Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Panties. Period.

Well since most of the men have been conspicuously absent from commenting (well, not Joe of the Dutch Oven fame, or Tom, who made a brief comment about veggies being evil before getting the hell out of here) on my last post about flatus, I thought I'd take advantage and ask a question that I've been dying to know.

Since it will prolly be a week or so before any of those guys are brave enough to poke their heads back in here.

You chickas have been really cracking me up!


I grew up with two brothers, so I never had a sister to ask. My parents were somewhat "older" when they adopted us---with me they were 35. Nowadays that's nothing, but when I was growing up, that was almost elderly. They were of a completely different generation than my friend's parents.

My dad was near the bottom rung of 10 kids, my mom was a total afterthought baby herself, so they were basically unattached to their parents' generation as well. They were both practically raised in Victorian households.


When I was about 8 my mom was so uptight with the whole sex thing that she gave us a book called "A Doctor Talks to 6-to-12 Year Olds" and said we could ask her questions later. Privately, one on one. Uh huh. Sure. Nowadays, it's easier to talk to your folks and others about this stuff. Hell who hasn't been on Maury? Back then for me? Not.

When I unexpectedly started my period a few years later, I happened to be at a "Dad" weekend (things had changed dramatically since we got the "book"). Dad was an "old" fart and left it all up to young Trophy Wife #1 to deal with.

She, of course, first ran out and bought me OB tampons, and handed them to me through the bathroom door. I was 11. When I wouldn't come out of the bathroom or stop crying (I didn't know what the heck to DO with them), she ran out to probably the only drugstore on the planet that still carried sanitary pads that had to be hooked into a belt. And bought the belt as well. Totally skipped over the shelf that had the ones that had adhesive and could be stuck into your own panties.

When I got home on Sunday night and told my mom, I got the big tearful "now you're a woman!" speech. Which was actually kind of nice. She bought me the right kind of pads, and a funny kind of cloth cigarette pack holder to carry one in. Oh, and she told me that if I got blood on my panties, or my sheets, or my clothes, that I had to scrub it ALL out in the sink with cold water before putting it in the laundry.

Yeah right.

When I think about all the time I spent over those years scrubbing and scrubbing after accidents (like who is regular the first couple of years or so---you usually find out you've started once it's already there? Or what if you roll over in the middle of the night and everything gets bunched up at the front or the back and you leak somewhere?), I started to think my Mom was some evil sadistic menstrual harpy. Really.

Mom was in a natural holistic phase at that point and wouldn't even give me an aspirin for cramps. Now I'm convinced that she was so prissy that she probably threw her own panties and sheets away, bought new ones and scarfed down valium by the bowlful (docs were handing it out like candy in the 70's) but told herself it was theraputic because she had a prescription. Just kidding. Heh. LOL

For those Buffy/Angel fans out there---that episode where Fred was scrubbing and scrubbing Jasmine's sweater until her own hands were bleeding gave me a big "Aiigghghhhh!!" moment. Not pretty.

So anyways, when I became an adult, I was done with all that. Yeah, if I had an accident, I'd do the obligatory soak in cold water, but I'd be damned if I'd futilely scrub and scrub. I'd have a few pairs of panties that had old stains, and instead of wearing pristine ones while on my period, I'd wear the stained ones. Heck, they were already stained, but they were technically clean and otherwise in perfect shape, so what's the big whoop?

That's when I started thinking about them as my Period Pants.

Now other than Hubby (who does his own laundry) the guys and I pretty much throw our dirties down the new laundry chute and do our laundry communally. Except for my Period Pants. I wash them separately with
some of my other stuff, and fold and put them away myself.

Until recently. We've been so busy that I had a load in the dryer when Hubby went to wash some of his own clothes. Sometimes, if there's something in the dryer, he'll bring it up and fold on the ottoman in the living room while we're watching TV as he waits for his own laundry to get done.

So he's pulling all my Period Pants out of the laundry basket (I was in the other room) while they're all watching The Simpsons (I was in the other room JUST to avoid it) and folding them in front of the guys, and they're like---ewwww! Mom!

From the other room, I said "What????"

Your underwear!!!!

That's when I saw what Hubby was doing. Gak!

We had to have a big family conversation about how I bitch at them for leaving skid marks in their undies for willfully not wiping their butts good enough, but I'm not being a hypocrite because sometimes I have an accident and these panties are around 4-6 years old. I can't begin to tell you how embarrassing this was.

Tell me, what do the rest of you do with them? Do you have Period Pants?

I swear, I'm just going to start being my mother and throw them away.


57 comments:

Chris H said...

Very funny girl! Yes, I have 'period pants'... they are all black for obvious reasons! How old are your sons? I would have told them the truth about the period pants if they were old enough! My sons were all brought up knowing about this sort of stuff! go buy yourself a dozen pairs of black 'period pants' mate, then no one can actually see da stains.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, the period pants live here too. When I have an accident in NON period pants, I get really pissed, but they go through the wash with everything else and everyone in the house has seen them at one point or another. My son knows all about periods and hormones and how girls bodies change as well as boys (he might as well be knowledgeable about what girls go through too, might make adolescence easier). When I was 18 my 21 yr old boyfriend was the youngest of five and had NO idea about periods. I had to educate him. He had NO idea about how pregnancy happened, nothing (this was 26 yrs ago in Ireland), I felt I had to educate him! I grew up with two brothers and my most embarrassing moment (my mother was, well, weird) was when I got my first bra (at 13 I was already a 34 C) and my mother called my brothers into the room without telling me to see my new bra! NEVER recovered from that one, good grief.

Orfhlaith

Casdok said...

Yes i do.
Reading this post brought back memories, that are best forgotton!!

Trudie said...

Although I feel that the odd stain is nothing for anyone to go ape over or feel embarrassed about - but black panties is the answer.

Star said...

I do. And not only are they less than pristine, they are also less than sexy. But very comfy.

Valerie Marie said...

Black panties too. They must be 4 or 5 years old and they have "waist-high" because I need to feel comfy in "those days": those panties are "love-killers"! xoxo

Kim Ayres said...

Never had them.

Although I do know about the concept

Deb said...

Well I myself have never had an accident and do not stain panties, bed sheets, PJ pants or anything else! You my dear are just disgusting!!!

Hahaha I am sooooo Kidding. Yes I have them and they are black. However my sheets are white. The trick to getting the stains out without scrubbing is Hydrogene peroxide. Your pour it on and as it bubbles it eats the stain!

Brenda said...

Those were the days that I don't miss one little bit. I had light colored period panties too but would daub peroxide on the accidents and then toss them in the washer with the other whites. They'd come out sparkling. :-)

litzi said...

Hi Attila,
Been there, done that. Reading your post makes me rejoice that I had a hysterectomy when I was 37 and was able to toss out the period pants. “For those special times in your life”…

The next time your family gets on your case, remind them of their nicotine-stained jockey shorts. LOL!!

Mamma said...

Totally!!

The worst is when you're out of them and you have to wear the good ones during your period. Hate ruining a good pair.

Liesl said...

Were you my invisible twin? I don't have periods anymore but when I did, in the garbage those panties would go. Until, of course, one of the cats or dogs fished them out and chewed on them. Good times.

OneEar said...

Throw them away? Don't be crazy. There's bound to be a market for those on EBay.

KL said...

I totally had the period panties...but thankfully I don't have to deal with that anymore! It was especially hard for me because I would wear 2 overnight pads during the day....I was going to have 'accidents' no matter what I tried! While my hysterectomy led to the bad pneumonia and 9 days in the ICU, just being rid of the period panties was worth it!

Melissa said...

Oh honey, you had so little support! How awful! I haven't got period pants. I don't sweat it, I wash them with everything else like anything else and my stains are no worse than anyone else in my family's. How miserable that people make us think something natural is so filthy and horrible--in overt and and subtle ways.

Heather said...

Let me just tell you something.

I have to change my tampon every 20 minutes for the first 7-8 days of my period, so, umm, yeah.

I definitely have "period panties".

Although, come to think of it--The only time I WEAR panties is during my period.
-snickers-

:]

mjmoore said...

I love reading this blog!
I'm afraid I'm in the minority, I tend to throw them out. Thankfully it doesn't happen much these days!

marymurtz said...

You people are all disgusting. just kidding

I have the same method as you ATM. It's horrible.

BaLQiz said...

I can totally relate with your experienced as my mom was not the modern open-minded, chest-to-chest mother-daughter type who explain to her daughter that her first blood is healthy and not becoz she's dying of cancer since her aunt passed away few days before her first menstrual of hemorrhaging from unknown disease and her daughter end up crying in the bathroom thinking she'll die soon.

As for period panties, I always make sure I have a shoe box full of it and it's all black and ass huge to give room for air :-)

Traceytreasure said...

I remember the belt for the pads. I love adhesive. I've never scrubbed anything though. Hydrogen Peroxide takes out blood stains and so does Shout! I don't wear my expensive Victoria's Secret undies that week. I've had 3 home births....I've had to get a lot of blood out of sheets etc. but I've never scrubbed. Next time you get a stain, drop some peroxide on it. It will foam up. I'm not kidding!
(But, I'm blushing)

Grim Reality Girl said...

Attila, I have them too. Do not be ashamed. I am starting to believe there is no right way to handle this with our girls. I tried. My daughter would have NOTHING to do with the red tent approach. Funny thing is that Hubby was the one who told me our daughter got her period (now known as her secret period). He does the laundry. Funny thing that it wasn't until period #2 that we caught on to her dirty little secret. No "welcome to womanhood" deal here -- she was all "no big deal mom!" on me.

Anyway... I'm too darn poor to toss the panties for every accident. You keep the ugly panties and move on.

Fact is that it is worse to wake up in the hospital with hairy legs than less than perfect underwear... trust me on this.

/wow, that was a whole lot of TMI for one response, sorry!

Anna said...

Haven't ever thought about it, but I tend towards dark underwear anyway. But then since I got my lovely mooncup I never leak, ever, so I can wear whatever panties I want.

No way I'd go back to towels or tampons now.

And while I'm here, how come when you're a teenager your mum/female caregiver/whatever always buys you the most massive pads in the world? Like the size of a small mattress? What's with that!

Beth said...

I think every woman has those "special" underwear. We're just too practical not to!
Don't throw them out - you'll regret it!

mrsnesbitt said...

As an 8 year old I found a used sanitary towel in my mums bag. It was in a brown paper bag...I was looking for a bag of sweets at the time. I asked her what it was. Did she seize the opportunity to explain? No she told me she had had a nose bleed at work and had "hooked" the ST onto each of her ears whilst she typed. (She was a secretary) When I started my periods the talk? "This will happen once a month and you will need one of these" As she handed me the Sanitary Towel I asked her why would I want to hang it on my ears when that wasn't where I was bleeding from! Strange, yet true.

Stinkypaw said...

Of course I did, and actually I think I still do even if I haven't had a period in over a year... I just don't wear them... maybe it's time for me to let them go! Hee.

Skid marks, now that's a whole different thing! ;-)

Kate said...

I think they all just sort of "become" period panties by default. Then I get some spankin' new ones and start over, getting rid of the REALLY icky ones.

And I totally relate to the "not talked about" time when I was growing up. I didn't even TELL my mom that I got it for several months. She finally asked me because her supply of pads was running low. I was too embarassed to tell her!

Mrs. G. said...

I thought every woman had period panties.

And I had a huge fear of OB tampons until I was in my twenties. No applicator? What the hell...

Anonymous said...

I think we all have Period Pants. I've never thought it was a big deal and my girls don't either. I will tell you that when I started my period for the first time back in the stone age they sent me home from school, I had to go to my grandparents because my parents worked. When I got to grandma's she called grandpa at the bar during his poker tournament and announced that I was now a "woman". He in turn announced it to everyone in the place. Granny found me hiding in the closet under the stairs to let me know that everyone at the cedar street inn drank a toast to me! Joy!

michele said...

Yep... I've got em'. In my head, they're "period panties." My husband calls them granny panties. Yep - they're stained. with my reproductive issues, I've hemorrhaged in the past which is just shy of normal for me. So - there's leakage. Mortifying. My son walked in on me inserting a tampon once. Oh, and the boys stole my tampons once 'cause they were great cannons. Every one opened, and... er - shot.

Heather said...

Absolutely, count me in here too! When I got my first one, mom's complete "talk" was to tell me I was now old enough to do my own laundry and "clean up" after myself! And you'd better believe my period panties are the most gigantic, comfy things on the planet!

Lola Magnolia said...

I guess I'm the only one who doesn't wear panties anymore! And that's pretty much because I was tired of all my panties being stained from my period! I never knew there was such a thing as "period pants" 'til much later. :(

Rootietoot said...

Abxolutely to the period panties- big Fruit o th' Looms, they are, comfortable too. My boys (well, maybe not the 9 yr old, he's kinda clueless anyway)understand periods and bleeding and how to treat the woman deferentially when she's wandering around with a bag full of Always' Pads and mumbling. It's important that they not be shocked and dismayed by anything menstrual, seeing how they all want to get married one day.

Trish said...

yes the period panties. . .but it took me 25 years to figure out that perhaps dark colors is best for all my panties.

And those OB tampons? omg! They scared the living bejesus out of me. . .tried them once or twice and they got all stuck and crooked and there was blood everywhere - it looked like a crime scene - GAH!

'nuff said!

Trish said...

Let me just say I am glad I'm not 13 anymore.

11? God, that's young! You poor thing. . .

Jana B said...

OMW!! Your first period was celebrated with an OB tampon??? Those things are FREAKY! I still won't use them.

I DEFINATELY have period pants, and never dreamed of buying black ones... though it makes all kinds of sense now. I don't scrub mine, so I just use my "about to fall apart" undies as period pants, or ones I've already stained.

Sue said...

That's just too funny for me.

Yes.

Garbage bin.

Now.

And the kids? Leave them alone and toss their underwear too.

xoxo
Sue

Angela said...

Black are great.
I do love your posts

Joe said...

I don't think any of my wives had period panties. And, yes they had the occasional leak. I've seemed to keep my laundry separate during all my marriages, so my clothes have never co-mingled with the period panties.
They may not be sexy, but that never stopped me. *TMI alert*

warcrygirl said...

Oh yeah, I've got Period Panties. Hubby likes to pretend they don't exist, although mine usually don't last 4 years. My good ones usually get cycled (HA! Get it?) into the ranks of Period Panties and I throw out the old ones and buy new ones.

Also: Victoria's Secret is the devil.

Mia said...

Of course I do! They are men's Fruit of the Loom briefs and comfy as hell. Comfort is key. I could care less what they/I look like during my period. If my hubby dared to comment on the briefs or how I happen to look in them I would castrate him.
Can you tell I'm on my period? LOL

TxGoodie said...

That's all behind me now! Which is not to say that it wasn't ALL behind me then!!

NOW I've got enough space to put in a wall-safe! Lots of room in the used-to-be-womb. No tacky ovaries jerking me around. No gall bladder to get in the way! Even a brand new small economy size tummy!

The panties were never the problem...it was the bed sheets! For years and years all we slept on were stained sheets. I'd make it a point to put the stain back on my side every time I changed the sheets. Sigh. He had HIS spot(s) and I had mine.

Life without periods is wonderful!

amy said...

I totally have period panties. Thank goodness for them. They get washed with everything else, separation be damned. It's nowhere near the same as skid marks. It's not like you willfully pulled your undies up without a pad on, ya know? I now use a Diva Cup, and WOW 99% less leaks or accidents... no messed sheets!

golfwidow said...

Just as in "once a new towel gets stained or ripped, it is automatically converted to 'old towel' status," my underwear gets converted to "monthly" status. When I buy new undies, old but otherwise unsullied undies get converted to "monthly status" as well.

Queen of the Mayhem said...

I laughed out LOUD at this post! I absolutely have the period pants and I, too fuss my family when I find random skids! (hee-hee) I do......however....throw away ones that end up especially heinous...as I do with JM's underwear, when I tire of trying to "Shout" out skid marks! :)

Ann(ie) said...

HA!!! This made me laugh my ass off girlie. I have period underpants. Fat underpants. bloaty underpants. And sassy panties, but lately those haven't been making an appearance. I've been enjoying too much chocolate. ug.

Cheri said...

Period pants are tools of the sacred feminine. I'm sure of it.

Gale said...

Not for the last 18 years have I had period panties. And as for explaining to the kids why you have 'em. Its nunjabidness, some things are sacred and not to be discussed unless the other person is female. Think ritual. Not being prissy - jut practical.

TOM said...

I grew up with three older sisters and I never noticed any period pants, but then I was a spoiled brat and didn't do the laundry or many other chores come to think of it...

BPD in OKC said...

i have period pants also. All black of course. I remember accidents when I was a teen, and that was the worst!

Queen Goob said...

I think all women who still have their periods, have period panties. I do, but I also do most of the laundry at my house.....but EVERYthing is hung dry. Try THAT on for size, sister. Thank goodness my neighbors are single women!

Jennifer McKenzie said...

I have big old cotton panties that I wear during my period. And I've started having UGLY periods, so leakage is an issue.
I keep begging my doc to "take the damn thing out" but he keeps balking and telling me I'm too young.
Tell that to the Marines.
The best is when I was in a Mall restroom and my son (who followed me into my stall at five. I hate that.) says "Mamma! Why are you bleeding?"
Uh huh. Humiliating. Because puberty wasn't bad enough.
I enjoy being a girl. *HEAVY sarcasm*

Chili Pepper said...

I feel like an idiot! I have period pants and have never thought of designating specific black ones... WTH!!!

Brilliant post...

ChgoLiz said...

FWIW, I use a Diva Cup, so no more period panties. It's particularly great when traveling away from the comforts of home. There's also a Keeper, which is made of latex (the Diva Cup is silicone).

So easy, environmentally-friendly, and no more messes to clean up. Tampons and pads? How 20th century of you all!

Anonymous said...

I have stained and stained and stained in the past. Now I use Adira Period Panties that I ordered from adirawoman.com and I am truly stain-free and stress-free

Arthur Bhutic said...

Jennifer Mckenzie
I love during your period. It's lovely to want to cry wearing big old cotton panties during your period. Which I love during your period, is that I love too see the waistband of your big old cotton panties and you see the waistband of my big boxer briefs.

Arthur Bhutic said...

Lola Magnolia
Always wear panties on your periods.

Arthur Bhutic said...

The woman on the picture showing her thong on her period, if I was her on my period, you'll see me pulling up my high waist full butt brief panties over my butt.