A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of co-emceeing the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society's "Man and Woman of the Year" finale gala.  I was desperately waiting for the break in the script that would allow me a quick trip to the bathroom.

Before I continue, let me preface the following with an "overshare" warning but we're all adults here and we should be able to handle a grown-up conversation about something that naturally occurs in a woman's body, right? Right.

I'm one of those women who has fairly unpredictable periods. Any extended amount of anxiety or shift in mileage in my training schedule creates the fun game of "when's it coming, how long is it going to last and how bad is it going to be?" When I rented my gown for the evening, I thought I'd be in the clear but alas "Aunt Flo" had overstayed her visit and I was extremely paranoid about staining the $350 dress. That's why I was desperate for that potty break.

I threw a tampon in my dress pocket before we left the house "just in case," but while I was standing in line waiting to use the restroom I realized that I didn't need to do that.  Whoever is responsible for stocking toiletries in the restrooms at the Boise Centre, stocks the women's restrooms with FREE tampons and and pads.

I want to say "thank you" to whoever that person is! I've always felt like businesses should offer these sanitary products to female employees and patrons for free because periods, like having to urinate or take a poo, are a normal bodily function. Unfortunately they're not treated equally.

You've never had to pay for toilet paper you used in a public restroom and you've never had a moment of panic realizing you hadn't restocked your purse with a spare roll of toilet paper to use outside of the home. But when it comes to tending to this bodily function? Women have to make sure we have our purses stocked and ready or have loose change at our fingertips to buy one from a machine (if it exists) inside a public restroom.  Using a pad or tampon too long because you don't have easy access to or money for an extra can lead to a whole mountain of health problems including Toxic Shock Syndrome (TTS.)

Quite frankly, it sucks to have to shell out money for something we didn't ask for but biology gifted us at birth.  That's why I commend businesses like the Boise Centre and The Mode Lounge in Downtown Boise who treat a women's access to sanitary products just like they would to any gender's access to toilet paper, soap and paper towels/hand dryers in public restrooms.

More businesses and schools in the Treasure Valley should aspire to follow in these local business's footsteps. Know that it is appreciated.