Tuesday, May 22, 2012

First Aid at Knott's Berry Farm

Sunday was our first Knott's Berry Farm trip of 2012.  I greeted it the way I do every trip to KBF—with a mixture of panic-induced diarrhea and anticipatory nausea.  See, I don’t really dig most of the rides, and that alone makes me feel like (to quote King Julian) “a giant pansy.”  I used to looooooooooooove rides, especially roller coasters, but now…  I basically spend the entire time praying for a quick and painless death as an alternative to the grisly end that surely awaits me if I try my luck on the Silver Bullet one more time. 

(If you listen closely, you can still hear me screaming obscenities.)

Plus, the entire place is kind of sticky and loud and, well, last time I got to explain to my daughters what was meant by a young woman’s rather tight-fitting T-Shirt that said: 

I don't want to think about why this is available in men's sizes.


“It means she doesn’t understand the basics of supply and demand in a free market dating economy,” I said, and hoped that would pass for a little while.
So it only made sense that the moment we walked through the gate and into bedlam, my period started.  And I was not prepared.  I called a quick huddle with my husband, who is more familiar with KBF than I.  “Where would I buy tampons here?” I asked.
Without missing a beat, he said, “First aid.”
“That’s ridiculous,” I said.  “Having a period is not a medical emergency.”*

I went into the nearest gift shop while he took the girls on their first ride of the day.  One Silver Bullet dodged for me.
I looked around the cork-guns and personalizable leather goods and mylar balloons, but nothing suggested “menstrual products.”  I went up to the counter and asked the woman behind it, “Excuse me, but do you sell tampons?”  She looked annoyed.
“You have to go to First Aid for that.”
For real.
So I shuffled on over to First Aid, thinking about how this was about to become a laundry emergency rather than a medical one, and how nice it would be if First Aid also stocked stain sticks.
I was greeted by a young, buff paramedic.  He sat behind an intake desk, looking perhaps a little too eager to have his first emergency of the day.  He put on a suitably sober face and said, “How can I help you, ma’am?”
“By selling me some tampons?”
He was good—he only flinched a little.  “Yes ma’am.  They are fifty cents each.”
As I opened my wallet, he said, “I’m sorry ma’am, but we do not take debit cards.”
Sonofabitch.
I shuffled back across the park, looking frantically for my family, and cursing the following things:
1.      That after 30 years of having periods, I had still managed to be caught unawares.**
2.      That stupid Knott’s Berry Farm thought stupid tampons were a stupid first aid supply.
3.      That their stupid first aid supplies were not available for purchase via debit card.
4.      That kegel-ing is not an Olympic event because oh man let me tell you what, London here I come.
Finally, finally, finally, I made it back to First Aid.  I handed the guy a five and bought my tampons. 
“Is there anything else I can help you with?” he asked, and oh!, the answers that paraded through my head before I finally said,
“I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe Knott’s Berry Farm could make tampons available for sale in the gift shops.”
“Well we used to have the machines to sell them in the women’s rooms.”
“Even better!” I exclaimed, and I’m pretty sure he agreed.
“But then kids kept breaking into them.”
I mentally added #5 to the list above: That people are stupid.
“But the gift shops would be a good idea.  Like with the baby stuff.” I sensed he was trying to placate me.
“It would prevent you from ever again having to sell a woman tampons,” I pointed out.
He picked up the phone.  “Yes, Ma’am!  I am going to make that suggestion right now!”
And I believe he was serious.
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* Though in the interest of full disclosure, I will say that I have a friend who had such awful nosebleeds that yes, he has in fact used a tampon as a first aid supply.
** And in the interest of making your life or the life of someone you know a little bit better, I will say that aside from these sorts of annoying events, I haven't used tampons or pads in years, ever since I discovered the Diva Cup, which has literally revolutionized my life roughly one week out of every month.

There are other menstrual cups out there, but this is the brand I've been using for about eight years, and I think so highly of this that I am always sort of shocked when I find out there are women who haven't heard of it.  Seriously.  Check out the website.  

And please, feel free to ping me with questions in the comments section--if you're wondering, odds are so is someone else, and I'm a veritable menstrual cup evenagelist.



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