The following is a letter I just wrote to the makers of o.b. tampons, my tampon o’ choice for the 5 days of every month that suck the most for me (and Chris).
However, when I tried to submit my comment to McNeil-PPC, Inc., it kept giving me an error message stating that “Special characters are not allowed,” which I can only assume means ANY alpha-numeric character, because I went back through my letter and removed everything that might ostensibly be considered “special”–i.e., dashes, a % sign, a couple of //, all paragraph breaks, etc.
Clearly I will just have to mail this letter to them. But I’m posting it here because I’m angry–forgoddess’s sake, I’m pre-menstrual and extremely annoyed at the company right now–and because I’m tired of people nagging me about making a new blog post. Apologies if you’re squeamish about such things.
Anyway, without further ado, may I present my open letter to o.b. tampons:
Dear McNeil-PPC, Inc.–
I am about 3 days away from my period, and I cannot find o.b. tampons ANYWHERE. I have looked at Wal-Mart, Target, and Walgreens, and I’ve looked at online drugstores and even Amazon.com.
Where are they? Why aren’t you selling them? I have used o.b. tampons since MY VERY FIRST PERIOD 24 YEARS AGO. That’s an estimated 5,760 tampons over the course of my life. Assuming I hit menopause the same time my Mom did (and she used o.b. too)–at age 55–that’s another 4080 o.b. tampons I’ll use. If that’s not product loyalty, what is?
I have read blogs online, and women everywhere are discussing this. One blog even quoted a response you made saying that o.b. tampons ultra were being discontinued for “manufacturing updates.” I don’t know what “manufacturing updates” means. What about your product needs to be updated? It’s been fine all the years I’ve used it.
I don’t want to use an applicator. It adds landfill waste; it’s awkward; and it’s hard to conceal. I sure as hell don’t want to use a Diva Cup–I’m not that envrionmentally enlightened. Moreover, o.b. is perfect the way it is–I can tuck it in a pocket, in a wallet, even in a lipstick holder. It’s practically invisible to carry–and to use.
It fits. It works. And I need you to recognize that you have loyal customers who count on o.b. to get us through a painful, cranky, generally icky week every month. I can–almost–forget I’m having my period, because I am secure that my trusted o.b. tampon will come through for me.
Tell me how I’m supposed to survive the next 2 decades of my life without o.b.? Why are you condemning me to finding some other product which will inevitably disappoint me?
Don’t you care about women any more? Don’t you care that women have the most buying power? Don’t you care that you don’t even have to advertise your product because you have so many, many loyal women supporters?
I’d even be willing to pay a premium upcharge to get o.b. tampons. Raise the price by 50%–I guarantee you, I (and other loyal o.b. users) will gladly pay.
I am submitting my plea to your company to continue production of o.b. Please. I will be calling on Monday, and I am going to be posting this letter on my blog, https://jcreilly.wordpress.com.
Believe me, I am not looking forward to experiencing my first period in three days without o.b., and I’m angry that even on your o.b. website, you have not addressed why women can’t find your tampons.
An explanation about this tragedy on your website would be nice. Restocking the drugstores with o.b. would be even better. Show that you care about your customers, show that you support women, and BRING O.B. TAMPONS BACK ASAP.
And, in other news, I’m reading at the First Annual Poetry Day at the Atlanta Writers Club tomorrow. (So you see, this post wasn’t just about my time of the month–I managed to tie in poetry.)