Teenage Unlce Woofie champions male sensitivity and purchases the right tampons—all in a day’s work.
Not too terribly long after acquiring my driver’s license, while still in my late teens, an inevitable female emergency arose in the household to which I belonged. Both my mother and younger sister were without tampons. My mother, in the most sympathetic and apologetic of tones, asked me to perform this alleged errand of male trepidation and embarrassment. I say “alleged” because I could sense, from the tone of my mother’s voice, that she expect me to be reluctant, but teenage-me didn’t really see any reason to be.
Hell, it did not take some quantum leap of feminine understanding on my part (even at my age, at the time) to see how a woman in need of a tampon would feel stranded without it. Now, this is where it’s different from the situation Steve Jaeger wrote about earlier this week. I, at least, had a mature, older woman to diffuse the situation. He, well, he just didn’t.
“I would be happy to,” I announced with pride.
So off to the nearest store I went. Having found the types of tampons requested, I proceeded to the check-out counter. The cashier and I were alone as I paid for my purchase. A woman in her late thirties, bless her heart, she couldn’t resist the urge to comment.
“Y’know, for a young man, you’re awfully nonchalant about buying these,” she remarked.
“Yes,” I said. “Lissen, as far as I’m concerned, this is a badge of distinction that says I have a woman I care for in my life, and she cares for me.” This answer seemed to delight her, as she smiled. Never mind who this item was actually for, she didn’t need to know that much. Besides, even at face value, it was true. However, potentially bad moments always seem to be drawn to the good ones like an irresistible magnetic field.
Right before the cashier slid my tampons into a bag, a small contingent of jocks and rednecks from my high school rolled through the door. They knew me.
“Haw-Haw!!! Mebbe we’ll start callin’ you the Kotex Kid!”
The cashier gave me a look of crestfallen sympathy. I winked at her, and then turned to face my supposed tormentors, screwing my courage to the sticking place. I asked them all a simple question:
“What are you clowns … nine?!?”
I purposely ignored the giggles the cashier was desperately trying to contain under her breath as all three of my antagonists got kinda bug-eyed. I couldn’t stop there.
“You pinheads are constantly bragging about your ‘backseat paratrooping’ exploits that seem to imply you have a trophy wall in your room made up of girls’ panties. Now, while I always considered that utter B.S., I got yet another good reason to think that way, since you have such a dim view of this simple act of considerate kindness toward a girl you’re supposed to be interested in having around. It’s like this: if you’re gonna chase women for what’s under their panties, wouldn’t it be a good idea to be interested in assisting in the maintenance of what’s under her panties?”
They stared at me dumbfounded, not able to think of any response. I spun on my heel and headed for the door.
As I pushed open the drug store’s door, I saw a reflection of the cashier’s face, a look of satisfaction and some admiration. Or, at least I like to think so.