This post is required reading for newly married or about to be married men. Fact is if you are married (or in a live-in relationship) it is inevitable that you’ll will be called upon to buy Feminine Hygiene Products (FHP). This post outlines a simple procedure to remove all the drama and the tension from this simple activity. It is even safe for delicate types with fragile machismo sensibilities to read.
I can’t understand why guys get squirmy when it comes to buying FHP for their significant other. Perhaps they over look some foundational facts:
- It is OK for a guy to be unfamiliar with FHP.
- They are products that are not chemically or biologically toxic to men or women to handle
- FHP are not a banned substance and therefore can be legally procured
The whole procedure is a procurement exercise. Only the target product is unfamiliar. Therefore the mission critical step is to acquire detailed product specifications from the end user (your spousal unit). Demand specifications of the brand AND the target product type within the brand. There is no excuse for failing to familiarise yourself with the packaging if there is an empty box lying around. Otherwise get clear details of what it looks like.
It is unlikely that you will need to know about an alternative brand unless stocks nation wide have been suddenly depleted. I doubt women are that stupid to request such errands in a last minute situation. However there’s nothing wrong with being thorough and having a back up plan.
I think the biggest fears guys have about buying FHP consists:
- Being confronted by a wall of unfamiliar products
- Being seen by other guys while in above situation
- being seen by other women while in situation No 1
- Having to “deal” with the checkout attendant/sales clerk
A well planned preparation stage will avoid situation no.1. Particularly a sub situation of having to make a plaintive phone calls to the end user while in situation No1. I have never had to do this but it must be unpleasant. It seemed so from distraught look on the face of the young fellow I saw paralysed before the shelves. He was reading the product labels into the mobile phone clamped to his head — clearly not enjoying his retail experience.
Fear numbers two and three are utterly ridiculous and should not be a cause for sweaty palms – at least for those with a drop of self confidence. You have every right to procure if you are not shop lifting. It also shows that you are “man” enough not be herded around by silly superstitions AND that you have a caring character. Specially when spousal/significant other unit is temporarily off-line with a cold.
When the female checkout counter person (fear number four) gives you that slightly patronizing smile, think of it as part of the theater of customer relations. If you suspect that they will be giggling behind your back later on, who the FUCKING shit cares! Certainly now you – who have more important things to worry about like avoiding trishaws.
I’m no anthropologist but I suspect all this male squirming about FHP has ancient cultural factors. Particularly the ancient seemingly global cultural phobia that regard female menstrual cycles as polluting to that delicate flower called masculinity. Perhaps the official anthropologist of the Sri Lankan blogosphere will offer more insight once exams are over. Till then, there’s a readable overview of Menstrual taboo on wikipedia.
A proper procurement procedure for FHP though should remove whatever concerns/fears implanted in you by there traditions. In short, think clearly and get over it. You are married man in the 21st century. There are plenty of things other to be terrified about.