Monday, December 18, 2006

Tool of the Patriarchy.

I went into CVS for asthma medicine. I left with: volumizing conditioner, pomegranate-mango body wash, hair dye, cosmopolitan magazine, and tampons. Oh yeah, and the asthma medicine.

What the hell happened? Let's take it one item at a time, shall we? The volumizing conditioner I needed because I'm out, and the person I'm staying with right now... his conditioner just doesn't cut it. It took me a solid half hour to detangle my hair this afternoon. The body wash is because, for the first time in a long time, I don't want to smell like boy. I want to smell pretty and feminine. I'm not exactly sure why fruity=feminine, but since it wasn't labelled "For Men" like the other body wash I felt safely ladylike. The Nice'n'Easy (hair color, or motto?) is because believe me, it's time. And I'd like to dye it before I get it cut so the hairstylist will think I'm less of a slob. The Cosmo... I don't know what happened there. I haven't bought that magazine in a year at least. I don't think I've read it much more recently. I used to read it occasionally for a laugh. Today I told myself I was buying it for blog-fodder.

And the tampons. Brand-name, bleached cotton tampons. That's right. Do you know, I've had not one but TWO boyfriends tell me I should use The Keeper instead? It's not that I think there's anything wrong with it as a product, and I recognize the economic and environmental benefits of it. When a woman friend recommends it to me, I have no problem discussing it with her and telling her the reasons I don't use it. But a GUY? Please. Until you deal with bleeding on a monthly basis, don't be self-righteous about my use of tampons. I'll deal with my period however I choose. For the record, the sight of that much blood (even the thought of it, really, and even though I know there's more to menstrual fluid than blood) makes me dizzy and faint, and the idea of needing to empty The Keeper in a public place makes me feel incredibly socially anxious.

Anyway. So, I leave CVS and almost immediately run into a friend -- a grown-up friend, whom I respect and admire. And I was immediately ashamed of the contents of my CVS bag. Not that I think she'd care that much, but still.

So what happened to make me buy all that stuff? I think it's about control. I'm feeling stressed and like I don't have a grasp on things, and my femininity is not only something I have control over, but also something that can help me regain control over my life -- the more I fit in to the mainstream ideal, the more likely things are to fall into place for me.

Yuck. Watch as I add "find new ways to feel in control of life" to my to-do list. Right next to "Buy plane ticket to San Francisco."

Sorry for the weird post, guys -- it's been a weird week!

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