Tampons. Perfectly practical items, with mysteriously magical properties. No matter how organised, tidy or careful you are, they have a tendency to escape their packaging and turn up under sofa cushions, in forgotten pockets and for me, once, in a vintage gilt lipstick case that had belonged to my Nan.
We can’t stop it from happening, so we must find the beauty and wonder in the unexpected – it’s like Blue Planet, if it all took place in a suburban high street chemist. Here are 11 times when we’ve all wondered “How did that get THERE?”
In the pockets of the slightly musty fleecy anorak you were about to take to the charity shop
You’re pretty sure you weren’t even having periods, last time you wore this. There is a photo of you taken in 2005 where you’ve accessorised it with a Bratz lunchbox and a grazed knee.
In the carrier bag that has been wrapped around another carrier bag that contains the exploding Thermos full of soup that you hoped to eat for lunch.
Urghh, it’s as if the universe wants you to eat sandwiches forever. On the plus side, having a random absorbency aid in the mix probably limited the damage you’ve done to your schoolbag.
In your bra
It’s a good idea in an emergency, and then a terrible idea when you forget until you get ready for bed and discover that the scratchy lace you’ve been moaning all day about is actually pointy cellophane.
In your trainers
Tampons are secret fitness fiends, and have a mysterious ability to roll into the toe of any sports shoe. We think it’s their passive-aggressive way of reminding us that a little exercise will ease the cramps.
In the book you’d put down somewhere and forgotten about
“This book is brilliant! I mustn’t lose my place. I just need a bookmark – but there are no receipts in my pocket. Not even a bit of tissue… oh, wait! I can use this tampon that’s been in my bra!”
In the middle of the floor of the bus
Everyone is looking at it. No-one is going to take responsibility for it. Someone is trying to edge it out of the way with their foot before a naughty boy spots it and yells “IS THAT YOURS? ARE YOU ON YOUR PERIOD?”
In the drawer where your family keeps old keys, screwdriver heads, bits of string and manuals for things that were thrown out three years ago
This drawer never, ever contains what you’re looking for, but it always has at least two tampons at the bottom, no matter how often you take them out and throw them away. It also contains an instruction manual for the tampons.
In the bag you ‘borrowed’ (without asking) from your sister
The only thing to do is to take a dignified breath, compose yourself and say “What do you mean, I stole your bag? I think what actually happened is that you stole my tampons.”
In your pencil case
But only when someone you fancy or are keen to befriend asks to borrow a highlighter. “Help yourself!” you say cheerfully, before spotting it and praying they assume it’s a novelty rubber.
In your wallet
“And will you be paying by cash, card or menstrual hygiene product?”
Under your heel
You’re pottering about in your bedroom, doing some relaxed admin, sighing at your floordrobe and putting socks in the washing basket to be productive. Suddenly there’s a twinge in your ankle and an unwelcome pressure on your sole, as you’re forced to grab the wall so that you don’t fall over. Less than two inches of cotton can, under the right circumstances, floor an entire human being.
This really should be used in a Bond film as a plot device.