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Monthly Budget

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I was in the grocery store at 6:42 a.m. today. We’ve been out of milk for days and that was the only time I could schedule grocery shopping. I turned down the aisle marked “feminine hygiene products” and wondered, not for the first time, why they called it that. The “feminine” part I get. I’m good with “products” too. But why “hygiene”? It indicates that the whole monthly process is somehow dirty and needs to be cleaned up. The term itself just seems like a hangover from the late 60’s when it was OK to start talking in public about things like your “monthly visitor” or your “friend.” I think that’s when discreet, very discreet, TV ads started to appear for feminine hygiene products. I remember girls in floaty dresses skipping through a meadow of flowers and we were supposed to make the connection to tampons. I could use a little of that discretion today. Now we’re bombarded with images of blue liquid poured into little pads with wings! Girls in class passing feminine hygiene products to each other like we used to pass notes. And what’s with the comparison to absorption and women twirling around in skirts? As I pondered my choices this morning, it occurred to me that just because I’m a woman, I’ve spent a small fortune hosting my friend every month for over 35 years. At close to ten bucks a box for tampons, plus Midol, chocolate, wine, potato chips and Tylenol, the tab has got to be close to ten grand! I’m aware that the end of this particular friendship is close at hand. Part of me is soooo ready to say goodbye. And part of me is really dreading our last get-together. I feel like I’m trading one necessary evil for another. But hey, there's a silver lining. With the money I’ll save on tampons, I can buy better wine!