I found myself completely out of super plus, mega-absorbent, big as a trailer tampons right when I needed them.
I rushed to my small, local grocery store to buy a box, but they were sold out.
I don't typically spend a lot of time in the tampon aisle checking for new features and weighing my options so I just grabbed a box that looked like Husky Texan Tampons that could alternatively be used to chink holes in log cabins.
Later, I noticed that I had bought a product called The Pearl by Tampax.
Try as I might, I couldn’t figure out what was so “pearly” about this giant, cotton product.
What was the “pearl” feature and what was it supposed to be doing for me?
What did "pearl" MEAN?
I read the box.
I looked at the insert.
[Fire your ad agency, Tampax!]
Since I have no shame coupled with a relentless need to UNDERSTAND, I accosted my (female) colleague and said,
“Have you heard of these “Pearl” Tampax? What’s the Pearl part about?”
She hadn’t heard of them, but she was willing to brainstorm.
[We are nothing if not a problem-solving team at work.]
“Hmmm. Pearl…,” she said. “It brings to mind smooth edges. Does it have a paper or plastic applicator?”
“Plastic,” I said.
“Well!” she said. “That’s not very environmentally friendly. I thought Tampax’s whole thing was the PAPER applicator.”
“True,” I said. “It’s Playtex who have the petal-soft, plastic applicator, right?”
“Ugh!” she groaned. “I hate those because the opening where the tampon comes out makes the applicator look like it has teeth. I can’t use those. I’m not getting tampon teeth anywhere near... you know...”
I have never heard of this phobia before, this fear of tampon teeth.
What shall we call it?