What is a time of joy for many women was my darkest hour.
When I was 13 years old, we moved into my grandmother's house and she had a chocolate Standard Poodle named Quincy. My first month there, the dog ran into the bathroom after me and chewed up the used pad I had just thrown in there, dragging it out into the kitchen for my entire family to see. Naturally, my head exploded and I was never heard from again.
Fine. I technically went on to have a normal life, but since then I have always been hesitant to throw any menses paraphernalia away in a simple bathroom garbage can. And now that I live in a house with old plumbing and two curious dogs, I am faced every month with the perilous choice of "Do I clog the pipes or tempt the beasts?" (That sounds like more of a euphemism than it really is but I'm going with it.)
All of this, coupled with the fact that I have started to feel a bit guilty about the ol' carbon footprint, lead me to the website for the Mooncup. The Mooncup is a silicone cup that you insert into your hoo-ha whilst menstruating and instead of pulling it out and tossing it away when you're done, you actually empty the cup and reinsert it. The company claims it can stay inserted from 8-12 hours at a time, is no problem to sleep in overnight, and will last you for years and years and years. We're talking 100 + periods here.
So I decided to give it a try!
There's no need to get into the nitty gritty details of my nitty gritty. But here is what you need to know:
It was fairly simple to put it in. It did not leak or need to be changed for hours and hours and hours! I would have gone through multiple tampons by the time I decided to check the thing and I only did that because I was curious, not because I started bleeding through. However, taking this thing out was MEDIEVAL TORTURE. Honestly, the Puritans should have done this to women they suspected of witchcraft.
I sat there pulling and yanking, twisting and turning, forcing my body into bizarre and unnatural positions in order to free it from my loins. No dice. It got so bad that I gave up, walked into the kitchen and proclaimed to my husband that I thought I might need him to help me pull it out. He politely asked that I please not make him do that.
Finally, by squeezing, pulling, turning, more squeezing, shifting and yanking, I got the goddamn thing out. But you're supposed to hold it at this particular angle and then dump it in the toilet and yada yada yada I didn't really have the correct physics on my side and boom, suddenly the bathroom looked like a crime scene.
After I cleaned everything in sight, I vowed never to use the damn thing again. Then I put it back in it's nice little fabric pouch and back in the box. It was then that I noticed that I might have accidentally, possibly, perhaps, oh my God, bought the wrong size.
One little visit to the Mooncup site showed that I had, in fact, purchased the Mooncup size A, as in After You've Given Birth. It's just the slightest, tiniest bit bigger than the B, Before You've Given Birth. But I learned the hard way that those centimeters make all the difference.
I thought to myself, Of course I am the type of person that buys something in the wrong vagina size, and then I promptly ordered the correct size.
Once you have the correct size, the Mooncup does a great job of going in, staying in and coming out with ease. The cleanliness though... takes some finesse no matter how well you've sized your Mooncup.
Like most women in our society, I had distanced myself greatly from my monthly friend. I bled on a regular basis and I handled that bleeding in order to function in society, but I was never One With Flo.
I didn't want blood on me, I didn't want to see how much I bled or what the consistency was. I found the whole thing a bit nasty, to tell you the truth. And women that weren't just a little tiny bit grossed out by period blood seemed like hippie dippy weirdos who call their husband their "lover" in casual conversation and don't own a computer.
But as I was sitting there, tending to my Mooncup and being grossed out by the blood all over my inner thigh, I realized that I was a goddamn idiot.
It's BLOOD. Here I was thinking that something completely natural and necessary to life was something that I needed to conceal and maintain. I blame TV. Tampon commercials are so painfully discreet and all of the women wear white pants and look wholesome and virginal.
I'm inclined to think that if men had periods, tampons would be the most badass thing on the market. Isaiah Mustafa would be in the gym pumping iron saying something like, "We're men! We gush blood. We need superior protection."
The Mooncup forced me to see the truth: I bleed like crazy. Sometimes it's messy.
As long as you're OK looking your period in the eye, the Mooncup rules. You only need to change it twice a day, you can't feel it, there's no trash, no loud wrappers in the stalls, and certainly no "I thought it was a heavy day but now it's a light day" anguish as you pull that dry thing out of you. (Does this only happen to me?)
Plus, it's about $25 for years and years of periods. But you have to be ready to face the bodily function. Once you do, you'll realize periods totally aren't gross at all. They're bad ass.
Btw, if any of you moms out there are in need a slightly used Size A Mooncup, holla at me!