IF you have ever had to pack up a family of seven - five females and two very patient males - to travel to an almost, but not quite foreign country, you can relate. If not, let me give you some advice: Regular tampons weigh less than supers.
Some of ye manly men reading may think you want to skip this installment thinking this is a tale fit only for womanly consumption, but I promise you that there’ll be no gross tales of menstruation. This is merely a tale of weights and measures with a little dose of airline policy thrown in to boot.
My husband John, Ol Chumbucket to ye pirates, went to the mega super store Costco to stock up on a few supplies before we move to the island of St Croix. My daughter Alex did some research and found out that the price of certain items, including feminine hygiene products was astronomical on the tiny island, so John, being the practical guy he is, bought seven huge boxes of tampons, several cartons of mini-pads along with massive quantities of our favorite coffee beans.
Tampons, pads and coffee. All equal in importance.
To get an idea of how much stocking up John felt four healthy women would need for the next few months, he bought four boxes of regular sized and three boxes of super sized pons for those oh so special days when just a regular won’t do. That’s 700 tampons for those of you who are mathematically challenged. 700! I don’t quite know what he was thinking, but I will let you all just imagine what must’ve been going through his mind when he loaded up the cart with 700 tampons, and I will also let you imagine what the checker at the store must’ve been thinking as well.
So here we are, the day before the big move staring at seven huge boxes of lady plugs, six pounds of coffee, as well as all our clothes and other belongings and books and bric-a-brac that we just cannot live without for the next six months. We go online to the airport website and found that each checked bag must weigh 50 pounds or less in order to not incur an extra charge for the overages in weight. With the first checked bag costing 15 bucks and the second checked bag costing 25 bucks a pop, we figured that having two checked bags each was much cheaper than having one giant over 50 pound bag which would’ve incurred a 50 dollar extra fee for being over weight.
The whole family, John, and our three daughters Alex, Kate, Millie and our son Max and I spent five hours madly packing and repacking bags and weighing each bag on the bathroom scale to make certain that none of the bags were over the weight limit. I wish I could adequately describe the humor filled chaos as each bag was placed on the scale: “This one weighs 54 pounds! Shit! I guess I really don’t need that extra pair of pants and those three pairs of socks. And these two shirts can go in my carry on!” It was truly like a game of Tetris, only all the little oddly shaped pieces needed to fit in under 50 pounds!
So we packed and repacked our bags. When one bag made it under 50 pounds we would all cheer with glee as John prayed that our bathroom scale was accurate! And let me tell you that sometimes it was quite difficult getting these awkward sized bags to sit on the scale. Most of the time we had to weigh ourselves, and then hold the bag and re-weigh ourselves and figure out the difference. We had several lively discussions about math that night.
Finally we are down to our last bag. The bathroom bag. After shoving into the suitcase all our toiletries, a keyboard, some books and a few other small items, we filled in the edges with five of the seven boxes of tampons and all the pads. We set it on the scale: 54 pounds. Crap, crap and double crap! Out came the keyboard: 52 pounds. Out came the small items: 51 pounds and change. We took out two boxes of regular sized tampons and we were now over by just a few ounces. With a stroke of pure genius that I take full credit for, I take out two boxes of super tampons from the suitcase and replace them with two boxes of regular tampons and lo and behold the bag weighs in at just a hair under 50 pounds! We opened the last two boxes of tampons and carefully distributed them in the pockets and pouches of all the other checked and carry-on bags.
We did it! All the bags weighed in under 50 pounds at the airport. As each bag was set on the scale at the Alaska Airline terminal, our entire family shouted with glee. Seven giant checked bags with tampons shoved in every pocket and pouch. Homeland security must be flummoxed. They will probably joke about our bleeding luggage for years!
I just know, however, that I will start my cycle on the airplane and I won’t be able to find a feminine product to save my life. And it is a 13 hour flight. Really. That is the kind of ironic life I lead, but at least I can laugh about the fact that there are 700 tampons in the cargo hold of the plane I am bleeding all over, and isn’t that what it is all about?
More to come.
Written by Tori "Mad Sally"Baur