Cardboard or Plastic

Men, I feel for you sometimes. I really do.

I just ran up the street to the store to get a couple things, mainly because I drank a Red Bull around 2:30 this afternoon and I am STILL crazy buzzed from it. Trust me, it was either roam the aisles of the grocery store or go run around the block in the dark two or three times.

Anyway, lo and behold, there was this totally eye-candy guy waiting in the checkout line in front of me. I'm talking, stereotypical hot Los Angeles hipster: twenty-something, fauxhawk haircut, dark wash jeans, red zip-up hoodie, black Converse All Stars.

I'll give him credit for actually trying to whisper into his phone as he stared at the box he held in his hands.

"Plastic??? Well, I didn't see those. I got cardboard."

10 seconds later...

"But can't you just make do with cardboard?"

10 seconds later...

"Okay, I'll go look again. Plastic it is!"

He said goodbye, clicked his phone shut, sighed and stared for a moment at the gigantic box of tampons he was holding.

Next thing I know, he turns to yours truly and says, "I know this is gonna be the weirdest thing someone asks you to do, ever."

Pause, deep breath. "OK, maybe not ever, but at least today."

Another pause. Deep breath. Wipe hands across face. "I can't believe I'm doing this, but can you please, please, PLEASE help me pick out some tampons? I got the wrong kind and I have no idea what the hell I'm doing."

Quite frankly, the poor thing was so embarrassed as he was talking that I thought he might vomit all over the conveyor belt. Or all over me. How could I possibly say no?

And so that's how I ended up in Aisle Whatever Number It Was, picking out a box of plastic applicator tampons for Red Hoodie Hipster Guy's girlfriend.

As we walked back to the checkout, him with a huge box of plastic applicator tampons, me with a box of chamomile tea, we agreed that it would be better if he didn't tell his girl that he asked for help.

He gratefully insisted on buying my box of tea as his way of saying thanks and after a bit of back and forth, I went ahead and let him.

Now I'm home, enjoying my tea. I feel like such a good samaritan.

Comments

Anonymous said…
Nice of you to help out, Liz, seeing this guy's crushing embarrassment. But hey, when are we guys going to be less squeamish about such things? If we're comfortable buying bandages or plasters, who not tampons or pant-liners? I guess we're just terrified the cashier or the other customers will think we're some kind of freak for buying something ahem, feminine. We need to get over it.
Anonymous said…
ok. that was funny. thanks for the laugh to start my day.
Anonymous said…
Well, good for you for helping and good for him for being brave enough to ask for help. But I've always thought that should be something men should not be embarrassed about - obviously they are buying it for some woman, so what's the big deal?
Liz Dwyer said…
Nick,
Cashier fear is probably a big deal for many guys, but I think his bigger issue was that he couldn't figure out which sort to get. It is sort of overwhelming looking at all those boxes if you're not used to it. There's like 50 different choices in the aisle! I wonder... What's the male equivalent of tampons that a guy could ask a woman to buy?

Dmac,
You're welcome! I'm enjoying my tea this morning. ;)

Citizen,
I am glad he asked for help. Maybe he realized, correctly, that I'd heard everything he'd been trying to whisper and just figured it was better to ask someone than go home with the wrong thing. It's funny but I was just realizing that I don't think I've ever asked anybody else to buy a box of tampons for me.
you were so nice to help him out. Why was he embarrassed?

Then again my dad used to get annoyed when I used to put my pads in the grocery cart. I think he preferred it if I just bought them at the drug store with the money they gave me. But he's from a different generation and West Indian. Not sure why hipster dude was freaked out.
Doulala said…
That is the cutest story ever. I'm glad you helped him. I'm also glad you let him show his thanks by buying your tea.
Anonymous said…
Los Angelista,
Not sure if this officially qualifies as quite the same thing, but here it is.
See, I’m a single Dad. One of my two is a girl (see where this is going …). Not only did I get to explain this subject to her, go and buy the box of her first “Slender-Slender-Non-Scented-No Powder-Snug Fit-Ergonomic Applicator-Flushable-Biodegradable-Septic Tank Approved-Hypo Allergenic-Oder Free-Sensitive Feminine Package” tampons (things looked just like full-covered Q-Tips, lol), I almost had to do the “show & tell”! I broke down there though, and begged a woman friend of ours to do that part. I think I woulda scared my girl for life on that one, lol.
But, get this; each and every month I Still have to ask her “You have enough feminine supplies?” “Uh, I don’t know/maybe/(blank stare)”. How can something happen each and every month, like clockwork, and you’re never prepared?! You got any idea just how many times Dad has been told, at about 10:30 PM, “Uh, Dad, I don’t have what I need for tonight”. Think she’ll go with me either? Yeah, right. Dad, 11:00 PM at night, roamin’ the “Feminine Hygiene” isle looking at, what, 739 different types of the same thing. I now make her rip a box top off for me of exactly what she wants, ‘cause guess how many return trips I’ve made at 11:30 PM of same said night?
Girls … Sheeesh.
allison sara said…
This is hilarious - you are definitely a good samaritan! and Daniel, you're awesome! Some day your daughter will appreciate this :)
Mamita Umita said…
I'm sure that the fact that he was cute helped. I love the 20 something hipsters!! ** Sigh **
1969 said…
This is hilarious. LMAO!!!

You were a good samaritan and free tea can't be beat!
Toni Campbell said…
Bless his heart! I hope his girlfriend appreciates what he went through!
sippinwineman said…
This is sooooooo funny. Until the word "tampon, I didn't have a clue. I read it to my wife who burst into laughter at the mention of "cardboard". You did a good thing, though.
@ Daniel/SWD - your situation is mad funny! The idea of a guy DEMONSTRATING tampon application. . .. .I'm done.
Anonymous said…
Oh, that rocks! What a great guy. :)
the last noel said…
At work, I found my co-workers stash of tampons in one of our file cabinets. I yelled, "Must this be next to the paper plates we'll eat off one day?" Things like that still freak guys out, including progressive ones like me.
Unknown said…
Your story made my day! I'm glad he put his embarrassment aside to ask you because I can only imagine the scene if he showed up with the wrong tampons.

ARMAGEDDON.
Anonymous said…
I've got to admit the guy was really really brave. I don't think many men would do that! :)
OMG that was soooo funny. First of all the girlfriend should have sent her guy with the exact brand and absorbency she wanted I mean come on. Those aisles have like 20 different varieties. I am very brand specific about my ice cream and.....other items.
Liz Dwyer said…
NYC/CR
That is sooo funny about your dad. I can totally see it. :) I wonder if Hipster dude's girl knew how much anxiety it would cause her man. She should be grateful, that's for sure.

Doulala,
I'm glad I helped him too. It never crossed my mind to say no to him, mostly because I'm so super nosy and the situation was just pure comedy. I loved it.

Daniel,
So, you know you made me snort tea all across my keyboard, right? That is FUNNY! You get my Best Dad On Earth award for the day. But I am VERY glad you stopped before attempting a demonstration. That would've been therapy inducing for both of y'all!

Allison Sara,
Isn't Daniel awesome for that? Love it. I think his daughter will appreciate it too.

Mamita,
Haha! It certainly didn't hurt! :)

1969,
Yeah, the free tea was very sweet of him. Showed me that someone did their job in raising him right. :)

Toni,
I hope she did too. I hope she wasn't all, "What took you so long???" when he got home!

Sippinwineman,
I just can't get the mental image of him staring at the box of tampons out of my head. He was looking at it like he was holding a box of Ebola! It really makes me laugh!

Lizriz,
He certainly is! Whoever he was, I hope he knows it!

Noel,
I would've complained too! What the heck? Keep those in the bathroom or in a different drawer/cabinet entirely! Maybe I'm not as progressive as I'd like to think either? :)

Star Jones,
LOL, Armageddon for sure! I hope he got some extra kisses for being such a sweetheart.

Lenina,
A lot of guys try to act like that would be no big deal to them, but I think for a bunch of them, actually figuring out which type to get without having explicit instructions would be a doozy of a task!

Faith,
Daniel's idea above about sending him with the box top is genius. Or if not that, at least write down exactly what you want! I'll admit, even I sometimes get overwhelmed by all the varieties in that aisle. Manufacturers just need to learn to keep stuff simple!
Shiona said…
That's cool that was his predicament. The male figures in my life would NEVER go get those for me (ever). So Kudos to you for helping him out and kudos to him for going. :)
Liz Dwyer said…
Shiona,
Yeah, I give the guy his props because I can't imagine my husband doing that for me. He's definitely not of the "enlightened" male species in that regard!
Kathy Rogers said…
Very sweet of you.

But, you know, why wasn't she buying them herself?
Daisy said…
What a sweetheart -- both of you! Husband offers to buy "those necessities" for me and my daughter, but I usually do it myself because there are too many options and I know what I like.
Liz Dwyer said…
KathyR,
That's one of my questions too! No idea why not!

Daisy,
There are quite a lot of options, which is a good thing, I guess. But it gets confusing everybody, women included.
Anonymous said…
This story actually kind of warms my heart. Someone admitting defeat makes me believe that maybe we aren't the most pompus nation in the world.

Ok who am I kidding. It was just Tampons.

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