This weekend we wrangled all six bebes into our minivans and headed downtown for the obligatory Guests-In-Town-Must-See-Water visit to Pike Place Market and the pier in Seattle.
Shortly into the drive I noticed my cell phone was missing. Should we go back? Not by the peanut butter smears on their chinny chin chins! There was no way I was turning the wagon train around for something as unimportant as my main communication device.
A minute later I remembered I had forgotten my medicine. Not a chance I was going back for it.
About 10 minutes into the drive, I remembered that I’d forgotten to bring any female accoutrements to keep my visiting “Aunt Flo” in check. Hmmm… I was sure I could pick something up in a public restroom once we got downtown. We soldiered on.
So, it turns out that there is not a single tampon on the entire waterfront boardwalk in Seattle, not a pad, not a remotely sturdy Kleenex. Nada. From one end of the pier to the other I searched public restrooms. There aren’t many. The main women’s room had two stalls, one with a working toilet, one with a door. You could take your pick but neither had a tampon machine.
I went into restaurants that had signs proclaiming “Restrooms for Customers Only” and found that they were equally unequipped.
I asked my friends, their friends, store clerks from Ye Olde Curiosity Shop to Ivars, random women on the street. Nobody had ANYTHING. Well, I got some strange looks from a few people, people who I’m sure did have a tampon in their pocket but were put off by a panhandler with two children, walking like a penguin down the pier and offering to work for feminine hygiene products.
“I bet she’ll just sell them on the black market to buy Dr. Pepper. I bet those aren’t her real kids. She’s probably not even a woman,” I’m sure they were thinking as they clutched their purses and walked on.
Seriously. How much of an emergency must it have been for me to be approaching random strangers? Anyone female and possibly premenopausal was fair game but no one admitted to having anything. By the time we made it to the Aquarium, I was really desperate.
I walked in and asked a greeter to let me into the restrooms. I offered to pay admission if I needed to. The place was packed but she ushered me past the lines. She didn’t know if there was anything available in the restrooms. The restrooms were new. Today was the grand opening of the new facility. Sadly there was nothing. She took me to her supervisor and whispered something in her ear.
“Hmmm… I’m not sure. Maybe in the restroom of the Life on the Edge exhibit.”
What a fitting title. I was definitely on the edge of something.
“I’ll take anything,” I said. “I’ve been going up to random strangers on the street begging. I have no pride left.”
“Wait a second. I may have something here.” She pulled a small green package from her pocket.
AHHHH!!!! And I loved her and we have formed a lasting bond of friendship.
This year on the Fourth of July I plan on hiring a float. It will have dancers performing a Mia Michaels contemporary routine, kazoo players and on a platform in the center will be me — shooting feminine hygiene products like a hail storm from a rocket propelled launcher of some kind. “Accoutrements” will cover the ground in a way never before seen by the citizens of Seattle and they will weep, some with joy and some with embarrassment.
And I will be avenged.
Or maybe I’ll just start carrying extras in my glove box.