since we’re all adults here, I feel I can be frank: while I’m playing host to Natalia, Natalia is playing host to Aunt Flo. Since she’s a discreet, almost shy young thing, I must rely on my sensitive and keen understanding of the female mind and body to detect her distress. She would never bring it up herself. And, of course, we simply aren’t at the stage in our relationship when I would ask her “questions” about “herself”.

But, in this case, I feel I must make an exception. I lean over her, gaze deeply into her eyes, and–with the utmost discretion–I inquire of her, “Sweet Natalia, my Ukranian flower, are you experiencing the miracle of your fertility right now?”

“Yes, Kevin, it is true!” she cries out, in that luscious accent of hers.

I nod with understated sympathy. I pat her hand and coo reassuringly into her upturned ear. Then, without another word, I step out of the room and hurry to my supply closet. Natalie, the poor darling thing, assumes that I am leaving her in peace so that she can attend to her XX-chromosome issues in privacy. But I’m afraid she’s mistaken, because not a minute later I come barging back into the living room, holding aloft a sealed and fresh tampon. I have selected carefully from my hidden stockpile and chosen the “Tampax” brand medium-flow model. Tampax is the industry leader, and my mother raised me with enough couth to know that it’s impolite to assume that a woman is suffering “heavy” flow. I’m a caring guy, after all. I long to attend to all Natalia’s needs.

“Here you go!” I cry out, trying my hardest to make this embarrassing biological intrusion seem as trifling as a whisper in church. “The bathroom’s down the hall to your right!”

Stunned, Natalia takes my proffered she-device. She tries to stammer out her thanks, but she’s just too distressed and confused to manage it. “There, there,” I tell her, “I know how it is for your kind. Take your time. I’ll be waiting when you come back.” The flirtatious purr I put on this last sentence would, under normal circumstances, be irresistible to any woman. But these are not normal circumstances. Because I have introduced the poison of suspicion into Natalia’s pure heart.

Why does Kevin has tampons?, she’s asking herself as she repairs for the lavatory. Whatever can he use them for? Is he secretly married? Is he some kind of perverted tampon fetishist? I’ve got a couple of them in my purse, but I can’t use them now! He’ll be hurt if I don’t use HIS tampons! God, what a disgusting sicko! Oh, and I thought he was so NICE!

Why would I want Natalia to think this way about me? Answer me, because I myself have no idea. I’m worried, however. You see, I’ve known Mel for about ten years now, and she’s only been wrong two or three times. Over the course of our friendship, many of the peculiar things she’s suggested (pleated pants make one’s ass look repulsive, the best way to meet women is to talk to them, Totino’s Party Pizzas are bad for your intestines, etc., etc...) now seem like self-evident truths. Will her Tampon Maxim become one of these?

I hope not, but I don’t know. I just don’t know.