The Maxi Pad Mix-Up
It was 1992, I was in the 4th grade. This was "The Year." I remembered my older sister telling me about the education class that was taught during the 4th grade. The boys in one room. The girls in another. I still don't know what tidbits of human biology were taught in the boys room but I vividly remember the girls room. We learned about....drumroll...our periods. The subject was mortifying to me; however, I didn't want to seem like a sissy and miss school that day so I braved the public education torture. I would be lying if I didn't admit that curiosity also got the better of me. What exactly were they going to talk about?
(Shamae in the 4th grade. Stylish, eh? :-)
A local pediatrician (my childhood pedi actually as well as our neighbor/family friend) came to give us "the talk." We discussed breast growth. Body hair growth. Body odor. Crushes. Hormones. Basic sex anatomy. And, yes, our impending periods. (Which mine didn't start til the 8th grade anyway so maybe the talk was a little premature but it got the message across. I still remember that day too. Mr. B's 8th grade science class. Calling my mom crying. Thinking no one would EVER understand my humiliation. And now, laughing at my insecurity that I now realize every other girl was also going through.) But that's a story for another day. Back to the 4th grade...
After the question and answer session was over we received our goody bags and were sent on our way. I'm pretty sure this talk was wisely put at the end of the day on a Friday so we didn't have to face the boys with our new found knowledge about our bodies. We had the weekend to redeem our lost dignity. When I got home I went through the bag with my mom. I don't remember everything it contained; however, I remember the maxi pad. I told my mom I wanted to wear it around for a day, you know, just to see what it was like. My mom agreed to let me wear it the next day.
The next morning came. I put on the pad and went about my business on the farm. Feeding the cows. Watering the horses. Riding around on the 4-wheeler and checking my gopher traps I set for the other local farmers. (I made $1.50 per tail. Big bucks! :-) After my Saturday was winding to a close I went to the bathroom and removed the pad thinking that maybe having a period wouldn't be so terrible.
After dinner my mom asked me, "So Shamae, how was wearing the pad today?" I repeated in what I assumed was a mature, grown-up voice, "Oh it wasn't so bad mom. The worst part was just taking it off. But that only stung for a minute."
My mom gave me the most questioning look and asked in her reserved "mom" voice--you know the one where you hear it and you know you did something wrong but you aren't sure what it is yet--"Shamae, what side did you put down facing your underwear?" I answered, "The soft side. I put the sticky side on me. Isn't that how it goes?" At this point my mom lost all composure and said, "No, the sticky side is supposed to stick to your underwear to hold the pad in place."
At that moment it all made sense--the sticky side didn't need to be stuck to ME to stay in place! Sticky Side Down! My mom immediately called our pediatrician friend who provided the course at school and tried to regain composure long enough to explain my blunder. The Dr. said it never occurred to her to explain "sticky side down." She said she would definitely add that little bit of info to her curriculum for the following year.
So, the moral of this story...Sticky Side Down.
~~This is my fellow 4th grade class. I've often wondered if any of the girls made the same mistake I did...however I doubt it because sticky side down just makes more sense than "lets stick this to my vajay-jay and then rip it off at the end of the day."
P.S. I don't remember exactly how I handled using the bathroom that day. But I bet I just took it off, did my business, and slapped it back on.