It has been awhile since my last post and all of my fans are demanding that I put out another hysterical post ASAP. Well…. that may not be exactly true. But my growing readership of 4 subscribers is probably going to abandon my fan club if I don’t deliver soon.
Tonight I’d like to explain how I learned one very important lesson a couple of weeks ago: Always, always, carry a purse.
I have been taking graduate level courses for the past 2 years to increase my teaching ability, benefit my students’ learning, and let’s be honest… beef up the paycheck. I attended my graduation recently and quickly found out how necessary my purse truly is. Because we had a rather high-profile commencement speaker, we were told through several frantic emails not to bring a bag to the ceremony. With airport like security (minus the awkward pat down), bringing a bag would cause us extra time in line and frustration. Knowing my own patience level, I decide that a purse wouldn’t be a good choice for myself, the security workers, or anyone standing next to me that day. I bravely followed their guidance and left it at home. The catch? Like clockwork, whenever I have some sort of important event planned, I also had my period.
“It’s going to be fine,” I told myself. My mom can carry some lady items (this is what I call tampons and pads, see previous post, “Tampons, Pads, and Condoms Oh My” for further explanation) in her purse and we can trade-off my supplies at some point during the day. Done. Little did I know that my family would be enclosed in a different building for most of the day prior to the ceremony due to security purposes. I was left high and dry… well not exactly dry but I won’t go there.
Once I realized that I wasn’t going to be able to meet up with my mom, I went into straight up panic mode. I gathered the support of my 2 friends to go in search of a lady item. We had 2 hours to complete our mission… plenty of time, right?
At first I was reluctant to approach perfect strangers for help. “Um, excuse me. Do you have a lady item? ” I felt stupid and embarrassed. But after politely asking the only 5 girls in the building who broke the rules and brought a purse with them, we created a new plan. Let’s get a quarter and I can just buy one. “Hi, sorry to bother you but I need a quarter.” This was usually followed with a shrug and cringe from me. After asking about 15 people, one fabulous female reached into her clutch and handed me what I’d been looking for. As she revealed the quarter and handed it to me I almost saw it happening in slow motion. I even think that it glistened in the florescent lights of the arena. I hugged her like she had just returned from serving in Iraq for a year and ran to the bathroom- wait, I think I skipped- no, I frolicked. I proudly set the quarter into the slot, cranked the handle around (by the way, why do they make those damn machines so fricken loud?) and peered into the dispenser as if it were a Christmas stocking on December 25th. My beaming smile quickly faded when I saw nothing. I started cranking the wheel right, left, and then right again. Nothing. Shit. Now what? Half of the people in the arena are now aware that I need a lady item, yet none can help me.
I did what any 25-year-old girl would do. I grabbed my friend’s smart phone and called mom. Close to tears and with a shaky voice I said, “Mom, I don’t know what to do. I need a lady item and the machines don’t work, nobody has a purse so they can’ t offer me one, and we have to line up pretty soon to walk into the ceremony. I’ll never last 3 hours with what I’ve got. HELP!” We arranged to meet at a side door and perform a hand off. I found out about this secret door after speaking with someone in charge. It went something like this:
Me: “Hi, how do I meet up with my mom who is in the other building?”
Lady in charge: “You can’t.”
Me: “Welllll, what if it’s an emergency?”
Lady in charge: Sigh… “What’s the problem.”
Me: (At this point I had lost all pride and came out with it as if I were talking about a TV show I saw last night) “I need a lady item, desperately, and will NOT last for the 3 hour ceremony without it. Machines are broken.”
Lady in charge: “You see that long hallway? Go down there. There are doors in either side of the garage door at the end of the tunnel. They open into the next building. But hurry, we’re starting soon.”
My mission was clear. Get to the end of the tunnel, find the door, meet mom without being jumped by security, and perform a handoff.
I grabbed my friend by the arm and began pulling her down the tunnel explaining the plan. The whole while I kept thinking a security guard would be throwing me against a wall at any given moment. I carefully opened the door praying that an alarm wouldn’t go off, got the goods from my mom, ran to the restroom, and sprinted to my seat just in time for our final directions. Now I know what it’s like to experience a drug deal.
Although this whole ordeal made me miserable for the first part of graduation day, things quickly turned around and I was able eo enjoy the ceremony. We took pictures of my family and I with my diploma and had a lovely dinner that night. Everything turned out fine. My lesson in all this is simple. Always carry a purse with you, no matter how harsh the warnings are against it. Any security line would have been worth waiting in if it meant being better prepared for my bitchy Aunt Flo.