Menstrual Hijinks and Deutsch als Fremdsprache

Let's talk about menstruation. It will be fun.

For years now I've used the oh-so-horrifically named DivaCup. I absolutely love this product but hate to talk about it because I find the name offensive. I hated the word "diva" even before it was associated with blood falling out of my uterus on a monthly basis. There's something about it that embodies the worst in feminine stereotypes to me. I'm sure spending over a decade pursuing a career in the theater didn't help my associations.

So just know, that every time I type it (ugh) DivaCup, I'm shuddering. Just know that.

What is it? It's a bell-shaped silicone cup that you put in your vagina to catch your menstrual blood. It's a tampon and pad substitute and IT'S SO BRILLIANT! It's also a bit disgusting, because of course you have to take it out and rinse it every so often and get up close and personal with your blood in ways you don't have to when you are using tampons. BUT IT IS STILL BRILLIANT! No leakage. Less trash. Less waste. It also gets a little stained after repeated use. Okay, really stained. Totally normal. Still totally sanitary. STILL TOTALLY BRILLIANT.

I was pretty sure I packed my (ugh) DivaCup, but when it came time for it to be of use I couldn't find it.

(An aside that has nothing to do with the actual story...

The last couple weeks before I left I stayed with friends to save money on rent. When I realized the (bleh) DivaCup was missing I texted the last person I stayed with this: "I so hope you don't find my diva cup anywhere." I sent him a list of other things that I thought I may have left behind and he responded bit by bit and then ended with "Also, where is your diva cup. I don't want anyone BESIDES ME finding it."

This made me laugh. And it's true. Wherever it is, I hope no one finds it ever. It won't be fun.)

Back when Marlon was still here we were on the hunt for a drug store where we could buy, among other things, silver shampoo for my newly blonded hair and a replacement for my (hate) DivaCup. On our way back to my apartment one afternoon we found an Apotheke and went in. Inside the Apotheke was a most severely German man in his mid to late 50's. If you were casting a WWII movie, you would cast this guy as some kind of low-ranking German officer who mostly does paperwork and is very bitter about it. 

Exchange goes something like this:

ME: Hallo. Um, ich suche for eine Tasse. Ich weiß nicht wie sagt man auf Deutsch, aber in Amerika das heißt DivaCup. Kennst du?
GERMAN: Nein. Was macht das?
ME: Um, das ist, das geht wann du, wann gibt's Blut du musst diese Tasse hinein weil... weil... menstruation.
GERMAN: Nein. Wir haben kein.
ME: Ah. Okay. Dann, entschuldigung, hast du Tampons vielleicht?

Rough translation:

ME: Hello. Um, I'm looking for a cup. I don't know what is said in German, but in America it is called DivaCup. Do you know it?
GERMAN: No. What is it?
ME: Um, it is, it goes when you, when there is blood you must put this cup in you because... because... menstruation.
GERMAN: No. We don't have any.
ME: Ah. Okay. Then, excuse me, maybe you have tampons?

Undoubtedly the best part of this whole exchange was having Marlon by my side witnessing my ridiculous hand gestures as I tried to create the shape of the DivaCup in the air and then sort of demonstrate what one does with it. Because surely the combination of my crappy German and my amazing talent for charades would make everything clear to this man, right?

And let us all hope this is the last tiny letter I ever write on the subject.