From rollerblading to cliff-diving, if most sanitary towel adverts were to be believed it would look like women are always living their best, most active lives while on their periods.
But as many know, the realities of menstruation are often not quite as perky – especially if it arrives unexpectedly early and you’re somewhere without easy access to sanitary products.
Which is why one woman’s tale of suddenly realising her period had arrived while on a long hike in the middle of nowhere has gone viral – thanks to a ‘Period Fairy’.
Reddit user I_Removed_Something, who for the purposes of the story calls herself Jane, recently posted: “So we’re hiking for hours, nothing is happening, then about 20 minutes from the end of the trail, it hits me.
“I didn’t feel it coming at all, and it's like four days early.”
She continues: “I immediately slink back like 20 feet from the group and start having a panic attack. I had NOTHING on me and I was wearing shorts.
“At least they were black, but they wouldn't hold much. I'd also 100% bleed up the Uber [at the end of the hike].”
Saying she usually hikes with three men and three women, Jane revealed this time, she was the sole female in the group.
Jane then does what pretty much all women tend to do in this situation: stuffs something readily available down her shorts (because we’re always prepared like that). In this case, she says, it was her bra.
But then her friend Dave noticed she was slinking at the back, and according to Jane, he stepped in and asked if she needed to pee.
“I’m like, ‘Huh?’ Then I realised I’m like doubled over with my hands on my crotch. Seemed obvious,” Jane wrote, adding that he instantly asked, “Period issue?”
It’s then that Dave (whom she terms the Period Fairy) steps up to the plate and tells the rest of the group to head off without them as Jane has cut her arm on a tree.
At this point, you might be thinking, “Why not just use the word ‘period’? Surely, guys can handle the concept that we bleed every month?” But presumably Dave had no idea whether Jane would be comfortable with him sharing that information, and instead offered up an unexpected solution.
Jane recounts that he proceeds to ask if she’d prefer a sanitary towel or a tampon, and she, “completely stunned”, asks for the latter.
“He pulls out three tampons, the good kind, and a handful of wet-naps. Hands them to me and then he opens the main compartment and pulls out a long sleeve black t-shirt.”
And then tells her to go into the trees to “take care of it” and use the shirt to tie round her waist.
And as for the cover story, Jane reports that he gives her a plaster to put on her arm.
Again, an initial, somewhat sceptical, response to this tale might be to ask why on earth he would be so prepared, and to wonder whether it’s a hell of a long-shot, slightly creepy pulling technique. But Jane says she obviously asked him why, and seemed satisfied with his answer, which was: “I’ve been hiking with women for years, you think I’m stupid?’”
Images: Holly Mandarich / iStock