Last night I was at the grocery store and noticed a couple of attractive young guys in their early thirties, entering the store.  They were heading my way as I made a left into the feminine products aisle, which also contained the first aid materials.  I was looking for Bactine.

“Sure,” I thought, “Of course I would be heading down the pad aisle.”

Why that makes any difference at all to anyone at all, most of all, those two guys, is really quite another question.  But these are the weird, self-absorbed places my brain sometimes travels when I forget momentarily that thirty-something guys are not looking at me anyway.  This is not even beginning to approach the question of why buying feminine products is embarrassing for women to do; but somehow, for many, it is.

For me, it’s like holding up a sign in front of the men around you, that announces, “MY PERIOD IS COMING!”  It’s a personal thing, involving my nether regions, and I don’t know why anyone else around me needs to know anything about it.  But I digress.

So I turned left into the feminine products/first aid aisle and, as fate would have it, the two guys entered the aisle behind me.  I was walking down the aisle, continuing my weird thinking, “Ha!  They probably think I’m buying pads or tampons!  But I’m NOT!  Ha!  I’M buying Bactine!”

I stopped past the feminine products in front of the first aid items and was startled to see both guys stop…where?

In front of the feminine products!

And I was privy to the conversation which went like this.

“How much is there, man?”

“A lot.”

“Maybe you should just get a diaper.”

“Ya…I know.”

“What kind did she say?”

“She didn’t…she just said, ‘HURRY!’ ”

“Oh boy.  Okay.  But there’s so many!  Look at them all!  I guess we’ll just start at the top row…”

I could hear the nervousness in their voices and I knew they were completely lost.  There was some woman somewhere, bleeding like a tap and they had no idea what she needed.

A glance over revealed the two men, each with a hand to his chin, looking up at the pads and tampons, and rocking back and forth from heel to toe.  This wasn’t going anywhere fast.

I approached the guys and tentatively asked them if they needed help.  They both heartily accepted with a huge exhale of relief.

One man explained that his wife had just had a caesarean section and the hospital was not supplying pads.  I showed them how to read the packages for sizing and told them to look for words like MAXI, OVERNIGHT and LEAK GUARD.

“Get the biggest, most absorbent ones you can,” I advised.  They nodded solemnly, wide-eyed.

Suddenly, they were grabbing bags of pads off the shelves and reading them studiously.  It was absolutely hilarious, but also very heartwarming to see how much they cared about getting the right thing for his wife.  They had no embarrassment whatsoever.  What was my problem?

I left them to their task and told them they were, “Good guys” and also thanked them for my next blog topic.  They laughed and said they were very grateful for the help.

A few minutes later, I saw them at the cash, several lines over, throwing and catching a big bag of pads high in the air.  I caught their eye and raised my eyebrows with a questioning thumbs up.  They both answered with smiles and enthusiastic thumbs up and I grinned back in reply.