Tag Archives: periods

The Crawford

9 Jan

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A love on Facebook posted this like yesterday.

…I laughed my ass off, commenced with the rest of my busy workday, mid tech week, and then went home and Opened a show.

…And then I got up this morning after my first solid sleep in four days, after a not-at-all bad performance, feeling like an emo mess.

…The kind of sad that you can’t express, without rhyme or reason or substantial circumstance…

…But then Cecil texted: “Breakfast?” And I’m all like, “Yes! That’ll fix it! Bring me Starbucks and I’ll love you even more than I already do…!”

…And she did. And I did. And she went on about her day, and I sat with my empty cardboard Starbucks cup, staring at the still present Christmas tree across the room.

“I should fix that,” I thought.

…And where before,  what with a show going up and all, I had felt I had a “pass” at letting it ride this long, I was still tired. Still ambiguously sad. Still in pajamas, and not able to come to terms with what I “should” be doing, versus just sitting there.

…So I went to the Facebooks to post about it…like you do…and everyone was all, “No, yeah, my trees still up too…” So you’d think this would help. But it didn’t. So I was sad, and tired and striking Christmas.

…And then mom texted and was all, “Hey, what about more coffee, and a walk?”

…And I thought, “Yeah, that’ll fix it!”

…So we took one. And it was caffeinated and fresh, and green, but it didn’t.

…So I said, “I’m in a really bad, sad mood, I need to go home, and sleep or something.”

…And we went through a drive-thru on the way, and I’m all like, “A strawberry milkshake! That’ll fix it!”

…So I got one. But it didn’t.

…Which bring us to an exhausting conclusion of now: where I’m back in pajamas again, sitting on the couch, knowing that I’ve got this whole show to do in a few hours, which requires me to have my shit together…

…And what comes next is my last resort: A long-ass, very hot shower, where I will sob uncontrollably until there is nothing left.

…Which will fix it!

…Because it fucking HAS to.

…Because Jameson doesn’t make a PMS pill, and I’ve got some shit to do.

Today, girlness can kiss my ass.

~D

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The WHS Pimp Tampon Revolution

13 Nov

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This is a real story:

WHS Pimp was taking a poop. It was at home, on Monday…(which isn’t really important, but I’m all about the “details”)…and anyway, he looked around for some reading material (like you do), finding only a box of Tampons.

…So, he read it.

…And he kept reading it.

…And he read it again.

…And then, he came in today, after fuming over it for two days, walked into my office from outta nowhere, and said:

WHS Pimp: “…First of all: I’ve been buying and looking at Tampon boxes all my life. Right…?”

Me: “Sure.”

WHS Pimp: “…I mean: I’ve grown up with two sisters, a mom, there’s The Ex…it’s not like I don’t get the idea of them.”

Me: “Okay.”

WHS Pimp: “…But what I’m saying is: These Tampon people are fucked up.”

Me: “Sure.”

WHS Pimp: “You wanna know why?”

Me: “I wish you would tell me.”

WHS Pimp: “First of all: it says on the box that all brands use a universal measurement of absorbency…”

Me: “Okay.”

WHS Pimp: “…And they color code it accordingly. Like: ‘Supers’ all equal ‘green’…”

Me: “Right.”

WHS Pimp: “…Now, they figure on the absorbency in measurements of grams. Which, I dunno ’bout you, but I find just weird.”

Me: “Sure.”

WHS Pimp: “First of all: who measures in grams? That’s like metric system kind of bullshit. And what kind of panel or research people has the job of figuring out the amount of grams that people bleed anyway? And also: how does that information help you at all? I mean: how’s a lady supposed to know how many grams she expels? What…they want you to like squat over a cup or something for several hours at a stretch to gauge the general weight? And also: that changes almost daily, and according to your activity…am right? I mean: you have heavy flow times and NOT so heavy flow times…”

Me: “Correct.”

WHS Pimp: “…But then they say a ‘super’ absorbs such-and-such grams or ‘heavy’…and ladies are different, so YOUR heavy time might not be HER heavy time amount and so on. So how’s a poor pre-teen, in like a family of all men with no mother, supposed to figure that shit out?!”

Me: “I never really thought about that…”

WHS Pimp: “Yeah! Right?! So here’s what I think…”

Me: “Bring it.”

WHS Pimp: “First of all: You ladies take a whole lotta shit.”

Me: “We do.”

WHS Pimp: “…They shouldn’t be adding, ‘how many grams am I bleeding right now’ onto it.”

Me: “Right? Those fucking bastards.”

WHS Pimp: “…And also: you’re super badass. I mean you BLEED out of your VAGINA. EVERY. MONTH.”

Me: “It’s true.”

WHS Pimp: “…So I decided, I should open up my OWN Tampon factory and just totally revolutionize the whole system. We’d ax that whole grams/’super’ size crap and just go with ‘simple.’ And market it better. Like with awesome animal names or something.”

Me: ”I’d be down with that.”

WHS Pimp: “See?!”

Me: “And none of the ‘Have a happy period’/ ‘fortune cookie’ bullshit that Tampax pulls. That just enrages me. I’m hurled over a toilet bowl, ralphing from cramps, while bleeding, and when it’s time to change-out, some snarky-bullshit-condescending-marketing-asshat has printed that crap all over the wrapper I’m trying to get the fuck open, and it just PISSES ME OFF. Really? ‘Practice makes perfect?’ Really?! I’ve been a fucking EXPERT at this shit FOR 21 YEARS NOW, thank you…!”

WHS Pimp: “…Oh, I hear yuh! Yeah. There’ll be NONE of THAT, in MY Tampon company!”

Me: “Good…”

WHS Pimp: “…And ALSO: Lets just take the math and measures out of the whole mixture. We have one product, one box, one size: done. Why even waste your time with different sizes to begin with? It’s just confusing. Why not just a one-size-fits all? I mean, wouldn’t you rather just use the ‘super’ …or in MY product line’s case: ‘Panther’…all the time, and be done with it? Less changing. Less mess. Less hassle. PLUS: it’d be like, ‘Hey, you gotta Panther? Yeah I got one. You need one? Yeah, thanks.’ It’s that awesome.

Me: “Ah. And here, we hit the snag.”

WHS Pimp: “…The final animal names are totally negotiable…”

Me: “No, it’s not the ‘Panther.’ You’re right, that is badass. It’s that the amount of flow DOES in fact matter.”

(He blinks)

Me: “Okay…cuz like, you have your ‘Panther’ days…and sometimes your ‘Polar Bear’ days…but you eventually wheedle down to like your ‘small-rodent-Chipmunk’ days.”

WHS Pimp: “Right.”

Me: “Well like…where you can get away with a ‘Polar Bear’ on a ‘Panther’ day…you can’t wear a ‘Panther’ on a ‘Chipmunk’ day. Or a “Deer.” On a ‘Chipmunk’ day, even a ‘Rabbit’ is pushing it. Cuz getting that thing IN is a whole lot different then getting it OUT again.”

(He blinks)

Me: “…There’s…it’s…you have to…there’s dry yanking involved. Maybe like an un-lubed prostate exam. In reverse.”

(He winces.)

Me: “Yeah.”

(He winces again.)

Me: “…BUT, I applaud your efforts ….in concerned study and thought…on making our monthly Mrs. Johnson visits more badass and streamlined and less condescendingly douchey.”

WHS Pimp: “It’s just cuz I care.”

Me: “I know you do, buddy.”

(Long silence as he goes back to his desk.)

Me: “That was a very detailed pooping.”

WHS Pimp: “Yeah. Tell me about it…”

The end.

~D

He Can Benedict My Cumberbatch Any Day…

17 Jun

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First: Ted & Allen & Stacy & Jim say “Hi.” 

…They’ve been bugging me to tell you for days now, and are monitoring my blog at this point. As they have threatened to procreate new spawn if I neglect to tell you “hello” this time, (and as they appear to be now major fixtures in my life), I thought keeping the peace would be the smarter way to go, on this.

…Also, a postcard just came in the mail today from Mrs. Johnson.

…Seems she’s taken a spur-of-the-moment puddle jumper to the islands for a quickie.  Cuz she’s a flipping harlot. Yet, for some reason, she felt inclined to send all her luggage ahead.  It is now being stored primarily in my belly, like a rising loaf of yeast bread, filling more and more pant space every day.

Super awesome, really.

Meanwhile, for m’first night off since Tech week, I started back up with my walks and wars with the Big Pink Ball.  Twenty minutes of Pilates and a six-mile trek was rewarded by a 3D date with my lover: Benedict Cumberbatch.  Star Trek.  Was super.  He was super-er. 

…That voice and his ridiculous elegance of stature (and general yumminess) makes me want to very bad things, very well…if you get what I mean. 

…Because I am always so subtle that I often doubt that you do.

(I mean: sex.)

…And in other “meanwhiles,” I have about a week’s worth of blog subscriptions I haven’t read, so am going to go now and do that.

…Because supporting the Arts is important!

…And so is stalking.

~D

Ted & Allen & Stacy & Jim

15 Jun

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No, this is not a Christopher Durang sequel.

…It’s just the names of all four of the brilliantly swollen zits currently gracing my facial region.

There is no amount of cover-up that can mask them.  Even from stage.  I look like I have wart growths all over my damn face.

Not cool.

This Mrs. Johnson visit is gonna be fierce. 

(Whenever the hell she finally stops sending “gifts” like these ahead, and shows up her own damn self.) 

…Meanwhile, her water-weight began as well today, so I should be good and bloated by tomorrow’s show. This is so much better than being bloated on Opening night, that I totally don’t even care.  This time, she gets a “free-bee.”

…Also, maybe some chocolate, before I start back up on the Pilates regime.  Thought I’d give myself the weekend off.  Am pretty wrecked bodily as it is, no need to press it beyond it’s sensible threshold.

…And I’ve literally nodded off twice just “resting my eyes” between lines of writing tonight’s blog.  Which tells me, I need to be done and go finish sleeping. I’m still behind about two days worth of “Z’s,” easily.

~D

The History Of Being A Woman

17 Nov

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…So as uncomfortable as this time of month likes to make me, there are certain moments…(like taking off a corset that’s been squeezing the shit out of me for four hours), wherein I am reminded that there were times when we ladies had it much worse. 

…Pre-drugs. Pre-sanitizing products. Pre-Women’s Lib.

…This morning, as I rolled around in usual pain-induced grumpiness, I decided to go on a little investigation course, and immerse myself in the Historical significance of this monthly curse… on our grandmothers: great-great-great and ancient, and how they dealt with it, and how society dealt (in turn) with them. 

Brave men who seek to understand us better: read on. 

Fellow women: read on with thanks, and infused superhuman wonder at the animals we are and what our bodies do.

***

First of all, it was a curse. 

…And thus, unclean for thousands of years, women at their time of month were (and still are, in some cultures) shunned and restricted from society and sight.  Like with the King in “Love Labours Lost,” women were banished from courts and communities routinely. The Romans attributed the deformity of the god Vulcan to the menstrual intercourse between his parents Juno and Jupiter. In the Biblical times, women on their cycle were forced to camp out, away from the community…making everything they even came in contact with, unclean.  In early European times, they were made to bare no restrictions to the process, or smell, or sight, or change ones garments for fear of increasing bleeding and disease.  The Mae Enga people of Papua New Guinea believed that contact with menstrual blood or a menstruating woman would “sicken a man and cause persistent vomiting.” In the eighteenth century in Saigon, no woman was employed in the opium industry because it was believed that if a menstruating woman were near, the opium would become ruined and bitter. To some it signified a laziness on the woman’s part for not having done her “job” at being consistently knocked up. Women who complained of menstrual cramps were sent to psychiatrists because menstrual cramps were seen as a rejection of one’s femininity…which, until the Victorian era, was seen (together with it’s yet unnamed PMS sister) as a mental deficiency, called simply “Women’s Hysteria.” Freud called it the “bloody sign of a woman’s loss of penis,” as a reminder of woman’s “uncleanliness and inferiority.” And to this day, it keeps women of several religions from practicing in all rights of belief, and in their own temples of worship, before an allotted amount of time and certain purification rituals have taken place.

…Our Lady-History isn’t all bleak, however.  Some cultures revered our body’s cycle, as a sign of strength and fertility. The Cherokee Indian’s believed it was a strength and source of power to destroy enemies. Ancient Roman, Pliny the Elder, wrote that a menstruating woman, uncovering her body, could scare away hailstorms, whirlwinds and lightening. In Ancient Greece, menstrual blood was thought as a wonder cure of disease and used in love charms and to ward off demons. In Africa, it is used in the most powerful magic charms to purify and to destroy, while in France, in the 1700’s, its scent was thought seductive and fertile.

However you have come to loath and/or embrace this monthly happening…whatever name you have given her, she has a history that should be noted…has become a defining form of cultures and words, and bottom line is: we would none of us be here without her. So have a little respect. Let it be noted:

…“Menstruation” is from Old English “mondablot” or “month blood;” in Latin, “menses” means “month;” an Amazon culture’s word for “woman” translates to “the person with a red streak down the leg”; and the term “period” dates back to 1822 meaning “an interval of time.” Furthermore, some menstruation words have much more tainted meanings: “The term ‘ritual’ is derived from the Sanskrit word ‘R’tu,’ which means ‘menstrual.’ This etymology suggests that ritual in a general sense and menstrual acts have a common origin;” Also, the “word taboo comes from the Polyneisain tapua, meaning both ‘sacred’ and ‘menstruation’… [where] sacred means both ‘set apart’ and ‘cursed’.” ~ Southern Bell Feminist

…Scholars also suggest that pre-modern men and women learned to think numerically by recognizing relationships between groups of numbers that were also units of time measured through menstrual rites…and may have led to humanity’s sense of time, as most early lunar calendars were based on the length of a women’s menstrual cycle. The family of words related to the English word “menstruation” include mental, memory, meditation, mensurate, commensurate, meter, mother, mana, magnetic, mead, mania, man, and moon…while the term “ovary” is from the Latin ovum or “egg.” In classical Latin, ovaries meant “egg keeper.”

…According to randomhistory.com, a woman will spend about 3500 days, in an average of 450 periods in her life. When a girl is born, her complete potential egg supply is born with her. In the womb, she creates about seven million egg cells. At birth, she has two million. By puberty, there are only about 400,00 left, of which fewer than 500 are actually released.

…And as for our history of “treatments” to her woes?

Ancient Egyptians used softened papyrus as rudimentary tampons. Hippocrates notes that the Greeks used lint wrapped around wood. By the mid 1800’s some had begun the use of homemade pads, made of wool, cheesecloth, cottons and rags. The 1870s -1890’s saw a slew of such invented for sale in forms from suspenders to belts, making an alternate disposable option for the wealthy. By 1921, post WWI, Kotex pads were on sale to the masses, a product devised by nurses in the field, using the more absorbable wartime bandages. The modern tampon was invented by Dr. Earle Haas in 1929, trademarked by the brand name Tampax, and was in wide circulation by 1931. And the 1970’s brought in the self adhesive, non-belted, pad.

…Together with drugs and natural remedies to help ease our physical pains, and hormonal roller coasters…we continue this longest of Living History reenactments, today, by the millions, all over the world. It’s kind of a big deal. According to quora.com, out of the 2 billion women of menstrual age in the world right now, 334 million are my blood sisters, this very moment.

334 million.

…At the same time.

…In all races, cultures, incomes, and beliefs.

Dear Mrs. Johnson,

You are a giant pain in my ass (and other places)…but when I look at the history and numbers and facts and fables of your insistence on “Being”…I kinda gotta give you some props. You’ve got some game. Okay…I said it. Now stop fucking with me. I have shit to do today.

Signed,

~D

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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