I Survived: My Bathroom Stall Didn’t Have the Tampon Trashcan

The day was in June, I think. Must have been, because I was wearing a white skirt. It was a fool’s mistake I know, but earnestly, I forgot she was coming. She, the Almighty She, lording over me as the pills in my monthly birth control dwindled down to just the fake placebo ones…my period.

Needless to say she made herself known with a vengeance that summer day, but I came prepped and prepared. I’ve always been a tampon kind of girl myself, but I knew to play it safe and wear a diva cup wrapped around the top of the tampon as well as 4 liners around my underwear like a makeshift adult diaper. She couldn’t fool me, not now. So I got to work.
The process, much like a surgeon opening a human body, is gross albeit routine in my old age (23). With a minute of turnaround, I am ready to replace. Once done, I wrap my old tampon in about 29 squares of toilet paper (just to be safe) and turn to place the tamperonie in the silver trashcan on the side of the stall. That’s when I realized…

I was alone.

The can, it had to be here. I checked both sides, but nothing. Maybe I was missing it, maybe it was underneath the toilet for some reason? Nope, not there. Oh god. I thought Oh no. Not like this, not like THIS. I looked to the ground, to God, to the other stalls for guidance. There was none. A can-not. 

No toilet paper would have been manageable. I would have rummaged around in my bag for a Target receipt like a dignified lady. I would have at least been able to hobble to the next stall, but this? A torture that must have been designed with no utero in mind. There would be an email to the board about this, but that was for later. War was now. 

I knew my next move. The mission to clear my name and protect my legacy commenced. I’d have to go out…there…the public space. Getting caught could end it all for me. There must have been four, five women total waiting out in the sink area, greedily leaning beside the paper-towel-specifc trashcan. Chatting, laughing, standing right in my pantyline of attack. They’d be able to smell the panic (and blood) on me, so I made a decision. I flushed for cover and ran. 

Sprinted past the hand dipping dryer. Rushed past the slightly wet roll of brown paper towels. I didn’t even hesitate when one patron remarked about the humidity to say “I feel ya, just look at my hair!” 

Nope, the blinders were on. My goalpost stood just in the horizon—a steel barrel. Without a second to process the achievement, I tossed the tamponé in the garbage. Safe another day. I pushed past the group of 20 other sweaty, tired women. “Jesus Christ, what did you do in here?!” called out the one who replaced me. Sorry hun, every man for herself.

Alyssa is from Philadelphia and is always cold. She likes overpriced coffee, audibly cracking her joints, and bashing the Beatles. She is on Twitter constantly, follow her @cakegirlboss.

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