If you’ve ever menstruated before the year 2021, you might remember sharting bloody chunks into the toilet while learning that oysters are ambisexual. Libra pads used to have fun facts on the inner packaging called Odd Spots. I recently decided to buy them for the first time in yonks, remembering how fun the trivia was, only to be met with immeasurable disappointment.
There was no trivia. Zilch. Not a sausage. Where did the fun facts go? When did they abandon us? I miss them every single day.
I have never felt empowered while on my period. I don’t feel connected to the moon or Mother Nature. I’m crampy, bleeding, pimply, and sad. What does make me feel empowered is coming out of the bathroom and saying, “did you know that grapes explode in the microwave? It’s true. I read it on a menstrual pad.”
Knowledge is power. Knowledge wins me free chips and a beer tower at quiz night. If I menstruate seven days a month for 40 years, that’s 3360 days, or almost ten years of straight bleeding. That’s ten years of misery that could be directly translated into fun facts and trivia power. My brain would be huge. I wouldn’t need a uni degree. I would be a better person, and everybody would love me.
I can honestly say that I learnt more from Libra pad fun facts than I ever did at Otago. My major in linguistics never taught me that the term karaoke means “empty orchestra” (Odd Spot #302). There’s zero point studying pharmacy if you never learn that human birth control also works on gorillas (Odd Spot #86), or that the first contraceptive was crocodile dung used by ancient Egyptians in 2000 BC (Odd Spot #71).
Menstrual products are horrendously expensive. If I’m to spend $15,000 on pads in my lifetime, I at least want my money’s worth. What better investment for the future than education? Get rid of the shame and embarrassment associated with periods. Rewrite the narrative. Boost my wisdom and intelligence instead. In the words of Malala Yousafzai, “When someone takes away your pens, you realise quite how important education is.”
The Odd Spots weren’t just educational though. They brought a little bit of sunshine into my grim, fertile day. It’s nice having something to do when cramping on the toilet. The problem here is that I feel a bit weird scrolling through Instagram and seeing my friends while doing a nasty poo. Sometimes, when I’m feeling nostalgic for the olden days, I’ll put down my phone and read the back of a shampoo bottle instead. This is nice enough, but sodium laureth sulphate with dimethicone gets old after a while. Fun facts on a menstrual pad were the distraction I craved. When you’re gross and in pain, any distraction from your corporeal form is welcome, no matter how small.
Possessing the spirit of a disgruntled boomer, I went and sent an email to Libra. Consumer Care Consultant Jacki didn’t tell me why the facts ever stopped, but did give me a glimpse into the future. “We took them off temporarily,” she responded. “They will be back soon, with new ones. Look out for them soon.”
Where, Jacki? Where? Soon isn’t enough. I’m bleeding right now and the world is ending. I cried over an episode of Marriage or Mortgage last night. Please give me my fun facts.
Odd Spot #212 says that teeth are the only part of the human body that can’t repair themselves, but they are wrong. My heart will never repair itself after this betrayal. Never trust a Libra. You heard it here first.
UPDATE: Immediately after writing this piece, the author bought a new pack of Libra pads and found out that Odd Spots are back. Thanks, Libra.