Thursday, February 10, 2011

My Life as a Woman

Over 10 years ago I developed a thickened callous on the heel of my left foot, which then dried out and cracked open. It was ugly and painful to walk on. So I went to a podiatrist who sliced at it with a scalpel, explaining to me that this can happen at any time in a person’s life, for no known reason.

After he pared the callous down to normal thickness, he recommended that I treat it with a particular moisturizing cream made from pure lanolin. I went to the drugstore and was mortified to discover that the cream is only available in the section of the store reserved for infants and mothers. The cream is used primarily by women who breastfeed, when their nipples become sore. This fact is prominently declared all over the package: “Breast Feeding Cream,” it says, “For breastfeeding mothers.”


I had to limp to the front of the store and buy it from some teenage kid, who stared curiously at my nipples while he rung it up.

Not long ago, after my knee surgery, my doctor suggested that I take a daily multivitamin to restore my energy. “Get one with vitamin B-12 and iron,” he told me.

So I went to the drugstore and entered the unregulated war zone called the “Vitamin Supplement Aisle.” There are dozens and dozens of supplements available, and the multivitamins are subdivided into marketing segments: Children, Men, Women, Older Men, Older Women, Pregnant Women, Athletes, and probably Pregnant Athletes.

Naturally, I read the labels of every “Male” multivitamin package – a 30-minute task. Some contained vitamin B-12, some did not. However, not a single multivitamin supplement marketed to men contains Iron. Not one. But almost every “Female” multivitamin contains iron, because women lose blood during the menstruation cycle.

So every day, I have to take a vitamin prominently labeled “For Women.”


I hope I never develop varicose veins, because it's gong to be tough to find pantyhose in my size.

1 comment:

Liggy said...

At least you don't have to buy yourself feminine still feels embarrassing to us women having to buy them (even if it's a normal thing). I mean it's like we're letting the cashier and anyone else in line behind us know what exactly we use in that private part of our bodies...