a tale of tails, tenacity, and tedium, as told by me, usually barefoot and bellowing

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

On The Rag...(Grossness Alert!)

is a term we have heard through out our life but few have truly gotten to experience it.

This term does apply to women on their period but it also means more.  In the late nineteenth century and early twentieth rags were really used!  No throw away pads or tampons...that was later.

I was born to Depression Era parents and my sisters and I got to experience "the rag" growing up.  If we were out of the disposable supplies, we were given an assortment of rags to layer, fit and pin into our underwear.  These were then washed and saved for the next time.  Truly disgusting, I know, but you really don't know how truly disgusting it is, until you have done it.

Recently my poor daughter ran out of disposable sanitary supplies.  She remembered our sad rag tales and fixed her situation.  I bought her tampons.  I was very genuinely thanked for this purchase...once in person and later by phone.

She said, oh, Mom, I never knew how wonderful the plugs really were.  I said, you could be even more primitive.  No, she said, that was primitive enough and she just wanted to tell me how much she appreciated the gift.

She hung up when I asked her if she had washed the rags for next time!

15 comments:

Country Gal said...

Gross, but true ! I thankfully never had to use the rags and never used tampons they cause problems, but now thankfully I am in the change of life so no more of that for me YAAA !
I bet alot of people didnt know the true story to the saying on the rag !
Have a great day !

StitchinByTheLake said...

Gail I wrote a short story several years ago that was published in a book of short stories about quilters. My story was about my mother and one of the things I mentioned was that growing up in the Ozark Mountains rags were the only thing they had...ever! It was always an embarrassment to her that the neighbors would know when it was "that time" because the rags would be on the clothes line drying. We don't know how good we have it sometimes! blessings, marlene

Far Side of Fifty said...

Great post telling it like it was..luckily I avoided the rags..but it sounds like they worked just fine..it was a great way to recycle:)

EmptyNester said...

I think I would have died! LOL It's amazing what people used to have to do before there were options. I doubt that many of us would make it if we had to go back to those times. Farmers would stand a chance though!

Rudee said...

Well now, your daughter will be able to tell her own tales of being on the rag, which we call shark week in my neck of the woods.

Judy said...

When I was young, I did not like the feel of the disposable things...I liked the rags much better...even washed them out each evening...

Nora said...

Thank goodness that I'm past all that. There's something to be said for having menopause out of the way.

Wsprsweetly Of Cottages said...

I knew of those days, but they were never talked about. My mother went through it and saw to it that I never, ever ran out! I didn't appreciate her attention to such things for me until much later. My parents were not money and by today's standards would have been considered rather poor...but no rags for me.
Thank heavens!
This was a neat post, Gail!!
I can always depend on getting an honest scoop from you...love having you in my life!!
Mona

Jules said...

Gross but true and I laughed my butt off. My mom was afraid "plugs" were bad for us, so I do understand the rag thing. :)
Jules @ Trying To Get Over The Rainbow

Linda in New Mexico said...

I'm laughing just picturing your daughters face when you asked your question......too funny.

Sue said...

I can't imagine! I'm glad I missed that experience!!

=)

Nancy said...

Never had the pleasure -- but I won't be surprised if we start seeing washable pads on the grocery shelf -- lots of trees die because of millions of women being on the rag.

(Not me any more, thank you!)

Queen-Size funny bone said...

hey people was cloth diapers so what the hell

Liesl said...

Hi Gail,thank you for stopping by my blog. I am so glad to have found yours! Loved this post,I have never heard that expression before here in South Africa...one never stops learning! We women have indeed moved up in the world haven't we!

Sandra said...

there were no tampons for me, they did not come out with those until i was married..

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