My Professional Background - Once upon a time, I wanted to be a motivational speaker. Actually, I was a professional motivational speaker for about 5 years.:
The Call Every Father Dreads

We spent last weekend in the North Georgia Mountains with my dad’s side of the family at our annual reunion entitled “The Hinesley Invitational Tournament.”

What? Doesn’t your family have an official name and embroidered polo shirts for all your reunions?


Well, this particular reunion/tournament began more than 37 years ago and has progressed from a fierce tennis match between my dad and his five siblings to a week-long nap-off.

Everyone was a winner this year.

But between nap times the entire family had so much fun playing board games, telling stories, and eating like true Southerners:  pimento cheese, cheese straws, marshmallow brownies, s’mores, boiled peanuts, sweet tea and ice cold Coca-Cola.

You know, health food.

And although we give them lots of grief for their apparent narcolepsy, my dad and his siblings managed to peel themselves from their appointed nap spaces and do something active for a change:  tubing.

Which is basically napping in water. 

Baby steps, y’all.

My favorite part of the whole tubing experience actually happened before we dipped our rear ends into the frigid Coosawattee River (yeah, I’d never heard of it either). The best part of that day happened while my dad was on a shopping trip to Walmart.

My mom accidentally purchased a pair of women’s water shoes for my dad, and he was not about to have his man card revoked by his four brothers. Though the shoes my mother purchased were blueish-purple, they were still too effeminate for my father. Apparently, he likes his $4, waterproof shoes with some machismo.

I was at lunch with my mom when I found out he was at Walmart attempting this exchange, and I said, “Oh! I need him to buy me something before we go tubing.”


“Hey, dad, are you still at Walmart?”

“Yeah, why?”

“Well, I need you to buy me something. But you’re not going to be happy about it.”

(Long pause)

(In a whisper) “It’s a feminine product, isn’t it?”

And, as a matter of fact, it was. And he was super happy about pacing up and down the feminine aisle trying to describe the different brands, colors, sizes, scents, absorbencies, etc.

“Dad, I need one box of tampons.”


“Just get a variety pack to make it easier.”

“A what?”

“Variety pack. A multi-pack. A box that has a little bit of everything.”

(Still whispering) “Okaaaaaaaay. Huh. Well…I see lots of different brands here. Do you want Equate, Kotex, Always…”

“Just get Kotex. That’s fine. Just whatever variety pack you can find.”

“Okaaaaaaaay. Well…do you want overnight, long, medium…”

“Dad, you’re looking at pads. I need tampons.”

“Ooooooooh…okaaaaaaaay. Hmm. Well, what brand do you want?”

This went on for a solid five minutes (at least) before the heavens opened up and a light shone down on a blessed multi-pack. With cardboard applicators. I didn’t have a heart to explain that he might as well have bought me some toilet paper tubes and called it a day.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand we just lost my dad. 

I can just picture my sweet-but-manly father carrying that multi-pack of cardboard tampons up to the register. His face flush with equal parts embarrassment and fear that he’ll get caught sneaking a box of tampons to the register underneath his shirt.

And, since he had to make a return, my dad made a beeline for the Customer Service desk where he was greeted by a young, female cashier. In his sweet, Southern drawl he said, “Weeeeeell, I got the call every man dreads” as he placed the box of tampons (Did I mention that they were cardboard?) on the counter. And then he dropped to his knees and begged her to let him pay for the tampons at Customer Service and not to send him to the self-checkout lane:

“Please put your MULTI-PACK BOX OF TAMPONS in the bag.”

And this equally-Southern cashier looks at him and says, “Weeeeeell, a lot of men are embarrassed to buy these. But then they mature and get over it.”

Oh no she didn’t! 

My poor daddy not only walked out of Walmart with a lecture and a box of assorted tampons (double-bagged, thank you), but due to the sudden popularity of men’s water shoes, he braved the frigid Coosawattee River until his feet were blue.

Blueish purple to be exact.


Comments to "The Call Every Father Dreads"

  1. GMan

    July 25, 2013

    Yes, admittedly, the “mature” comment stung a bit. However, as the saying goes, “growing old is mandatory, growing up is optional.”

    • katyinacorner

      July 25, 2013

      @GMan Well, daddy, you have certainly taken that saying and run with it!

  2. imklvr

    July 25, 2013

    You know, I never understood why men get so embarrassed.  It’s not like people are going to think they’re for THEM!  Right?  But bless his heart….he did it for his girl.   Awwwwww……

    • katyinacorner

      July 25, 2013

      imklvr The funny thing is that I tend to hide feminine products in the bottom of my cart if I’m buying them myself. And maybe that’s why I make my poor dad buy them for me. 🙂

  3. KateHall

    July 25, 2013

    Ahahahaha! Awesome!

  4. Stephanie W

    July 25, 2013

    I used to hide them.  Then I had 2 kids and all my personal space violated by doctors, nurses, nursing students, and kids.  So, now I will walk through the store with the box in my hand.  Of  course, I just had to do this for the first time in almost 4 years about 2 months ago.  Don’t be jealous–that is the joy of nursing!!  🙂

  5. shanna_bennett

    July 26, 2013

    I like that what I’ve learned from this post is:
    1. Katy’s dad is awesome.
    2. Katy perfers plastic applicators!

  6. LaLa

    July 29, 2013

    poor Gman!!  Katy, your Daddy is a Saint.  You owe him!!

  7. Mary Stephens

    July 30, 2013

    Your dad is AWESOME!

  8. Jill C

    July 31, 2013

    Oh, thank you so much for the good laugh! Unfortunately none of the men in my life…my dad, my husband or my adult son would be mature enough to buy a box of tampons! Keep writing, I always look forward to your posts!

  9. Adrienn

    August 12, 2013

    I would’ve gotten a solid “ARE YOU KIDDING ME????!!??!??!!” And a “NO”


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