Alley's post today about her tool of a co-worker got me thinking about how much ignorance there is between men and women. On a basic biological level. I'm also pondering the probability of understanding women because of something the Birmingham Boy said regarding my blog: he said he found reading my blog and others irresistible because it offered a weird voyeuristic window into my head. But that's a whole other post.
But, as a public service and what is hopefully an amusing diversion at work on a slow, hot day, here's a morning in the life of a girl who has her period.
First off, I'm not even going to touch arguments that say having one's period completely incapacitates a woman. No launch codes for us when we're on the rag! (Tasteless awful term, that. It's like that terrible southern expression about Auntie Flo. I want to grab whoever came up with that garbage and shake them until their teeth rattle. I want to get a little L7 on them, quite honestly.) I think I could handle a nuclear stand-off in my current condition, but I can't guarantee that I'd be polite about the whole process. Many of the women I know suffer the pains of damnation once a month, huddled in the fetal position, doped to the gills, praying for a hysterectomy. I'm luckily not like that. I think I might be more typical, but even if not, who cares. It's my blog; you're all just living in it.
There's something strangely dissociative about being in this body once a month. You know your bod, you know your flaws and your strengths, then one day you wake up and you're in someone else's skin. Sure, there's the bleeding, but that's so secondary to my experience...it's just there. Big freaking deal. (Another death threat to the tool who made that comment about 'not being able to trust an animal that bleeds for a week and doesn't die.' I can think of lots of ways to bleed that guy, wherever he is. And people wonder why women get angry.)
What's weird is waking up with someone else's figure. My friend S. used to term this feeling "Hoover Dam." You feel as though you're carrying a camel's humpful of water in various parts of your body. Walking becomes a strange sloshy slow motion feature -- I feel as though I'm the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man, or perhaps some sort of Megasaurus Regina plowing through the witless pedestrians of Turtle Town. (This is fun to imagine, and much of what makes my walk to work enjoyable on mornings like this. I just hope the sound effects in my head aren't being vocalized. I have a great Godzilla yell.) So I stagger along, but the clothing is snug, and the breasts are totally out of control. Becoming more voluptuous overnight surely sounds kind of fun, but for me it involves a throw-down between me and my chest in the morning. People walking by my bedroom in the morning might hear an exchange like something out of a pirhana feeding tank:
"Get in there! GET DOWN! I have had enough with you! Get in there! STAY! Stay down..."
And that's just putting on a bra! It's not fun to feel antagonism towards your own appendages.
So you feel enormous, weirdly anemic, puffy, and slow. I personally get more clumsy, dropping things a lot and running into corners, as though I can no longer determine the boundaries of my own flesh. But then the weird thing is....
There's something crazy that happens to my typically stable brain when I get my period. I become weirdly predatory and oversexualized. Two examples from the last 24 hours: I was buying my favorite moisturizer online, and I noticed that the place where I buy my lingerie was having a sale. Within 15 seconds I had bought expensive lingerie in wild colors. It wasn't even conscious thinking or a deliberate movement of my hands on the keyboard. It simply was. And from this reptilian predatory part of my brain, I heard this strange low chuckle. (This spontaneous purchase of sexy items used to happen in malls or other places. It's not an internet shopping thing, but man is it easier now!) Same thing last night as I was sitting at a great bar with two friends. They kept telling me to stop staring at the bartender like I was going to eat him. I apparently had this intense look going on that I wasn't even aware of. Again, the weird low laugh from the dark side of my brain and the sense that I should pity the poor man. So I'm puffy, but I'm also stalking prey apparently.
This weird wildness is tempered somewhat by the typical chick period things -- like listening to music obsessively, particularly chick bands. I personally have been on a New Order kick, but the past few days I've only listened to Bizarre Love Triangle and True Faith. Weird? Probably. I don't eat chocolate, I don't desire ice cream, but I do crave red meat. A lot. Lots of protein. I eat liver, for pete's sake!
Yet through all of this, there's a strange exhilaration that I've beaten the system again. A period is a single girl's best friend. I want to high five my fallopian tubes and tell them "Job well done. Let's clean the decks and forge ahead."
So to the fellow in Alley's cube who thinks he has my womb figured out and marked on his grid, walk a mile in my mules, jackass. No time for your candy-ass misunderstandings -- I've got lingerie to buy.