1. Deny the fact that your menstrual cup is unreachable and continue to claw at your insides like a panicked raccoon.
2. Slowly allow the sour wave of fear to rise up through body when you finally accept that it is, in fact, stuck inside of you.
3. Quietly despair.
4. Shake it off because you have to be at work in an hour.
5. Switch to your non-dominant hand and retry the raccoon thing.
6. Stare blankly at the bathroom floor tiles for a moment while contemplating the meaning of life.
7. Try again standing up.
8. Try again sitting down.
9. Decide to take a shower. A nice, warm, relaxing shower.
10. Try again squatting in the shower.
11. Try again sitting on the edge of the tub.
12. Try again standing with one leg propped up on the faucet.
13. Curse water for making things more slippery than they already are.
14. Turn off the water and stand motionless in the shower until you are shivering and really feeling the weight of the predicament you’ve gotten yourself into.
15. Consider for a moment leaving it stuck up there, moving to a new city, finding a new job, and starting a new life.
16. Realize that none of that will change the fact that you have a menstrual cup stuck inside your body.
17. Emerge from the bathroom and locate your live-in boyfriend.
18. Explain to your live-in boyfriend that the menstrual cup you were so excited to use has betrayed you and now you both have to move to California and change your names.
19. Accept a hug while realizing this is as far as his help can go.
20. Say good-bye to your live-in boyfriend and return to your bathroom lair—this is your home now.
21. Read the directions on the box.
22. Scoff at the part that says “If you can’t remove your cup, DO NOT PANIC.”
23. And then gasp at the part that says “Unless it’s been 12 hours.”
24. Do the math.
25. Realize it’s been 13 hours.
27. Text your best friend.
28. Attempt to “give birth” to your cup, as she suggests.
29. Literally picture yourself in a delivery room with your friends and family coaching you to push your first-born child out of your body, except instead of a child it’s a menstrual cup and instead of a delivery room it’s a toilet and instead of your friends and family it’s bottles of shampoo.
30. Nearly give yourself an aneurism doing this for a few minutes.
31. Check if it worked.
32. Give up.
33. Cry a little.
34. Exit your bathroom/lair/new home.
35. Locate your live-in boyfriend again.
36. Jokingly ask if he’s interested in going on a reconnaissance mission for a missing POW.
37. Look at each other more seriously than you’ve ever looked at each other before.
38. Realize there’s no way this will work.
39. Laugh so hard you cry.
40. Decide that the menstrual cup is so far lost that it must be pressing on a part of your brain that controls your sanity.
41. Retreat to your bathroom lair.
42. Locate the tweezers.
43. Consider the downsides.
44. Sterilize the tweezers.
45. Insert the tweezers less than a millimeter into your vagina before deciding this is the worst idea you’ve ever had in your entire life.
46. Curse the tweezers.
47. Curse the menstrual cup.
48. Curse menstruation.
49. Curse existence.
50. Jump up and down in an attempt to jiggle it free.
51. Massage your belly in a downward motion in an attempt to coax it from the outside.
52. Consider asking it nicely to come out.
53. Consider casting a magical spell.
54. Consider smoking it out.
55. Accept the fact that you won’t be making it to work on time today.
56. Send the world’s vaguest email to your (male) boss.
57. Take a break—you’ve earned it, champ!
58. Eat a bowl of frosted mini wheats and watch bad morning TV in your underwear.
59. Think about how you’re going to word this to your gynecologist.
60. Think about how you’re going to word this in your obituary because you’re too scared to call your gynecologist.
61. Perform a series of deep-relaxation breathing exercises while lying on your living room floor until you’re pleasantly lightheaded.
62. Return, one final time, to your bathroom lair.
63. Light a prayer candle.
64. Use the extinguished match to draw an X on your lower stomach.
65. Lean over the sink, look at yourself in the mirror, and mouth the words “It’s go time.”
66. Sing a happy song to relax yourself for your final attempt to remove the cup.
67. Seriously, like, actually relax this time. Like, for real. Actually do it.
68. I’m serious, relax.
69. Take a breath, dig deep, and grip the stem of the menstrual cup.
70. Begin weeping with relief when you realize the goddess Aphrodite has taken mercy on your vagina.
71. Wiggle the cup from side to side until, like the sword from the stone, it shakes free from your vaginal clutches.
72. Emerge from your bathroom, cup full o’blood in hand, and announce to your live-in boyfriend—nay, the UNIVERSE—that you are the RULER of your own vagempire.
73. Take a victory shot of your own period blood and spike the cup on the ground like a football player who just scored the game-winning touchdown.
74. (That last one was a metaphor.)
75. Stick that baby back in you and run to the subway—you’re late for work!
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