Advantages and disavantages of being a woman here (aka: sanitary pads update)

On another piece of news, I have received many comments interested on the development of our odd sanitary pad shortage. At least in Caracas, things have changed slightly: you can find sanitary pads in almost any pharmacy or supermarket but only of one or two brand or varieties tops; when before December you were able to find more than 6 or 7 different brand or varieties. Probably it will be the same trouble we have with milk: after a major critical shortage back in 2007, the situation has never go back to normal. Milk reappears and disappears off the shelves. When it does disappears, it never does it for longer than a week. But when it's available, you can't hardly find more than one or two brands tops.

Back to sanitary pads, thankfully, I use one of the few brands that are now available at some places. My sister could also found the brand she uses but only with wings and wings cause her allergies... Similar histories and cases can be repeated from woman to woman. Probably most men won't get it. For them sanitary pads are like little diapers women use when they most be avoided because they can't have sex in these conditions and they are usually ill humored. But in our feminine universe, sanitary pads are our company and salvation to survive those unusually hard days we have to face month after month. And for every woman there is a brand - Always, Tess, Kotex, Carefree, Stayfree etc... -, a type of fabric - soft cotton or something like a mesh (more effective but it can cause irritation to many), a size - including daylight or night -, with wings or without them... etc. A sanitary pad is the representation of a choice that modern society has left us to bare those days in a world designed for men, a world where we have to still go to work and live our normal life without any excuses (who puts its period as a work absence excuse? No boss would ever approve it).

So in short, it is really unfortunate that we are now limited to only a few brands and sizes. For many woman in Venezuela, their periods will be less comfortable than usual. But we won't deny that we all now feel relieved to at least be able to find sanitary pads available.

My behavior during this whole shortage situation remind me of the grandmother of a friend of mine. She's from Spain and ran with her family from the Civil War when she was just a teenager. Even today, she saves cans of different food: think Tuna, tomato etc, under her bed. Her sons and grandsons freaked out because she has saved too many of them and more often than not, some pass their expiration date.

I look at my closet, where one drawer is completely filled with sanitary pads and I can't help but think of that old lady driving everyone crazy with their cans. I have payed an expensive price due to the uncertainty, anguish and paranoia I had while this shortage lasted (about three months). I have now loads of sanitary pads packages of different brads - almost none my usual one -. For a moment it seems they are looking at me, telling me "you are so stupid, you let "the system" beat you!, you bought all this in advance, for nothing!".On the other hand, I won't have to worry about buying those for the rest of the year, or a little less if I share some with my sister.

The trouble with "this system", in general and not just in this matter, is that you never know what to do. Making plans and being overcautious can be risky: for example if you save a lot in your bank account and your bank goes intervened by the government, you might never look again at those founds or at least for a while; put putting out your capital saying in an account abroad is terribly hard not to say illegal. Another alternative for you is to invest the money instead of leaving it in the bank but if you buy a private property you have the risk of having your property seized by the government, and same happens if you start a business. If I buy a lot of sanitary pads in advance, I have the risk of losing some after they have pass their expiration date; but while the shortage remained current, the scenario of never being able to find period pads again was a perfectly probable one.

So must of us, whenever a big or small decision in our life comes, not only do not know what to do, but also due to the Revolution' craziness, imagine terrible risks or consequences for each of options we take. We have to be impulsive, but also cautious; we have to be aggressive but we can't afford to be noticed too much. We want to have success but not so much to become a government' or delinquency target. And above all, we have to be intuitive, like extra super duper intuitive, if we want to survive "the system" without losing what we are and what we have in the process.

So women in Venezuela might not have the sanitary pad of their choice anymore, but although sometimes it does fail (do you need any more proof?); our unique feminine intuition does give us a little advantage.

PS: This post was published in a rush, no re-read or editing, so sorry if you find more grammar mistakes than usual, I'll promise I'll do something about it as soon as I can.