Embarrassed or not! Carry Sanitary Pads Like House Keys! ‘Period’

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Ladies Let’s Stop Being Embarrassed, ‘period’ end of Sentence. Menstruation is part of who we are. It is what makes us Female. Some might complain: why does it comes suddenly, why does mother nature conspire against me. Can mother Nature just call or text to alert me and be like ‘girl’, This is just a reminder; you are not pregnant. See you next month Dear. Periods of red require no shame but love, happiness and confidence. That is being a woman.

Are there dates where you find your instinct more accurate than technology? For once, my period tracker failed me. How could it? I felt signs, Mother Nature tried this time to reach me telling me this is the day. My period tracker gave me a different date. It caught me in the dilemma between the Technology or mother nature. ‘Today let’s go with technology’, I said to myself. For it’s been a worthy partner. 

During the day while travelling, listening to my favourite playlist, viewing the street of Nairobi and having random thoughts of how this was a good day. Suddenly out of the blues “Red” was knocking. What!!! how! A view of Nairobi slipped away. I stop my playlist, realizing the issue. The next stop is not where I’m going, but my friend lives there. “Driver the next stage please”. Shouting as if I did not remember I used a polite word in my sentence. I felt relieved as the “Matatu” (for our Greek friend minibus) came to an abrupt stop. I alighted from the bus and rushed to my friend’s place. Even though I had texted him earlier, I was so uncomfortable. Random questions were in my mind. Why am I going to his place? Can I find an alternative place to go where the host is a lady? Girls you can relate. The distance was short, yet the walk seemed long.

Knock! Knock! I was at the door. It seemed the host took his time to ensure the table was clean and the room clean. “Welcome dear” as the door opened, I dropped my bags dramatically on the seat as if I would not use it again. Looking back at the moment I dropped my bag, I usually laugh at how I dropped my well-designed bag like that. I spent a fortune on that. Did I not… am sorry for that is a story for another day. I quickly rushed to the washroom. Let me describe the quickness as we used to in our composition back when we were young “I quickly run as fast as my two little legs could carry me”. After locking myself in the washroom, this is what I realized;

Blood had leaked through my trouser.

I panicked when I remembered I intentionally didn’t carry the pads. It was essential. I usually carry it where I go. Today, it was different. Why did the universe conspire against me? Today was the day that it was not a want, it was a need. I left the washroom and approached my friend with a foot of confidence. Where it came from, I did not know. But the feeling of shame that I knew. How could I approach a guy in this matter? I said to my friend, “my period has started, honestly, I didn’t expect it today, and I did not carry my pads”. My eyes and his come in contact. Is this what they mean, maintaining eye contact. The statement sounded like a justification for my action. His response was shocking and unexpected, as I did not expect him to understand or even empathize with me.

His response am quoting it in our local Greek, “Kwa Nini Unajijustify, periods si kitu ya Kukupea stress Ni normal Tunaeza enda na wewe kwa duka siyo mbali na hapa kununua pads, ama nikuendee, pia unaweza enda kubuy.” why are you justifying yourself, periods aren’t something to give you stress, It’s normal we can go buy pads, should I go buy for you? The shop is outside the gate, it’s near or you go buy.

I felt a sigh of relief and calm on hearing the words of concern that came from my host’s mouth. I preferred going out and buying the pads by myself. I looked for my handbag where I dropped it. It was on the chair, lucky for me. I removed my Uhuru bag (carrier bag) and some money. The host was shocked and asked ‘Kwani Hapa tu unaenda na hiyo bag. Enda ubebe kwa mkono. Duka ni hapo tu kwa gate’ (Why are you carrying the carrier bag? Go carry it in your hands. The shop is just outside the gate).

I was ashamed of myself. Me not taking pride in my state and the pads I was to buy made me feel embarrassed! I put the carrier bag back into my bag then went to the shop. Getting to the shop, I found more than three people waiting to place their orders. I wished they left before I got to the shop, but they didn’t. I had to bury my fears and with confidence, I said, “Nisaidie pad moja?”(Help me with a pad) “unatumianga gani?” (which one do you use) the shopkeeper asked, “sunny girl. Kuna sunny girl?” (Is there sunny girl). She wrapped one in a paper and gave it to me. I went back to the house, put the pad on and felt great! Why are we always ashamed of carrying pads around? Even the shopkeepers wrap them for us because we are afraid to carry them?

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