On Feminine Products and Men: The Essential Study.

My husband walked into the room, looking dejected.

“You must think I’m a horrible man.”

“What?? Why?!? You’ve been unbelievably helpful this week.”

“I found your shopping list.”

“Oooooh. Yes. Is this about me not asking you to buy pads?”

“Yup. You asked me to pick up everything else on your list – except that.”

“I dunno….I just….I guess….I just….didn’t want to do that to you?”

“You know I would get them without batting an eyelash!”

“Of course! I just…I don’t know why I didn’t ask.”

He let it go.

For eighteen hours.

The next day at lunch, he texted me.

“Do you need me to pick you up some pads?”

“No.”

Close to five o’clock.

“Still need pads?”

“No.”

On the way home.

“Should I stop for pads?”

Calm down about the freaking pads already!!!

I really didn’t have a good reason not to ask him – my husband is the most servant-hearted, sensitive, un-embarrassable guy I know. And I wasn’t embarrassed to ask him – I mean I’m blogging about it aren’t I? He’s certainly been through much worse with me (the horrifying after-effects of childbirth are one of the only things so disgusting that I refuse to write about it, and he bought everything I needed that week including the rubber gloves), and he’s unnervingly OCD about buying the right product at all times….all logic points to the fact that my husband is the IDEAL man to be a feminine product purchaser.

Yet we’ve been married since 2001 and I’ve never asked him to perform this task. And the way he sees it, I’m robbing him of the opportunity to be the wind beneath my wings.

Was I normal? Was I not? I needed to know, as angst crept up and filled my soul like blue liquid being poured onto an absorbent surface.

The only solution was a Facebook poll. I asked two questions:

1. How long have you been married?
2. Do you ask your husband to buy you feminine products?

Nothing brings Facebookers together like an intriguing question, so I received 122 answers within 18 hours, and many included fantastic commentary.

But first, the stats.

51% of women absolutely ask.
14% rarely ask.
4% have asked once (most commonly that “once” happened immediately following childbirth. If only my own post-childbirth needs had been for feminine products…that would have been nearly delightful.)
31% have never asked.

I can live with being in the 31 percent. And hopefully Chris can figure out how to put a cork in his complex.

It was difficult to tell if there was a correlation to length of marriage and Male Feminine Product Purchases (MFPP), except that couples in the 15-20 year bracket are abnormally low in the “yes” department. We’re at nearly 13 years, so perhaps we’re slightly ahead of our marital generation.

On Feminine Products and Men: The Essential Study.

I didn’t ask for reasons why, but many of the “no” and “rarely” people offered their logic anyway. And surprisingly, only 13% of the time was the issue potential husbandly embarrassment.

No. The real reason seems to be a suspected or proven lack of MFPP proficiency.

If you assume “He’d need specific instructions” is the more tactful way of saying “he’d buy the wrong thing”, then 41% of men are dodging the bullet, so to speak, based on their lack of shopping detail.

On Feminine Products and Men: The Essential Study.

No one, however, said “No but I don’t know why.” So clearly I need to search my own heart for answers.

While I’m exploring my motivations, here were my favorite responses.

Feminine Product Survey 1Feminine Product Survey 2Feminine Product Survey 3Feminine Product Survey 5Feminine Product Survey 6Feminine Product Survey 7

Feminine Product Survey 4

You ladies make my life so much richer.

Please feel free to add your own commentary below – your input may be crucial in aiding my super long overnight soul search.

I Want to Spotify You.

When it comes to internet radio, I’ve always been a Pandora girl. It’s free, easy, and they were the first people (that I know of) to use the fantastically mysterious Music Genome Project to magically choose songs that I would like.

But then my friends kept talking about Spotify. Over and Over and OVER.

So I downloaded the app, couldn’t figure it out, realized I’d have to re-teach it all my likes and dislikes (why don’t they have a “Copy my Pandora Personality” option? Or do they and I’m just too dumb to find it?), and promptly deleted it.

But all I kept hearing was Spotify, Spotify, SPOTIFY!!!

You would think it was the musical equivalent of Doctor Who or something. Geez.

But then I craved some new musical input into my life and asked you on Facebook for your favorite songs. I wanted to put them into a publically available playlist so that you could enjoy it as well, and I knew that the best way to do that was Spotify. So I downloaded it again, and this time I didn’t delete it.

Because the mix of you was fascinating.

Spotify Blog Readers

For one, I felt so much more intimate with you, now armed with the powerful knowledge of your favorite song. I remembered who recommended most of the songs, so I could think about (and overanalyze) that particular person as their song played. (Basically, a blogging stalker’s nirvana.) And plus – who knew I had a blog reader with a tattoo portrait of Alice Cooper?

I continued getting suggestions and added some of my own favorites, and so the playlist grew to over 80 songs – with variety as vast as Steven Curtis Chapman to Queen to Sam Cooke, and P!nk and Michael Jackson in between. And obviously, Alice Cooper made an appearance.

But now that I’ve listened to the playlist on repeat for two weeks straight, I’m itching to add more songs.

So. I need your input for my ongoing musical happiness.

1. What are your favorite songs?

and also,

2. Much to the chagrin of The Holiday Police, I have rashly created a separate Spotify Playlist for Christmas Songs, despite the pre-Thanksgiving state of the year. What are your favorite Christmas Songs? Preferably with the artist as well, but if not, I’ll make an educated decision for you.

I’ll be updating the lists as your suggestions come in, and if you’d like to listen along to the cornucopia that is all of your tastes, you can tune in (can we still call it tuning in?) to the original playlist or the Christmas playlist from your computer or the Spotify app. I think you can do all of this for free, but what do I know – I’m new to Spotify.

(And I still don’t watch Doctor Who. So there.)

On Bed-Making: A Scientific Study.

Last week, I confessed yet another sad truth about my lacking in human decency. This time, it was with regards to bed-making: I don’t do it, my kids don’t do it, and I don’t do it for my kids.

I asked for your input – the situation needed to be brought to light, once and for all, and we all deserved to know if daily bed-making was a universally expected task.

And, much like you did on my child-bathing report, y’all stepped in and made me feel normal.

I love you.

Between the blog post, Facebook posts, and Twitter, I received 278 total responses.

And I am here to relieve you all.

Because Bed-makers are not, after all, the majority.

First let’s look at an overview.

Bed Making Survey Overview

We can conclude by this chart that clearly, children are the problem.

It should also be noted, though, that many parents with adult children said that they do make their beds and also had their children make their beds when they were growing up. So the current societal lack of family bed-making is either a case of generational changes or of faulty memory on the part of parents with adult children.

(Just like when they tell us “I enjoyed every second of my children’s younger years!!”)

Now. Let’s have a bit of a breakdown when it comes to families with children still at home.

 

Bed Making Survey Breakdown

Based on the results of this survey, there are five types of families. We’ll discuss them in the order of most to least often occurring.

“The Normal” This group includes me, of course, because I am the epitome of normal. Normal people do not make their beds nor require their children’s beds to be made, as they recognize that the amount of time wasted daily in such endeavors can be used much more properly – like, say, getting an extra five minutes of sleep. It should also be noted that some normal people have cited the scientific fact that bacteria can much more easily flourish in the dark confines of a made bed (this fantastic “medical” report explains this truth much more gruesomely.) Normal people comprise of 56% of the population.

“The Personally Neat” – This set of parents make their own beds for various reasons (because their husbands prefer/require it, or better, because their husbands make the bed themselves, or because they have a small bedroom and read somewhere that if they make their bed then 75% of their room would be clean, or because that’s the way they’ve always done it.) However, they see no need in fighting the battle to try and make their children make their beds. Many of these parents even explained that they do whatever they can to avoid ever entering their child’s room. Personally Neat people comprise of 20% of the population.

“The Ultimate Neat” – These people make their own beds and encourage/require their children to make theirs. They tend to feel that it is an important way to start the day, and that everything feels better if beds are made. Although not true in every case*, these types of people are also likely to bathe their children on a daily basis, not leave dishes in the sink, and vacuum their cats. Ultimate Neat people comprise of 17% of the population.

* It should be noted that a large number of responders in this category claimed to be not-at-all neat in the rest of their life. However, I’m assuming that this was a clever ruse so that I didn’t follow up by asking if they vacuumed their cat.

“The Hypocrite” – This subset of society do not make their own beds as they understand the ultimate pointlessness of such activities, but do see the value in giving their children a chore, or teaching their children the needed skill of bed-making. Clearly, their kids are too young to call their parents on this extreme injustice, or the parents are better than I at using the “I’m the parent I can do what I like” line. If I’m honest, I’m pretty jealous of this group’s ability to politic their household so fiercely. But they only comprise of 4% of the population.

“The Harmonious Neat-Seeker” – This group of people make their own beds and their children’s beds. They prefer the cleanliness of a house of beautiful beds, but do not want to fight the battle and/or take time out of their children’s sleep-cycle to make their children do it themselves. They prefer a lack of discord in their household and their familial relationships whenever possible. The smallest segment of society, this group only comprises of 3% of the population.

So. What can we conclude from this survey?

Absolutely nothing.

Except that if you forget to make up your bed next time you have company coming over, you have a 56% chance that your inaction will make them feel more normal.