So, the other day, on my way over to the Boy's place, I stopped in at a store to bring over some food, beer, and other assorted things. When I got to his apartment, I started to unpack the bag, when I got to the last item: a pack of Tampax Pearl.
"Hey, um..." I said, nervously holding them at my side, "I don't know if this is a weird question, but... would you mind if I kept these here?"
He looked at the box, then at me, then at my breasts I think, then back at the box. The moment was getting uncomfortable, so I tried to joke my way out of it, "Um, not in the kitchen, I mean, in the bathroom."
"Oh, um," he stammered, "Why?"
"Um," I said, "Because I need them sometimes? And I'm here a lot."
We're not really in the casual fling phase of the relationship anymore. I spend entire weekends at his place, and I've had to run out to the pharmacy for a box of tampons while I was staying with him, and I was so embarrassed that I dumped the whole thing into my purse, and threw the box into a trashcan on the street. A glance at my purse looked like I was preparing for a menstrual hurricane of some kind.
But why should I be embarrassed? This is something about being female that everyone knows about, that I've long accepted, and that shouldn't be stigmatized. What harm would it do to keep a spare pack on hand in a place where I am frequently sleeping?
"Are you on your, um, thingy right now?"
"No," I said matter-of-factly, "But I could be tomorrow." My cycle has been really erratic lately. I think it has something to do with the stress at work.
"Can you keep them hidden somewhere? So my roommate doesn't see them?"
Ah, the mysterious roommate. He works nights, and spends a lot of time in his room. I've encountered him like twice.
"What does that matter?" I asked.
"Well, I just don't want him to think I'm whipped," he said.
I was steaming. "Whipped?"
I remember making jokes about my male friends being whipped, when they were getting into relationships. OF course, back then I wasn't in a relationship pretty much ever, so I had no business to be making fun of any of my guy friends making a few concessions for their girlfriends, implying that they were less of a man because God forbid they couldn't make it to Halo night.
My opinion on the matter has changed. Now I think that's a bunch of bullshit.
"I could take them and go home," I said, "Would that stop you from being whipped?"
"No, Tori, I just mean..." he stopped. He didn't have any way to finish that thought. I waited impatiently. Finally, he said, "It's a personal space thing. He might think..." again he was stumped.
I gritted my teeth. "Let's try this again. Your girlfriend wants to know if she can leave some personal items at your place, so that she feels comfortable staying here more."
"Sure," he said, still visibly exasperated, "Do whatever you want, I guess."
Not the answer I was looking for.
I was hoping we wouldn't be sniping at each other so soon. Honestly, 90% of the time he and I are a great match, but he's insecure about the weirdest things. Sometimes I can tell he doesn't believe he should be with me, because I look a certain way and he thinks of himself a certain way. Like I'm some goddess he tricked into being with him, when the truth is I just like him. Then sometimes he says something dumb, picks a fight, and I wonder how much of a future we have. Maybe it's self-sabotage or maybe he just shoots his mouth off, I don't know. I guess if I'm noticing this this early on, it's not a good sign.
There were times I would have bolted at the first sign of a problem... after the last serious relationship, I looked for any excuse not to see someone again. I guess I shouldn't have expected him to be flawless, and again, aside from ruining the occasional moment, he's the best guy I've met in a long time. So I'm trying not to let it bug me too much when he lets his immature, insecure side out.
My God, this really is womanhood, isn't it.
The night was salvageable after that tense moment, and I think he felt guilty, although he didn't say "sorry." And I doubted myself, too... maybe I was just being a bitch, indignant for no good reason. But I can't help how I felt in that moment... insulted that he thought I was somehow "whipping" him, when the subtext of that conversation is that I like having sex with him and staying the night! It's about give-and-take, you know?
It's been a few days, and I've cooled off, but still. It remains to be seen whether this problem gets worse or goes away.