A Letter To Mrs. Johnson

26 Aug

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Mrs Johnson:

What kind of person says they’re gonna show up three days ago and then doesn’t until today, banging on the door at 5 A.M.?  I do have a “life” you know, and just hanging around for whenever is “convenient” for you isn’t in the job description that they handed me in that class they gave us in the fourth grade. You know, the one where all the boys went into Mr. T’s room and all the girls got sorted into Mrs. L’s?  Here is what they did tell us:

* She will come every month, 28 days from her last visit.
* She will be a messy, uncomfortable, opinionated and often grumpy house guest.
* At time she’ll be downright unreasonable and emotional.
* Here’s all the stuff you need to have around when she visits.

…It took three years before you decided to show up at all.  Then one summer, right as I was changing into my swimming suit, BAM! there you were!  Instantly!  Like a very sick and twisted kind of Genie.

“What the eff?!” I thought.  “Oh God, I’m dieing!!!”

…This was only a momentary panic. A totally natural reaction for a hypercondriac who was also sure she had “caught” appendicitis from that one girl in school last year, might get accidental explosive bowel syndrome because people never wash their hands after pooping, choke to death at any moment while eating alone, or get gangrene from a paper cut.  I was so used to launching into immediate worst-case-scenario panic at moments like this, that I had (only for a second…or twelve) totally forgotten that little discussion from all those years ago. (Because dog and and kid years equal roughly the same until you turn 18… so that was like 21 years ago, in me-time.)

…But then I remembered.

…And I called my aunt in (at whose house I was, at the time.)  And was like, “Um. So.  Don’t tell anyone…but I’m either dieing of Cancer or I just started my period.” 

And she hugged me. 

For a second I kinda started to panic, like this was the beginning of “goodbye” or something…but then she gave me this odd smile-look when she was done, and started ruffling through the bathroom drawers to “hook me up” with some stuff…like my own personal period Pimp.

…What I didn’t know at the time was that the hug I thought was of pity at first, and then turned into some sorta mini-tribal moment of succession to womanhood…was actually just a hug of pity after all.  Cuz she knew what was ahead of me at the time, and I didn’t. 

It wasn’t so much the, “Oh!  You have achieved womanhood now, and your body has just this instant transitioned into a crazy self sustainable life force garden, where people can be made and grown and harvested, and the entire human race is now an intrinsic part of who you are and the magical capabilities you hold, with an awesome responsibility of our future, just south of your belly button.” 

…Later, I realized it was more like, “Oh, you poor little sunofabitch.  God I’m glad you at least made it to 13 before it happened to you.  With the women in your bloodline, this shit is just going to get unbearable…heaving up meals, rolled up in the fetal position for hours at a time, yelling at the burnt dinner, bursting into tears for no reason whatsoever.  And those’ll be the good months.  I better get you some drugs, pronto.”

She was at a vantage point, like a great Seer on a mountaintop, looking down at me in that little beginning valley being like, “Whelp.  Start trekin’ kid.  I wish I could tell you that once you climbed this hill you’d be done, but there’s like forty years more of ’em ahead.”

I am now on my nineteenth anniversary of that date, after climbing more fucking mountains than the Hobbits, each one a little more steeper than the last.  And I’m still less than halfway through.

…If only they put me in Mr. T’s room that one day, none of this shit wouldn’t have happened!  But it did

And I’m here now.

…So that is the little scenario story of “me,” Mrs. Johnson.  That is how I came into this gig…plopped into this valley with a tiny pack of supplies and told to “walk up.” Every month.  For maybe the rest of my life.  Because at the rate I’m going, surely I’ll bleed to death or my tubes will explode before I ever reach the end of this journey into Menopause.  Which I’m told is this whole hell of a lot of fun too, by the way.

…What I’m saying is: We came to an agreement nearly two decades ago, that like it or not, you will materialize like a fucked up kind of Mary Poppins just floating in on the wind every month.  I will put you up.  I will go along with all the daily demands and requirements that having you around insists upon (and they are never rad things like jumping into paintings or dancing on roof tops…more like puking into trash cans, drinking Pepto like a thing of orange juice, and popping more pills than an acid junky.) And at the end, you promise to eventually leave me the fuck alone, and go bother someone else.  What we DIDN’T agree on was you acting like some teenage floozy just popping up at random hours around dawn, three days late or more, greeting me with a solid punch to the ovaries when I open the door, and taking over my entire day when I had other things I had planned to do.

Mrs. Johnson: You are an asshole.  Just so we get that straight.

…And would it have killed you to stop somewhere and bring a thing of chocolate on the way?  I mean: really.

~D

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