A classy lady’s guide to preparing for the apocalypse

by Lindsay D. Mattison

The first (and only) time I’ve ever watched “Apocalypse Now,” I was on a substance I’d rather not name. It was college, aka the time when doing stupid things on the regular was the only way to live. I spent the entire first half of the movie ranting and raving that it wasn’t accurately depicting a real apocalypse (clearly taking the title a bit too literally). By the time Ride of the Valkyries helicopter scene occurred, I was rendered unable to speak; I was pretty sure this movie was my life now. I don’t know what the upcoming apocalypse would look like, but I certainly hope to never find myself on the other side of Romeo Foxtrot. No, sir; I would not like to dance.

My temporarily shattered mind was convinced the world was ending. So I did what any reasonably sane person would do: I created a list all the things I needed to survive. Most people would start with water and canned goods, but my list was shockingly superficial. It was basically a massive stockpile of tampons and birth control with a handful of creature comforts along the way. When I came back to reality, I was actually a little proud of my altered self for realizing that doomsday prepping isn’t just about surviving the end of the world. Any freak snowstorm or wildfire could potentially lay the shelves of City Market bare for weeks, and who has any faith that FEMA will save us in a timely fashion if a catastrophic event did happen? I mean, it’s all pretty unlikely, but prepping for comfort during a short-term disaster is just as plausible as survival after a zombie takeover.

Plus, you really never know what will become the new currency in the aftermath of such an event. I don’t know about you, ladies, but I would definitely trade my weekly ration of food to avoid finding out if the term “being on the rag” has roots in reality. And while the events of an actual global catastrophe would probably turn birth control into contraband (something that may happen anyway…ugh, too soon?), no one wants a disaster baby. Even in the event of a “let’s rebuild the human race” sized event, some of us still don’t want a tiny monster attached to us for the rest of time.

Will you die without these things? Nope, for sure not. But as a classy lady, I say mere survival isn’t enough! I’d like to live in a style which, preferably, involves keeping my lady cake fresh. So I’ll leave the stockpiling of guns and grains to others while I concentrate on packing the world’s largest ho-on-the-go bag. I’m thinking bare essentials needed to survive two weeks without access to the outside world. After all, I’m willing to make some compromises with what “clean” means, but I will not be living without wilderness bathing wipes and facial cleansing cloths if there’s no access to running water. Nor will I underestimate the power of a bad hair day, so that dry shampoo and leave-in conditioner will come in handy on the days I need it most. You’ll also find a lifetime supply of Chapstick in my bag. I’m pretty sure I’m so deep in that addiction that my lips no longer know how to produce their own moisture.

As previously mentioned, tampons will be taking up the majority of my space, along with the biggest bottle of ibuprofen you can imagine, a Costco-sized container of toilet paper, and plenty of gum for when the toothpaste runs out. I’ll skip all the first aid items and pack duct tape and vodka instead, because there’s nothing you can’t do by combining those two. Sure, cheap vodka wouldn’t be my first choice when it comes to shooters, but I’ll take it in a pinch. Beyond its use for intoxication, vodka is also a disinfectant and a powerful antiseptic. It can also be used as a mouthwash, it soothes earaches and numbs toothaches, and as a spritz it can deodorize clothes. I’ve even heard it works as an insect repellent.

I know my essentials won’t last as long as your pragmatically large supply of water and silo of grain, but I only need enough to get me through those short-term disaster weeks. Or, in the zombie scenario, just long enough until I’m accustomed to a more relaxed state of hygiene. In the meantime, I’m planning to trade for all the things I didn’t pack by keeping my fellow lady friends happy. It’s gonna work, too; before long, I’ll be running for the mayor of Doomsville.

Lindsay Mattison

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