Greetings, sweet kittens. It's me, Zara, your digital big sister.
While I love the weekend as much as the next free-wheeling, high heel-wearing, winged liner-sporting, booze-swilling, red-lipsticked PARTY GIRL, 99.9 percent of the mistakes I've made in my life have taken place during the weekend. I've spent one too many Mondays spiraling down the dark vortex of weekend guilt, regret and shame.
But hey, don't fret. Because I'm going to be here every Friday to stop you from the awful weekend fuckups that are screwing up your life. Here's this week's Very Important PSA.
DO NOT get drunk and leave your tampon inside yourself this weekend, kittens.
Ugh, Zara. You're SO gross! I can feel you thinking through the static screen of my laptop. Why did you have to go THERE? I'm at WORK. Come on. A 30-year-old woman does not need to be writing about neglected tampons on the internet.
You're acting all smug and prim because you're sober right now, and that's only because it's still the daytime and you're still strapped to your desk in your perfectly pressed blazer.
Maybe your hair is in a no-nonsense, Type-A bun, like my editor Alexia, who is furiously typing away at her laptop as we speak. (Even girls with their hair twisted up into a power bun have issues with tampons; read about her tampon nightmare here.)
In the light of day, you're a sophisticated lady who knows to, obviously, remove her tampon every four hours (I mean, you're not a savage). Or every two hours if you're like me and you have a heavy flow. (Seriously. Old love letters, dusty board games and lost credit cards come out of me on days two and three of my period.)
It's a traumatic experience every month, but I guess it's a small price to pay to have the glittering PRIVILEGE of bearing a child one day? I don't know, girls. You tell me. I've been bleeding since 1997 (I was 11), and the whole thing just gets worse and worse every year.
But that's neither here nor there.
Today, I'm going to talk to you about the pressing issue of forgotten tampons and booze. And you can sweetly click out of this if you don't drink (or stay in the article because this article will only affirm your sobriety), but the rest of you drinking babes need to read this.
I don't care if you're a sorority girl, a goth, a punk, an investment banker, a writer, an actress, or a financial analyst with shiny desk and kitten heels. We've all done it. And if you haven't done it, you will one day.
I always accidentally get wasted on my period. It all starts when I'm getting ready for a fab night out on the town, except I'm in a foul mood. Because I'm one of those girls who becomes wildly melodramatic and deeply introverted during that time of the month.
I'll be doing my makeup and engaging in some reckless negative self talk.
"GODDAMN IT, I'M SO BLOATED. WHAT THE HELL DO I EVEN WEAR?!" I'll moan to my roommate, who will be posing in front of the mirror still in her workout gear, checking out her ab situation.
And I'll silently start to resent her because I haven't worked out in several days and I'm bloated and I have cramps and I'm just full of hate and generally unhappy in my life and art.
She will know better than to say anything, and will just let me rant. Sometimes you just have to let a girl RANT, you know?
"I DON'T EVEN HAVE THE MONEY TO GO TO OUT TONIGHT!" I'll bellow, recklessly winging my eyeliner like a maniac. I look like a clown, but I don't give a fuck because I'm bleeding.
"I HAVE CRAMPS!" I'll scream, pounding my chest like an ape.
"I HATE EVERYONE!" I'll whimper, eating a spoonful of peanut butter right out of the jar.
"UGH!" I'll say through tears, violently throwing a crop top across the room.
But you know what? I'll get it together because it's blah blah's birthday, and if I don't go to blah blah's birthday, then she'll blacklist me and never want to be my friend again. (I'm also having irrational, narcissistic thoughts.)
So I'll put on some really forgiving outfit (maxi dress), smear some burgundy lipstick on to my precious pout in hopes that it will distract everyone from the smattering of zits around my chin, and I'll fucking go, girl.
But before I go, I will stick a super plus tampon inside of myself and shove a handful in my purse for good measure.
And, of course, it will be a nightmare to get all the way downtown from the Upper East Side, and I'll arrive at some chic bar in the West Village thirty minutes late, sweating like a whore in church, packed with hormones and rage, just wishing I was curled up on the couch in my pink silk pajamas, weeping as I watch "Beverly Hills, 90210" reruns.
Everyone in the bar will look so healthy and tan and carefree, which just infuriates me more.
So I'll ask the bartender to make it a double, honey. Which is a bad idea no matter what time of the month it is, but it's a really, REALLY bad idea when you're on the rag. Because you're losing a lot of iron and getting really dehydrated with all that blood loss, so your tolerance is all screwy.
Hell hath no fury like a drunk girl on her period.
Hell hath no fury like a drunk girl on her period.
So I drink the drink and get another because it takes two drinks for me to alleviate the cramps and two more for me to forget that I look like a bloated clown who over-winged her eyeliner. And then the fifth drink makes me forget I'm on my period entirely.
The rest of the night is blurry, but I will have a recollection of myself stumbling up the six-story walkup of my apartment and falling face first into the beautiful vortex of my lush bed.
The next thing I know, it's the next morning. My head is pounding so hard that I can feel it in my teeth, and my cramps are so bad that I feel like there is a civil war taking place in my uterus. I've slept in my clothes and suddenly I remember, OH MY GOD, I'M ON MY PERIOD AND I DIDN'T TAKE MY TAMPON OUT.
I'll check out last night's dress, which has a giant, hideous bloodstain on it, and feel mortified. I probably strutted around the bar like I owned the place with a giant BLOODSTAIN on my ass. Which we all know is never a good look.
I'm also mortified because I just ruined my favorite red Valentino dress, and when the hell will I EVER have $980 to buy a gorgeous dress again? And, agh, I RUIN everything.
I'll spiral the rest of the day shuddering when I have memories of being drunkenly cocky with a visible blood stain.
Also, I put myself at risk for TOXIC SHOCK SYNDROME, because it's now NOON and my tampon had been inside of me for, like, 10 goddamn hours. Toxic shock syndrome is very real, and I'm amazed that my stupid, drunken self has been scot-free thus far.
But seriously, guys, forgetting a tampon inside of yourself is a very embarrassing thing to do, and it doesn't just happen to me. I'm embarrassing myself to make you feel less alone and to make you aware of your own behavior. I fully believe that self-awareness is the key to breaking the patterns that are ruining our lives and giving us toxic shock syndrome and stopping us from ever getting laid, ever.
I fully believe that self-awareness is the key to breaking the patterns that are ruining our lives.
My friend forgot she had a tampon inside of herself and had sex. It got shoved so far up inside of her she had to go to the HOSPITAL to get it removed. My other friend blacked out and forgot about hers, and four days later, her body expelled it. Another friend stained the seats of her boyfriend's new car because she got tanked and, like me, forgot to take it out. He broke up with her two weeks later (he's clearly a douchebag, but still!).
Tampons are weird things to begin with. You're sticking this bleached cotton thing up your most delicate body part so it absorbs an exorbitant amount of blood. It's already a high-risk situation.
I know some of you do the whole diva cup, organic tampon thing, but most of us (myself included) just aren't there yet. And the last thing we need to do is leave it up there for 12+ hour.
Even if you don't stain your dress, even if you don't have sex with it in, even if you don't get toxic shock syndrome, I promise you will wake up feeling really shitty about your life choices if you wake up with an old tampon inside of you.
We need to constantly be evolving in this life, and there is no room to grow when you're holding on to old, destructive things. Like old tampons.
So tonight, if you're on your period (I WILL NEVER SAY AUNT FLO. There is a special place in hell for people who say AUNT FLO), and you plan on drinking, set an alarm on your phone to remind you to take the tampon out.
And, if you find yourself getting really, really, REALLY lazy and boozy and think, One more drink and then I'll deal with it, imagine me, your long lost lesbian big sister, sitting in the darkest corner of the bar. I'm wearing a black leotard and massive shoulder duster earrings. I look like 1960s fashion icon in black tights and pristine white flats. A chunky Chanel bag hangs on my delicate shoulder. I'm drinking a really chic drink, like a French 75 or Manhattan, and I'm gazing at you. My long, spidery lashes are batting.
"Change your tampon. Change your tampon. Change your tampon," I'm whispering to you in a sultry, raspy tone.
Message me if you need a reminder. Because it's hard to be a girl in this world. We have a lot of shit to deal with, OK? How will we ever survive the epic highs and the piercing lows of being a woman without helping each other out?