As I sit here bloated, cranky, on the verge of tears and wanting to stab someone all at the same time … cramping, hating everything about myself, and wanting to down 14 Snickers bars … I can’t help but reflect about my first period (just the most lovely flashback Friday, don’t you agree?!) It’s been 15 years since the awful day when I apparently became a “woman” (even though I still don’t know what the fuck that means) … and little did I know, this nonsense lasts FOREVER. Well … until menopause. Sigh. A girl can dream.
I don’t know why getting your period for the first time is one of the most awkward moments of your entire life. Literally. We all breathe, we all go to the bathroom, and once a month, eventually, if you are female, you will bleed from your nether regions and want to stab people for a short period of time. Normal. COMPLETELY normal.
The first time I got my period … well, let me start from the beginning. It was a cold, wintery morning … the first snow had just fallen … yeah no. I’m not going to go into that much detail, for the love of Christ. I was 13. I, thank Jesus, woke up one morning, and … it had happened. I only realize now, after hearing horror stories of girls getting their periods for the first time in the middle of gym class or on the bus how lucky I was just to have woken up with it.
My first thought was, “how can I deal with this on my own and not let my mom know” because I was under the impression once you start bleeding from your va-jay, being a kid is over. And I was NOT down with that. My second thought was, “why?!” Finally, head down, face red with embarrassment … I went downstairs, tapped my mom on the shoulder and was just like, “ummm … I have a situation … :::points down there:::.” She immediately knew what was going on. And I believe started to tear up. Jesus Christ.
Moms … why do you cry when we get our periods?! It doesn’t mean anything. Literally. There are so many hormones in food now, girls will start getting their periods probably at age 5. Bleeding from your va-jay doesn’t mean you’re a woman. It just means you have graduated to a class of women that can bitch about their periods and be irrational when we want. That’s. About. It. They are still your “little girls.” Hell, I’m 28 and I’m still trying to be my moms “little girl.” And don’t roll your eyes, you are, too. Admit it.
My second order of business was to ensure she told NO ONE about this. NO ONE. I pretty much threatened her with all the threatening might of a 13-year-old. “Honey … it’s between you and I, I promise.” That was until I caught her whispering on the phone … tearing up AGAIN. God dammit. Does everyone need to know I can reproduce now? My sister even came over that day and was like, “sooooo … how’s it going?” giving me that “you’re a woman now” face. I just wanted to kick her … AND my mom.
I got to stay home from school that day, so that was awesome, even thought I was positive my mom was going to spend the day torturing me about what it means to “become a woman.” That didn’t happen though … I’m pretty sure I spent the day eating whatever I wanted and watching the MTV … and worrying my face off about what was going on in my pants. Is it leaking? Did I leave a stain?! WHEN DOES IT STOP!? Wonder if it never stops?!
I also remember telling my best friend, who is still my best friend, that the reason I wasn’t in school that day was because I went to New York. What? We laugh about it to this day … hard. I was an idiot. She had gotten her period before me, so why was it so mortifying for me to tell her, “hey … got my period. My mom let me stay home. Womanhood … what up.” I’m a freak of nature, who knows.
So there you have it. I bet you all feel complete now hearing the story of my first period, right? Like … it MADE your Friday. But in all seriousness, periods should not be a big deal. As an adult, I have no problem talking about it. It’s kind of like a bonding thing for women. “I have cramps. OMG ME TOO! Let’s talk about stabbing people! YAY!”
In all seriousness, let’s not mortify our kids anymore, moms and dads and other parental figures. High five your kid when she comes over to you, head down, and tells you what’s going on down there. Give her the proper supplies, teach her how to use them in a non-awkward fashion (tampons included … my mom never taught me how to use tampons. I awkwardly had to teach myself and STILL, at 28, don’t feel like I’m using them properly), and be done with it.
Don’t send a mass text to everyone. A family member recently called to tell me someone (trying to remain anonymous here) got their period. I believe I just hung up the phone. Don’t cry. Don’t carry on. Just be like, “congrats! Now you can use ‘I have cramps’ as an excuse for not doing things! HOORAY!” And then shower her with confetti (I’m going to be a real weird mom if that ever happens).