Did You Say Tampons?

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“Want me to buy more tampons?” I called out, standing at the door and ready to walk to Rexall for coffee cream. In this age of Covid-19 and social distancing, a quick friend-free walk followed by a speedy purchase has been the extent of both exercise and social life.

My husband joined me in the hall, saying, “Yes please, but don’t get me scented ones.”

That’s when I started to giggle. “What the fk happened to us? You used to ask for wine or beer, and now it’s tampons!”

Paul had used the last of my supply. Not for the intended reason but to soak up his spit.

Before anyone phones me in concern for my husband’s well-being, he’s fine. He’s so fine that he decided to whiten his teeth with bleaching trays.

Now that we’re in almost-self-isolation – until we run out of cream again – Paul has more time for self-improvement. But sitting with bleach-filled trays in his mouth for an hour a day in this week-long regime makes him drool. A lot.

When you live with someone for years, new behaviors aren’t shocking. But the first sight of him watching TV with a string hanging down his chin made me shriek: “Is that a tampon or the tail of a mouse?” I wasn’t sure which answer would make me feel better. My next comment: “Don’t move, I’m getting the camera!”

Scanning the shelves at Rexall today, I reached for the cheapest $3.49 sale box. Brand names and testimonials weren’t required, only the no-scented request.

Then I told my husband/drool/tampon story to the cashier. Sudden snorting and laughter wrinkled her surgical mask while I handed her my money.

Before I walked more than three steps outside the store, I thought, Wait a minute, $13.25 for sale tampons and a pint of cream? That’s not right.

I returned to her line, positioning myself an acceptable distance from the shopper ahead, and showed her the receipt when it was my turn. “I didn’t intend to pay $10 for a few drool catchers!” She laughed again and hurried with me to the tampon shelf to compare bar codes.

“Sorry, our mistake,” she said, and pointed to the correct sale box. I grabbed it and followed her back to the register for my refund, which required a signature with her non-sterilized pen. Luckily, I had my own pen handy.

Outside again, I swabbed my hands with sanitizing gel. Halfway home, I decided to double-check the new tampon box and . . . Scented, dammit! How did I miss that?

I refused to return a third box so walked further to another store. The place was busy! Aren’t we supposed to stay indoors, I thought, at least until we run out of cream for our coffee?

If anyone needs any scented tampons, let me know. Just wait until we’re pandemic-free before we meet up. I’ve crossed paths with enough people for one day.

And If I do contract the virus, you know I’ll blame Paul and his sparking white teeth.

Stay Young, Cinderella

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For women, finding romance after 40 is like searching for a restaurant with perfect lighting – too much is glaring, just enough is mood and too little is dungeon.

Lighting problems aside, I haven’t met a woman yet who’s lived under a rock. That means she has baggage by the time she reaches 40.
Baggage can be the size of carry-on; for others, we’re talking a steamer trunk, the kind travelers once took on lengthy ocean voyages.

When the voyage involves a 40-plus female seeking new romance, get ready for a choppy sea. After all, when you were young, single and dating, your main worries were getting your hair to cooperate and ensuring you had taxi fare home, in case Mr. Right turned out to be Mr. Octopus. 

Today, the typical 40-year-old has bigger concerns than hair and fare when she goes on a date: will she be able to enjoy dinner while wearing tight Spanx, especially with her lactose-intolerance? Should she order that crème brulee for dessert (see above re: Spanx and potential gas)?

Once upon a time, a young woman only had to deal with sneaking home past her curfew, or  trying to cover hickeys with a turtleneck in the heat of summer.

This same grown-up woman, back in the dating scene, must now seek dating approval from her children!

Since I haven’t been single for a while, I sought the wisdom of a higher power – Google. One article I found offered “dating guideposts.” Here are three top tips:

1) “Release your tiger – young and buff is hot, but seasoned and savvy is even better.” I’m allergic to cats. Perhaps I’ll release the hounds instead, payback time for the eight-armed “handsy” octopi I dated when single. And while I admire the writer’s optimism, there’s a fine line between seasoned/savvy and weary/jaded.

2) “Rebuke age myths – show ‘em that when it comes to love, it’s not too late.” For me, it is too late, at least when the subject involves sleep. Most nights I’m ready for beddy-bye before midnight. How will I ever stay up to party at hot clubs with a new date? Cinderella and the stroke of twelve never looked so scary.

3) “Ride the wave – no need to be a barfly or a party hopper. Post a profile with an online dating service.” I get seasick if I ride waves, and I rarely purchase online because I like to see and touch the merchandise. That means I’m not brave enough to rocket myself into cyberspace, or trust what crash-lands in my dating Inbox.

Suddenly, my husband is looking really good. ”Honey, can I rub your feet, how about a snack? . . . I am being serious!”

And how about a dimmer switch, for both your new love life and your restaurant table? It might be time to turn up the heat on romance, but remember to turn down those unforgiving lights.

Audio version song
“The Opening” by Dan Lebowitz