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first moon: here’s what modern menstruators want to see in a period care package

CC Image by imjustkimmie via Flickr

CC Image by imjustkimmie via Flickr

For $29.95, HelloFlo ships period starter kits with supplies they’ve deemed necessary for new menstruators. Marketed to parents as a gift for their girls, the kit includes pads, panty liners, a canvas pouch to carry supplies, guides for parents and girls and a beaded bracelet. The bracelet has left me scratching my head. Is it to identify people on their periods? Like an “I’m menstruating” badge? I HOPE SO.

I was alerted to this product by my friend who sent a link in an email with subject “more from the menstruation industrial complex.” We agreed that while this was an adorable idea, the kit is lacking. It’s basic and it’s corporate. We agreed that a starter kit should include supplies beyond a sanitary pad, like a menstrual cup! It does list “surprise gifts and goodies” as included in starter kits, but no indication as to what that is.

In addition to starter kits, customers can sign up to receive monthly care packages. Again it’s a great idea, but we reckoned we could do better. We got to thinking: what would we have wanted when we first started? And now, as adults, what would we want in a period care package? So with the help of the Lip team, here is a crowdsourced list of what modern menstruators would want in a period care package.

From Twitter:

@thewrittenbee: ginger beer for settling my stomach, organic tampons & liners, @coconutbliss, a marathon of bad detective shows & a massage.

@JoJo_Jac: a masseuse! (a cute masseuse)

@sheereenmeereen: pain killers

@littlechefmeals: red wine

@ashleybesslane: Anger management books — for the hormonal day or so you spend wanting to rip everyone’s head off (or is that just me…)

@Jo_MacD: Chocolate (for the dementors), really good stain remover, proper period pain meds, nice comfy undies, a blanky.

@camillapatini: Lip balm, tissues, sexy underwear, and…ink cartridges? Probably just me that needs ink cartridges tho (fountain pen).

Oh, also paracetemol and…Nutella!

@cinsbeenhere: apart from the obvious, a little mirror. No one owns them anymore what with selfie cameras on phones. & serious diagrams

@alicejaneridge: Chocolate and a hot water bottle! And someone to give me a back rub.

@EllenRead3:  oooh yes a gadget/app w/ tampon reminders…. When u run out and to put in hand bag.

Direct quotes from the babes of Facebook and email (including some Lip writers!):

  • heat packs and pop rocks
  • Channing Tatum. Just to hold me.
  • Heat packs, DVD of Friends, chips and guacamole and prescription strength ibuprofen. And a personal masseuse.
  • Peanut butter M&Ms. And Advil. Maybe just mixed together and we can call it “Time of the Month Trailmix”
  • Someone to snuggle me. And a get-out-of-work-free card.
  • A hot water bottle.
  • Duvet, pillows, extra comfy pjs. Permission slip to skip work and/or social engagements. Hugs. A Mooncup, and also, sadly, some heavy duty winged sanitary towels. Tea. A receptacle for all my tears. A reminder that the feelings of helpless despair and misery are because period. Cos I always forget.
  • I always forget. Always. And then am so annoyed when I realise why I’ve become borderline suici/homicidal. Rescue pack consists of pastry products (pan au choc/croissant/chocolate twist) and the musical episode of Buffy.
  • Id ask for no period for about 40 weeks
  • Pajamas, heat packs, morphine, old movies and a doctors note not to have to work until the damn thing passes
  • A heat pack, super tampons, Femfresh wipes and chocolate EVERYTHING.
  • I would love a package of Pepperidge Farm: Tahoe Chocolate Chunk White Chocolate Macadamia Cookies, a copy of Revolutionary Road starring Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio, a chilled bottle of Amsterdam Mango Vodka and a cool breeze through an open window.
  • A bag of Doritos (large), Home made choc chip cookies, Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s “Crime and Punishment” (I get a bit dramatic and internal around period time!), any film with Brad Pitt, more Doritos (just a precaution)
  • Period care packages should be full of fun things, like tickets to Sea World or coupons for Laser Tag, or free downloads for Skull Crusher 3000 to free yourself from any period related angst. There should be a wand and a tiara, not because you are finally a Princess, but because wands and tiaras are cool. There should also be a sign for your bedroom door that has a Privacy setting, because privacy is something that is important when you are coming to terms with menstruation, and most importantly there should be a recipe for a health-ful wholemeal chocolate cake, full of magical ingredients and vita-wossnames and such. A chocolate cake recipe handed on from mother to daughter for generations to come, a tradition that perhaps starts now, with you.

Also, check out HelloFlo’s hysterical advertisement. It stars a young woman who fakes getting her period because all of her friends got it before her and she feels left out. Her mother sees right through the charade and as a punishment, throws her an embarrassing “first moon party.” If you ask me, the first moon party sounds like the best social event of the year. If I’m ever a mother to a daughter, I will make sure I have occasion to say ‘you’re missing the vagician’ to her. And get a uterus piñata.

What would YOU want to see in a period care package?

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