What Do You Keep On You At All Times?

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The funny thing is, I don’t even need tampons most of the time. TMI? I’m sorry. But for those three to four days a month I do, I have to be prepared. Nothing causes me more social distress than having to ask a colleague for a ‘pon, which is why I’m always packin’. Once, in my first few months in a shiny office job, I needed to take one with me to the ladies’ room, but I was wearing a pocket-less dress. I’m not sure who even approves of these designs—all dresses deserve pockets. My ingenious solution was to slide the thing into my sweater sleeve as I took the short trip around the office floor. As I walked down my row of cubicles, my (male, dadish) boss was walking by me and the tampon torpedoed onto the floor between us. “Whoops!” I swooped down on it and stashed it in my hand and kept on walking, briskly. Any other details are all a blur, other than remembering the heat of my stupid, blushing face.

What else is always in my gigantic Cuyana tote (the perfect size for two bottles of wine and a mini-pack of Kleenex)? Palmer’s Cocoa Butter Swivel Stick, which looks like a glue stick, tastes creamy and delicious and has been my #1 chapstick for the past five years; enough bobby pins for an impromptu voodoo doll session; a few band-aids; and blotting papers I always forget about. Beauty-wise, that’s as far as my desert island necessities go. When I switch bags, there’s probably already a backup Palmer's in there. They also pop into the pocket of my man’s suit when we’re at a wedding and I don’t want to carry a dreaded “clutch.” So many people comment on the fact that the thing looks like a glue stick that I once had a dream I was on the subway and my thumb detached, as if the seams had come undone—I rubbed the stick on my severed thumb and glued it back together. What do you think about that, Freud?

So what are those “always on you” things you can’t function without, maybe you’ve even dreamed about? (Also welcoming any other embarrassing tampon-related stories.)

—Alex Beggs

Photo via ITG.