Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Tackle and Tampons

In sixth grade my class spent a lot of time playing football on the playground. Our teacher supervised and almost insisted we take part. So at the age of twelve I learned to play a mean game of football.

One day at school I wasn’t feeling my best, a little puny because I had gotten “my monthly friend” as some of the mothers of the 1960’s and 70’s liked to call “it”.  In no way did I associate it with friendship. At  twelve  I had to learn to deal with a whole new lifestyle for one week out of every month. Dresses, skirts or pants with long tops were my wardrobe because I wasn’t allowed to wear tampons.  My only alternative was the bulky pads.  The pads were so big I was certain they could be spotted from a mile away if anybody walked behind me in the hall.  I never really knew if my attempt to camouflage was successful but after that day it didn't really matter anyway.

Although I didn't feel well, I gave into peer pressure and joined the game. Little did I know there would be an unexpected twist put on the game that day. The teacher whom I loved, up until that day, decided we’d play tackle because the boys had begged for so long. The game was on but with the stipulation that we would not be rough and if anyone got hurt the game would be over.

Our class was split and the two teams went head to head.  When my team was on the offense someone threw a pass and I caught it. I was wearing pants that day so I ran pretty fast and free. However out of nowhere a guy from the other team tackled me! Down we went, I fumbled the ball, the other team got it and scored a touchdown. As bad as that was, nothing compared to the feeling of humiliation I felt when the guy who tackled me said out loud, “Hey Julie, what was that big, fat thing between your legs?” Apparently his hand ended up between my legs when he tackled me.

I don’t recall my answer.  But the incident is engraved on my mind to this day and that's a good sign it traumatized me in some way.

I went home that afternoon and begged my mom for tampons. She finally obliged.

This written for a prompt from The Red Dress Club. Take us back to an embarrassing moment in your life. Did someone embarrass you, your parents perhaps? Or did you bring it upon  yourself?Are you still embarrassed or can you laugh at it now?