It's (ahem) my time of the month. It's not fun.
I could bore you with a list of symptoms, but if you watch television (and who doesn't? Crazy people, that's who!) you already know. Bloating, cramps, crankiness, yadayada.
What you don't know (unless you're a utero-american, which you probably are, because you're a Biscotti (which is what I've decided to start calling you, dear readers) and I have a sneaking suspicion my Biscottis are mostly having of the vaginas) is that it sucks for many other reasons.
In no particular order, our periods can make us*:
- Suspicious of absolutely everyone.
- Eat chips like we're on a space ship locked in the room where the chips are stored and if we don't eat them all they'll be jettisoned into space, thus wasting their delicious crunchy saltiness.
- Feel like our pants don't fit even if they do fit.
- Feel like our bras don't fit (because they don't, and the bigger boobs are kind of sore and therefore not as fun as you might think).
- Skip the gym because seriously, you try lifting weights when your uterus hurts.
- Take lots of advil** and drink lots of wine***
* This information is based on this highly developed scientific method I just invented called 'writing a list of how I feel right now'. I am aware that not all women feel these things AND that not all women menstruate. ** I always take a lot of advil, because at any point either my knee or my head hurts. ***I always drink a lot of wine. I like wine.
Our modern approach to these 5(ish) days that most women go through every 28(ish) days is fucking ridiculous.
- Suck it up and pretend like it's any other day. Wait for your uterus to stop hurting and for it to be wine time.
- DON'T suck it up and pretend like it's any other day. Take the day off from work, take a nice walk, use a hot pad on your uterus.
Sadly, 2) can lead to the kinds of judgement that I spend a lot of time trying to avoid. That I'm weak, 'too female', and unable to contribute as much as a penis-haver can. So I come to work and bust my ass, as per usual.
The truth is, physically we're designed for a different purpose than men are. It pains me to say that, because I feel like I'm giving the lets-take-care-of-our-womenfolk types ammunition they don't need, but I do believe it. Building a baby is damn complicated work, people. Blood and air and food and all kinds of growing and then getting that lil fucker out - that is some serious biological machinery. I'm not entirely sure where all of that extra design went in men (the scrotum on the outside, particularly, seems like it could have used some more thought) - I'm not even sure they do have any extra design. Maybe they are meant to operate at 90% consistently, day in and out, month in and out. We are not. We are meant to ebb and flow. (Ha. Flow.)
It's not a weakness, but neither is it something we should have to pretend doesn't happen. No, I am not at my best for these 3-4 days, but I'm doing some pretty serious work, internally. I want to acknowledge the awesomeness I'm doing. Several religions have rituals around menstruation, and I'm going to start my own. I'm going to take the best parts from each, throw in some stuff I dig, and do it.
Each month, I'm going to barricade myself in my house (i.e. menstrual hut except without the no underwear laying on grass mats thing). I will allow Crockett to enter only if he respects the Khoisan belief that I am inviolable during this time. I will do something psychotically girly like wear a clay mask while painting my nails and watching a Sandra Bullock movie. There will be wine. There will be absolutely no dieting - in fact, there will be a special pre-ritual shopping trip to make sure that there are chips aplenty. Finally, there will be comfortable clothes. Bras made of only cotton, sweatpants with an old worn out waistband, leg warmers, headbands, whatever makes me happy.
Clearly, I can't do it for my whole period - maybe one night? The first night? There are details to be worked out, but I'm loving this idea. Biiscottis, give me suggestions for ways to make it even more celebratory, or things that you do - I'd love to hear them.
P.S. The other thing I do every month is make Crockett give me the 'no babies this month' high five, but that's been in place for ages.