I was going to write about diapers, but then as I wrote this in my head, I found a larger topic to discuss. Here are my thoughts on discretion.
The main issue anyone will encounter when going to the store and buying diapers as an adult is their ego. The issue that anyone who sees you will have is trying to be polite and pretend they don’t see you buying diapers. Or anything categorically personal.
When I’m going to the bathroom and using a catheter, I don’t exactly try to hide it. I’m not sneaking coke into the library bathroom, I’m just going pee. The more I try to be secretive, the more people’s interest will peak. I also don’t hold it up, explain what it is and have the world know my business.
The way I go about it is textbook casual. Part of it is realizing that the other person truly, honestly, with all their heart, does not care. For them, it can range from noticing your attempts at extreme discretion and maybe talking or thinking about it before they lapse back to themselves, or if you’re too open, and maybe tell too much to the cashier about why you need diapers and then their image of you is probably tainted with knowledge they well could’ve died happy without attaining. Those are the extremes, but if you find the sweet spot, people will probably not notice and even if they do, they’ll only register what’s happening for the moments they’re noticing and then go back to their world.
I don’t small talk it – buying diapers or using a catheter – I don’t hide it either, but I do keep it out of sight. I’m discrete as much as is necessary to give respect to people who don’t want to see a bag of pee. That would be overly casual and ignorant. About the same as a grown man pulling his pants all the way down at the urinal.
It’s nothing worth talking about or hiding, but it’s personal enough to be discrete by classical social standards.
And if you’re wondering about when or why I use diapers, that’s coming next.