As anybody with a womb will tell you, getting your period unexpectedly is a right pain in the ovaries. Not only does it cause cramps, crankiness, and a burning desire to consume everything in sight, menstruation also has one very well-known symptom: blood. And lots of it.
Most of the time, this isn't an issue. Just grab a tampon or a sanitary towel (or, in times of desperation, a bit of toilet paper) and you're good to go about your day as normal. But what happens when you come on unexpectedly, and there's no bathroom in sight?
Well, that's exactly what happened to Reddit user, I_Removed_Something. Writing on the subreddit, "TwoXChromosomes", the user - who refers to herself as 'Jane' - gives an account of a time when she was struck by mother nature at the worst possible time.
Jane's story starts out in a fairly normal way. She'd been planning on going out for a hike like she always did, but her two female friends cancelled in order to go to the cinema. No big deal, she'd just go out with the three others in the group - all of whom were men.
Here's how she introduces her friends: "John is sort of the leader who buys all the supplies, decides where we're going and what we're doing, and carries the gun. Dave is the 'medic' who carries the first aid kit and knows how to use it.' And then there's Teddy, a guy who's 'built like Terry Crews' and pretty much acts as the 'group mule'".
Sounds like they've got all bases covered when it comes to providing exactly what's needed when on a hike, right? Wrong.
Once they actually set off on the trail, disaster strikes.
Here's how Jane describes the situation:
"So we're hiking for hours, nothing is happening, then about twenty minutes from the end of the trail, it hits me. I didn't feel it coming at all, and it's like four days early. I immediately slink back like 20 feet from the group and start having a panic attack. I had NOTHING on me and I was wearing shorts. At least they were black, but they wouldn't hold much. I'd also 100% bleed up the Uber."
Disaster. But what can you do when you're out in the wilderness? Try to find a few leaves to shove down your pants? Tie your jacket round your waist and hope nobody notices? Or just free bleed it out and deal with it later.
Jane had other ideas.
"Like five minutes later, after I'd decided on stuffing my bra down my shorts, Dave looks back and notices me walking like a goblin. To my horror, he falls back and starts walking next to me. He leans in and whispers, 'Do you need to pee?'"
"I'm like, huh? Then I realized I'm like doubled over with my hands on my crotch. Seemed obvious."
Like the majority of women probably would, Jane assumed that Dave would have no idea how to deal with this type of issue. But, after quietly confessing that it was a "period issue", Jane was shocked by his response:
"This guy," she writes, "this f**king glorious, magnificent guy, he calls out to John and Teddy: 'Hey, Jane's scraped her arm on a tree or some sh*t, I'm gonna tend to it but it's gonna be like five minutes. Just get to the road and set up lunch and call the car.'"
She goes on to explain:
"John says sure and the two of them keep on walking. Dave slides off his magical backpack and opens a pouch on the front of it. 'Pads or tampons?' he says."
"I mutter 'tampons,' completely stunned at all this. He pulls out three tampons, the good kind, and a handful of wet-naps. Hands them to me and then he opens the main compartment and pulls out a long sleeve black t-shirt. 'Go in the trees and take care of it, then tie the shirt around your waist.' He then pulls out a big band-aid and slaps it on my arm to keep up his cover story."
And so she did.
But why did Dave have sanitary products on him? According to Jane, his response was: "I've been hiking with women for years, you think I'm stupid?"
As a result of his heroic actions, Jane coined a new term. "Period Fairy: A person who unexpectedly and tactfully helps you through a period emergency."
She then concludes the story by saying, 'I think I love Dave now. Is it normal that I love Dave?'
Yes, Jane, that's totally normal.