menopause – a state that in spite of my advancing years I’ve not reached yet.
I’m the only one of my friends, including some years younger, still carting “hardware” around in my handbag.
When I was a teenager we referred to the “hardware” in code as either minties for tampons or sandwiches for pads. (“Do you have any spare minties?”). I was not allowed to use tampons, and I did not want to spend my pocket money on a necessity, so I obeyed my mother until I wore her down with the “all my friends are using tampons” argument.
So, initially it was the awful “sanitary belt” and pads for me – you had to wear really tight undies to keep those pads straight! I was pretty excited when Sanitary Panties made it to our middle-of-nowhere-town’s supermarket! These “special” panties came with a big waterproof zone and attachments to hook the pad into. I remember most things being Modess then and I was given a booklet like one of these – maybe the 1970 edition unless there was an unlisted one between 1964 and then.
In those days the “supplies” were hidden in some dark recess of the store and when you got to the checkout they were whisked quickly into a brown paper bag. If the packer was a male the checkout chick would do it to avoid the embarrassment of him having to touch them – and you were grateful for that if the boy was in your class at school!
If I complained about any of the messy issues my mother would tell me of life in her girl’s boarding school where they were given re-usable “rags”. Once used they were put into a bucket to soak and would then be washed and redistributed!!
The average age of menopause is 51 years (though the range is 40-60). Later this month I will be 54. As female family history is an indicator I asked my mother when she thought she might have finished with the entire girlie thing. She told me where she was living when she thinks that happened. I said “jeez mum, that would’ve made you 60 years old!”. I really hope her memory is wrong!!