Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The Holiest Of Feminine Care Products

Since I do considerably less adventurous things on a daily basis but still miss writing, I thought I'd branch out from tales of our day to day life and tell a story from my childhood. This is tale of Tampon Jesus.

Disclaimer; I mean no offense to anyone with my story of Tampon Jesus. Our family is actually fairly religious.  My dad is a pastor and my mom was as well, back in the day. Travis and I go to church with Lyra if everyone has had some sleep and no one is vomiting. We're not complete sinners. There's just a minor harmless streak of mischievous heathen running through the family. We still celebrate Christmas with candlelit services, but we had to get rid of the stocking hangers that spell out "Santa." They always mysteriously rearranged and spelled "Satan." Usually my mother would only discover the modification while giving company a tour of the house.  It made her rather furious, but my brother and I generally found it hysterical. But I digress.

Here's a little background for those of you who don't know my mother. She likes craft projects, creativity, and making a bold statement. And she does not do something halfway. These are great qualities, but sometimes she goes a little overboard and we must give her crap for all eternity about it.  Anyone in our family could attest to this. Like how we won't let her forget the time my brother and I had to drink 50 bottles of Snapples in a week for a summer camp project.

We'd be like, "Mom, I'm thirsty. Can I have some water?"

And she'd say, "No, honey, not until you've finished your 50 oz of daily Snapple."

This was back in the era of fruit smoothie flavored Snapples. I'm thrilled they discontinued those flavors.

Or another example is the time she decided to make 3D canvas pictures using fake flower petals. She scoured the thrift stores, bought about 20 cubic feet of fake flowers, ripped them apart, and sorted thousands of petals by color before gluing them back on canvas in elaborate patterns.

And it was recently I asked her for "a few" cloth wipes to try cloth diapering "if she had the time." I received no less than 200 wipes (probably more) plus burp cloths enough for quadruplets. She still talks about how I was such a slave driver when I was pregnant. Sheesh.

But anyway, let's talk about Jesus.

It started when my mom brought up a valid point one day. She'd seen different representations of Jesus as different races to depict that he suffered for people of all walks of life. But she never saw one where he was depicted as a woman. She set out to remedy this. And that's where the project began to veer from serious to semi satirical. How would my mom depict Jesus suffering as a woman, you ask? Let's not go with a boring old painting or drawing...let's make a life size model out of maxi pads. And thus, Tampon Jesus was born. More accurately he (I mean...she) should be called Always Stay Dry Jesus or Kotex Heavy Flow Jesus but his beard was made from tampons and that was good enough for us.

The glory of tampon Jesus was that the closer you looked, the the more glorious he became. He was nailed to his cross with stilettos. He was garbbed in an uncomfortable underwire bra and thong panty lingerie set. His face was done with makeup and nail polish. He even had a sassy hairdo, courtesy of a thrift store wig. He had a sparkly tiara.

I have made peace with Tampon Jesus as I have grown and matured, but as teenagers both my brother and I were vaguely horrified by him. It didn't help that we were pretty sure he was haunted or possessed. Or one of my parents liked to mess with us. Because wherever you went, Tampon Jesus was there. Turn on the light in the storage room while you're grabbing a can of peas for dinner; there he was, lurking in the dark corner. Walk into the office to print off something for school; there was Jesus, always watching over you. Spot a creepy looking object under a white sheet in the garage...Jesus. We dubbed that sheet the shroud of Turin, by the way. The phrase "finding Jesus" means something entirely different to my brother and me. Years later we even found Jesus (minus a beard tampon or 2 but more or less intact) under several boxes of fake flower petals in the back of the closet under the stairs while searching for Christmas decorations. But by far the most terrifying encounter with Tampon Jesus occurred the time I borrowed the van one evening, glanced in the rear view mirror, and saw Jesus' vacant eyes staring me down from the backseat.

I'm kind of sad to say that I don't know where Tampon Jesus got to in the end. I'm a bit concerned that one day in the far off future, after my parents are long gone,  my brother and I will find him lurking in an attic somewhere. If we do, we're locking him in a tomb with more than just a stone.

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