BFF. Best Friends Forever? Well, not exactly. For some of us, BFF stands for Body Function Freak-out.
Chalk it up to a mix of post-WWII culture, religion, and family, but I learned early on that some body parts and functions were okey-dokey, others not so much. Heartbeat, blinking and hearing -- God’s handiwork. But stinky feet, earwax, and gas? Oh, the hot coals of shame!
Puberty was a minefield beginning with “training bras.” What exactly were we training, our bosoms? Behind-the-back finger dexterity? Our patience?? I suspect the label was just a marketing ploy to wean us prematurely from our favorite undershirts. Patent leather shoes really were forbidden, and we had to wear blouses under our sweaters, lest we become “occasions of sin.” Dang! My one chance to be an “occasion,” and I missed it.
Barraged by hormones and social pressure, girls wandered clueless through changes that required using various “feminine hygiene” products. As I recall, boys needed only one “male hygiene” product, called SOAP.
Shopping was excruciating. Too often the clerk turned out to be the cute boy from English class, and I died again when the loudspeaker blared, PRICE CHECK ON JUMBO KOTEX SUPER MAXI PADS! If we’d had VISA and the internet, you can bet your Lucky Charms that an unmarked semi would’ve pulled up to the house one time with a shipment of Kotex to last until menopause.
Over time, the neurosis has blossomed nicely, thank you. When hanging laundry on a line, sheets on the outside! True, the wind can’t reach anything hung on the inside lines, but the world must never suspect that we wear and wash underwear, no matter how boring it may be.
Going to a Laundromat? Never fold undies on the counter! Pull them directly from the dryer into the clothes basket, and cover with towels. Then, to repel any creeps loitering nearby, top off the basket with a pair of size 13 men’s boots. Return home and fold the wrinkled mess, with the door locked and shades pulled, of course.
Checking out with BFF products? Find a female checker, hopefully wearing a blouse under her sweater. Use caution when making last-second lane changes. I once did a snappy u-turn to avoid a male employee, and threw my back out.
Many BFF items of the past have lost their power, such as acne ointments, dandruff shampoo, and tampons. Unfortunately, a new and deadly “older” crop has emerged for treating constipation, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and toe fungus.
My advice? (1) Buy in BFF stuff in bulk. Then, as you unload the three heaping shopping carts onto the belt, whine to the clerk about managing the area’s largest assisted living complex. (2) Negate the BFF effect with a pile of celebrity workout DVDs, Gatorade, and a case of rainbow Trojans. (3) Divert attention from BFF stuff by also purchasing large or unusual items: the runway-size sheet cake, outdoor grill, or inflatable Sponge Bob wading pool.
It’s a waste of money but way cheaper than antipsychotic meds.