Any Seinfeld fans out there? We all remember the "sponge-worthy" episode, right? Elaine's favorite birth control, the Today sponge gets taken off the market.
ELAINE: Well, Kramer was right. My friend Kim told me the sponge is off the market.
JERRY: So what are you gonna do?
ELAINE: I'll tell you what I'm gonna do - I'm gonna do a hard-target search. Of every drug store, general store, health store and grocery store in a 25-block radius.
This episode always made me laugh every time I saw it. It cracked me up how crazed Elaine got about trying to find her sponges.....until I experienced a similar situation today.
(Warning to any men reading this blog....this is where I talk about "girly stuff". Avert your eyes if talk about periods & tampons make you queasy).....
So today I was already in a cranky mood because I'm on my period and feeling crampy & bloated. I was down to my last tampon and had to make an emergency run to Albertsons near my work at lunch. I wandered down the feminine hygiene aisle until I came to a very conspicuous empty space in the shelves. This is when I noticed that the tags on the shelf under this empty space said "O.B." on them. Um......that's my brand.....this is weird. So I corralled an employee (female of course) over to the empty space and said, "Can you tell me if you have any of these in the back?" To which she replied, "We don't keep anything in the back. We've had a lot of women asking about those, but we haven't got them at any of the stores. There must be a problem with our warehouse."
So I thanked her and went back to work, crossing my fingers (and legs), hoping to avoid any embarassing situation. Luckily I made it through the rest of the afternoon and after work I stopped by Walmart to pick up a box. Walmart didn't even have an empty space, there was no sign of them whatsoever on the shelves. This is when I started to get nervous.
After staring like a deer in the headlights at the non-existence of the very thing I needed, I got my cell phone out and did a search for the O.B. company. I called their 800 number and this is how the conversation went:
ME: "Is there some kind of problem with the O.B. tampons? I can't seem to find them anywhere."
OPERATOR: "Yes, I apologize, but there is an issue with them and they have stopped production while they're working on it."
ME: "Stopped production??!! But this is the only brand I use! Are they going to start making them again?!"
OPERATOR: "After working on the issue, they were able to correct it in all but the Ultra absorbtion product, so they expect to bring back all absorptions except that one....byyyyyyyy......spring."
ME: .............."Excuse me......did you say SPRING??"
ME: "Are you SERIOUS?! What am I supposed to do until spring?!!"
OPERATOR: "I apologize for any incovenience...and to be honest, because the O.B. product is fairly unique to other brands we really don't have a substitution to recommend to you at this time."
OPERATOR: "Ma'am, are you still there?"
ME: "Um.....yes....but what am I going to do?"
OPERATOR: "I'm sorry, I really don't know what to tell you. You can try doing a search online to see who might still be carrying some of the product. I understand that women tend to be very loyal to their brand. One woman who called said that she saw a box on Ebay selling for $105.00.....and it had bids. Is there anything else I can help you with today?"
I left Walmart and immediately called one of my friends and went on a rant....
ME: "OHMYGOD, they've discontinued my freaking tampons!"
FRIEND: "Can't you use something else?"
ME: "I've used the same brand since I was 14! They aren't bringing them back until spring! I don't know what I'm going to do....holy crap, I'm going to have to revert back to the Little House on the Prairie days and call in sick for a week every 28 days because I'll be just lying in bed bleeding out, not taking any visitors. I'm going to have to roll up rags & twigs."
FRIEND: "Just go look at the smaller, less frequented stores. Maybe you'll find some there."
This was about the time reason started sinking in....
(Thanks Merlinda, for giving me a verbal face slap to calm me down...)
I drove to a small independently owned grocery store and almost did a Snoopy dance when I walked down the feminine hygiene aisle and found several boxes on the shelf. I immediately thought back to Elaine and her Today sponges...
PHARMACIST: Can I help you?
ELAINE (with little hope): Yeah, do you have any Today sponges? I know they're off the market, but...
PHARMACIST: Actually, we have a case left.
ELAINE (excited): A case! A case of sponges? I mean, uh...a case. Huh. Uh...how many come in a case?
ELAINE: Sixty?! Uh...well, I'll take three.
ELAINE: Make it ten.
ELAINE: Twenty sponges should be plenty.
PHARMACIST: Did you say twenty?
ELAINE: Yeah, twenty-five sponges is just fine.
PHARMACIST: Right. So, you're set with twenty-five.
ELAINE: Yeah. Just give me the whole case and I'll be on my way.
Okay, so I didn't buy a case of O.B. tampons (mainly because they didn't have a case)...but I did buy the only two large boxes of my prefered size and a couple of boxes of another size too, just in case. I brought my small armful to the cashier and tried not to feel too self conscious as I set them on the conveyor belt. I didn't want to come off as some crazed woman preparing for period armageddon. When she started ringing them up I said, "I feel the need to explain that the company has stopped production on these until spring."
The cashier just looked at me and kept ringing them up.....Yeah, I'm pretty sure she thought I was a loon....
6 hours ago