Thursday, June 01, 2006

Musings on being a Woman

I was in the store the other day, facing the giant "Wall of Feminine Hygine Products", scanning the boxes, when I noticed how desperate their makers actually are to make themselves stand out in the crowd. A quarter of a century ago, when I first faced the Wall, it was not a Wall. Your choices were small. Stayfree, Kotex or Tampex. The pads that stuck to your underwear & did not require a belt were a new innovation. Then one day there were "wings" on the Stayfree and Always joined the brands. Then the pads got thin. Then they started coming in assorted absorbancies and thus a Wall was born. For the majority of those 25 years I stuck with Tampex & failed to really notice just how many different types of pads there are. Tampons themselves were straining my decision making abilities as it was (scented? cardboard applicator, plastic applicator or no applicator? light, heavy, medium or multi pack?). The whole idea of choosing a pad was just too much & so I always bought Always when I needed some. The hospital where my sons were born sends you home with a couple packages of Always and I stuck with it. But the other day I was waiting for a prescription & had time to contemplate the bounty before me. Every brand has a gimick, but one stood out above all others. On the box of Kotex Ultra Thin (with Leak Lock), in bold letters, is written "SHHHH Quietest Packaging"

Is noisy pad packaging a problem?? Did the results of some poll say "Yeah, we'd like to use your product but that wrapper is just so darn *loud*" Are there women out there concerned about the sound their pad wrapper makes when they open it? I imagine a woman, frozen in a public restroom, needing to change her pad but too embarassed to open the new one because the loud rustling will announce to everyone else in the room "SHE HAS HER PERIOD!" Then I began to wonder if I had ever noticed the sound of pad packaging being opened when I was in a public restroom. I cannot recall. I've never thought about it. You hear noises sometimes from other stalls. I, for one, choose not to speculate on what those noises might signify. Perhaps it is time I started.

I bought the Kotex because I just *had* to know if they were that much quieter. Always has a plastic wrapper that is taped down & sealed up the sides & there is a definate ripping noise when you open it. The Kotex wrapper was more cloth like & thinner, not taped but still sealed up the side. It was much quieter when it was opened. But unless Kotex has pointed it out too me I don't think I would have noticed.

I never thought I would one day be in a bathroom comparing the relative loudness of pad wrappers. It's just not something that ever crosses your mind you might be doing. Cooking dinner? Yeah. Weeding the garden? yeah i thought I'd probably do that. Comparing noisy pad wrapping? no, never.

8 comments:

Kerry said...

I'm chuckling loudly here. I admit to being conscious of noisy pad packaging in the past, but never actually frozen.

I'm also a little horrified to realise it's nearly 25 years since I started needing such things myself. I'm getting old!

Karen said...

Well let's face it, nobody likes a noisy sanitary product.

Jane said...

What a wonderfully written entry! Thanks for making me remember furtive scramblings in the loo!

ArtcMom said...

LOL! This is awsome!!!! Makes me want to have been a fly on the wall of that marketing meeting!!!! I had to change a liner one day when I was at church and my daughter asked if I was wearing a band aid. I snickered and said, yeah sorta. When we came out the lady that was in the stall next to me was doing all she could to keep from laughing!!!

_Jon said...

One of the blogs I read is by a woman who has commented on working with a bunch of guys. She is self-concious of when she needs to use the restroom and needs to bring her purse. She commented she could put it in her pocket, but the wrapper makes a lot of noise, drawing attention to itself.

That is probably the source of the desire for "silent packaging".

heh

faery-wings said...

ROTFLMAO!!!!

What an awesome essay. You should submit that to some woman's magazine. I "met" this lady in my supermarket as we both stood in front of "The Wall" for what seemed like forever, with our eyes glazed over.

Who knew getting "feminine protection" would ever become such a chore!

Mrs_Who said...

Well, durn, no wonder the guys don't want to pick up 'supplies' for us...too many choices!

Ogre said...

I have heard some "noises" coming from stalls in the restrooms. Until now, I had normally associated those noises with noxious gasses. You have opened my mind to other possibilities...

Oh wait, I've been in the men's room. NEver mind... ;)