By Diana Rowland
Yesterday I had reason to discover a new section of Walmart – a place I had never in my life had reason to explore – and I found it to be quite a revelation. Adult diapers come in all sizes, shapes and absorption levels and the choices are far more numerous than I had ever imagined. But then I had never really imagined being in the adult diaper section of Walmart before.
I knew what I was looking for and finally found it - the package marked extra large (made for a man!) extra absorption (indicated by 10 full glasses – none of them empty or half full!) and the latest technology (gel beads!). I put the package in my cart and went to check out but not before meeting a few friends on the way to the cashier. Walmart is one of those places, like Super Lake, where you can count on having some sort of social interaction with someone you like to talk to. For some reason, which I quickly deduced was the observation of the contents of my cart, people seemed to be a little uncomfortable and appeared to be studiously avoiding looking that way again. Hmmmm …..
The situation continued at home when I put down the bag, usually containing the groceries and/or dinner for the evening, in the kitchen where my husband proceeded to explore the “goodies”. I watched the expressions flashing across his face as he pulled out the package - puzzlement, disbelief, fear, concern, and finally embarrassment.
“What are these?!!”
“They’re diapers, dear”
“I can see that! Why are they here?”
“Well, I felt compelled to go out and get some right away after I saw the posting on the Ajijic Organic Gardener’s Facebook page. It’s amazing. You pour quarts of water into the diaper, take off the plastic and you have a slushy slurry of stuff that holds liquid. Then you mix that with potting soil and put it in your planter pots in the garden and you only have to water them half as often! I made a special trip to Walmart just to get them.”
“You went to Walmart to get them!?”
“Did anyone see you?!”
“YES!!! Why didn’t you hide them?!”
“Why would I hide them?” I grinned at him, seizing the opportunity. “I ran into a few people and when they noticed them I said they were for you.”
The horror flickered in his eyes before he realized the joke but that moment made me realize that maybe one day they would be for one of us and why was that so horrifying? Is this the last taboo? The one subject we can’t talk about? The need for adult diapers. As though somehow we have done something to be ashamed of – become old, lost a bodily function, on our way back to where we came from only it’s not so cute to see an old person in a diaper as it is a baby. It’s the circle of life but not acceptable in polite society.
I hope one day, if I have to fill my cart with diapers at Walmart because I need them for myself, I can go with my head up, without shame that my body, having grown old, is in its last arc of the circle.