Fair warning to any men who read my blog: this week’s submission is all about periods — and not the kind you find at the end of a sentence.
From the tender, embarrassing age of 12 to my current age of 31, I’ve dealt with a period every single month. That’s 228 months of feeling like my uterus was going to fall out of my body, 1,140 days of binge eating ice cream sandwiches while crying over episodes of “Intervention” and “Law and Order: SVU” and 27,360 hours of feeling like a crazed maniac for no reason at all.
Periods suck. And men just don’t understand. I know my fiancé likes to think he understands when, once a month like clockwork, I get mad at him for almost nothing because of all the hormones raging throughout my body, making me live in unending discomfort while also battling weight gain and the nearly supernatural need to eat everything in the house. But he doesn’t. I’m sure if I kicked him in his balls once a day for five days then he might start to understand the constant pain of cramps but he still wouldn’t get the tampons and pads and bloating and constant hunger and just plain old irrational crankiness that also accompany this lovely event.
The mood swings are probably the worst part. I can deal with pain and hunger and the inadequacy of feminine products, but the mood swings throw me for a loop every time. Thank God as I’ve gotten older and on a constant cycle I can normally recognize when I’m going off the rails a bit and can reign myself in before I make the mistake of murdering my fiancé for whatever “horrendous offense” he has committed. I put quotation marks around “horrendous offense” because it’s never horrendous and barely ever an offense and yet when I’m in Red Week I still want to slap his beard off his beautiful but clueless face.
In conjunction with the extreme rage, there’s also the whole “crying for literally no reason at all” phase that really is just the topper on the whole menstrual experience. Awesome tries to figure out what is wrong with me, and I think he likes to think I’m crying over something substantial but let’s face it, I just saw a Hallmark commercial where the lady gives a card to the old neighbor who has no family and is it just me or do they play that a lot when I am on my period?
Fortunately, as I’ve gotten older I’ve learned new ways to deal. Birth control tends to help ease the pain of cramps and decreases the number of days I have to deal with Aunt Flo. Heating pads have become one of the things for which I am extremely thankful. Diet chips and ice creams help me stay somewhat within my calorie limits and still satisfiy the salty/sweet cravings I feel every five minutes. And I’ve finally almost mastered the ability to recognize when I’m being a nasty bitch even though I don’t mean to be.
Lucky for him.
Emily Campbell is a perpetually single, 20-something girl-around-town who loves Shakespeare, old movies, Natty Boh, and of course, long walks on the beach. A sales manager by day and freelance writer by night, she was recently forced into a life of involuntary celibacy when her last relationship fizzled out over a text message. She’s tired of settling for second – or tenth – best, and she’s ready to find Mr. Right. Or, Mr. Nearly Right. No one’s perfect…which she has learned the hard (but hilarious) way.