by Christopher Mudiappahpillai

I would have titled this “The Not So Sacred Feminine”, but I’m too afraid of incurring the wrath of all the women that read this blog. And also all those rabid Dan Brown fans that seem to be about these days.

So, earlier today, I found myself in the “Feminine Protection” aisle of the Zellers near our house.1 And, I must admit that until recently, I was completely unaware that shopping in said aisle could be such a complicated process.

There’s just so much to choose from: You’ve got regular. And you’ve got extra protection. And over-night. And ultra-thin. And over-night with extra protection. And over-night ultra-thin. And, naturally, over-night ultra-thin with extra protection. And then there’s a whole shelf of the above with ‘wings’.2

Thankfully, I was reminded – and several times at that – to make sure that I got a particular brand and variety. And as I’ve apparently forgotten how to read, I was also told that I should “just look for the orange ones.” But of course, as my luck would have it, they were completely sold out of what I needed.

For a few moments, I didn’t know what I should do. “Maybe I’ll just go back home and say they were sold out,” I said to myself. But, being the kind of guy that I am, I decided to suck it in and ask someone if there was more in the back.

First, I waited till the aisle was empty.3 Then, I looked about for someone – anyone – in the periphery who might be wearing the typical red of the Zellers drone. I found such a person a few aisles away. I walked up to him and said, “Hi… Um… Could you help me a couple of aisles over? With the… Pads and stuff.”4

He looked at me for a second. Then, thankfully, his professionalism took over and he walked back with me and insisted on rechecking the shelves, to see if I’d – I don’t know – been unable to read the labels or something. I had read the labels correctly.

There was actualy a little sticker placed under the price of the kind that I wanted. “We’ll be getting the next shipment at the end of the week.” He said, after looking at it. “No, wait. Make that early the week after. The holiday messes things up.”5

I thanked him and made my way out of the store and to a Shopper’s Drugmart that’s in the same shopping centre.6 Here, because they’re much classier, I had to head over to the “Feminine Paper” section. But being classy doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll have stock as well.

Now I was really unsure of what to do. And then it hit me – Dominion!7 I walked the thirty feet or so that separates the two stores, entered, and began to wander the aisles.

As it turns out, Dominion doesn’t have a section of “Feminine” anything. But, I was able to find what I was looking for on a set of unmarked shelves next to the incontinence products. That makes sense, I suppose, in a rather twisted sort of way.

After that, it was just a matter of paying and getting out. Mission accomplished.

Now, if you happen to know my future wife, please let her know that while I will probably be lousy at a lot of things, once a month, when it comes to the above, I’ll have all the bases covered.

And come to think of it, if you know my future wife, please tell me who she is. That’ll make a lot of things a little bit easier.

  • 1A chain of department stores here in Canada. In direct competition with Wal-Mart at the moment, actually.
  • 2All this and I haven’t even mentioned tampons. And I’m not planning to either.
  • 3This sounds silly now that I think about it. But it was my first time – cut me some slack.
  • 4Admittedly, not one of my most erudite moments.
  • 5It is the Victoria Day weekend, after all.
  • 6A chain of drugstores/chemist’s. As you might have gathered from the name.
  • 7A chain of 24-hour grocery stores.

And I’m not even going to try and think of a song for this.

Oh, and before I go, congrats to the Johns of Kingston. They welcomed their secondborn – A Boy! – into the world today.



  1. Anonymous #
    May 22, 2006

    Okay dude, this one was funny.

    As for a song, how about “‘Twas In The Lovely Month of May” by Marilyn Bennett.
    (I went to, Music section, then searched for a song title with “month” in it)


  2. May 22, 2006

    Hmm… “The Woman in You” by Ben Harper came to mind earlier today…

    “The woman in you is the worry in me”

  3. Anonymous #
    May 23, 2006

    I’m no expert but yet I still feel there was something missing from this piece: Why did you have to go to feminine section in the first place? Do you have a special someone? What are you hiding from us? The suspense is nagging at me. I’m feeling unsatisfied. Is this supposed to be some kind of literary device? Appealing to our baser instincts of gossip, suspicion, and innuendo?


  4. May 24, 2006

    So, it seems I have two options: I’m involved with someone or I’m a manipulative bastard.

    Why would I accede to either?

  5. Anonymous #
    May 27, 2006


    You’re awesome! Think of it as mere practice for when you marry and have to go shopping for the many “others” of femalehood!

    Thank you for your well wishes…we are doing well…come visit!


  6. May 30, 2006

    And this is supposed to comfort me how?

  7. Anonymous #
    June 1, 2006

    Comfort in knowing that when you do get married, you won’t be the one getting yelled at by your wife because you already have tons of experience in this “section of femalehood”

    Well done my friend, well done.


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