A month or two into my freshman year of college, I had a really heavy period. Well, they’re all like that, but this one was particularly heavy.
I was living in an apartment-style dorm with five other girls. Our toilet was old and it had a tendency to sound like it had flushed but not actually flush, and I still wasn’t quite in the habit of making doubly sure that it had done its job. Well, during this really heavy period I went into the bathroom to change my tampon AND my pad, and I must have been in a rush because the toilet played its dirty trick on me and only pretended to flush, and I didn’t realize it.
Suffice it to say, there was a toilet full of blood, toilet paper, and a floating tampon left for the next person in the bathroom to see.
A while later I heard a very dramatic exclamation coming from the bathroom, and one of my roommates came out declaring to the entire apartment that there was a bloody tampon in the toilet. It took me a second to realize that I was the culprit and the toilet hadn’t flushed like I thought, and by then everyone was in the bathroom.
I opted to stay in my bedroom and ignore it all, but then, too late, I realized that by doing this I was probably making it look like I was guilty. I wanted so badly for my roommates to like me, and this was incredibly embarrassing. Everyone was adamantly declaring that it certainly couldn’t be them because it wasn’t their time of the month.
One roommate proceeded to give a lecture to everyone about the proper way to dispose of a tampon. And finally someone just flushed the stupid toilet. I was completely mortified, but I also couldn’t believe the immature reaction some of my roommates had.
It had all boiled over by the time it occurred to me how I should have reacted. I should have walked into the bathroom, given everyone a stern look, and said, “Okay, has everyone gotten to see the bloody tampon? Are you sure? Okay, then I think we can stop freaking out about it now.” Then I would have flushed the toilet and walked out matter-of-factly, having made everyone feel a little silly about over-reacting.
And I learned that day that you always, always look to make sure everything flushed.
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