I’m not such a fan of Curb Your Enthusiasm. To me it’s like slapstick: I wince more than laugh. But we hit the button occasionally and watch it on demand. What I do like are some of the preposterous situations: the Palestinian chicken, Larry reading a directions on how to use a tampon to a teen through a bathroom door. I watched that last one years ago and never dreamed it could happen IRL, let alone that it would happen to me.
More than a year ago, long enough for my friend to laughingly give me permission to write about it sans names and identifying features, I got a call from her with desperation in her voice. She was on a business trip. She called me to say her daughter needed a mom-figure as her husband was at a long day of work and wouldn’t be good at this task anyway: her young teen had just gotten her first period and had a swim meet the next day and needed to learn to use a tampon – fast. The sitter was not the type to be able to handle this unusual request. So to the drug store for slender regulars (I was so nervous I got her three brands to try) and then over I went.
Now I’ve known this kid for years but this was our first time being alone together. There aren’t enough italics in print to stress the dripping sarcasm of nah, it was wasn’t awkward at all. Did the sitter think it weird that some adult she didn’t know was going upstairs with a 13 year old and closing the door? If so, she didn’t let on.
Big Girl had gotten her period more than a year before this and I really don’t think I went over things with her very thoroughly: I think what I said to her was, here’s the box, the directions are inside, let me know if you have any questions. But there I was, reading the unfolded directions out loud to my young friend clearly and then stating the key tips: where to hold your fingers, what it will feel like when it’s in correctly.
Then she went into the bathroom to give it a go. The conversation through the bathroom door was, um, well I’ll spare you. It was straightforward but unpolished. Staccato bursts of “are you okay?” “Um, I think so.” It was weird. My thoughts ran from “will she ever be able to look me in the eye again” to “well, she will never ever forget Auntie Alia!” But we both got through it, she felt satisfied with the day’s result, and we hugged it out. Her mom and I hugged it out later. She owes me.
I forgot to ask how she did in the swim meet.