I don't really PMS.
Yeah, that isn't a great opening to a blog. Ugh. Whatever. Let's get this crimson show on the road.
I know men the world over, and maybe some women, will roll their eyes when I say I don't get crabby during my period. Some may even call me a liar. But I'm not lying. It just doesn't happen. I don't get cramps either. No, really. I don't.
Those women who need cold and hot compresses, a bottle of Midol and a pound of chocolate to get through their seven day sentence have my sympathy, though, because I understand what they're going through. I've had a cramp. Once or twice. It's not fun. Actually, it's the opposite of fun. It's the unfunest. Not to mention the stabbing pain in my ovary a couple days before Haemoglobin-fest begins. It's enough to drop me to one knee and send up an entreaty to God.
But I've never been laid up for days at a time, curled into the foetal position, wishing death upon my uterus. And even without the cramps it isn't pleasant. There's bloating, breast pain, back pain and the actual joy of bleeding for a week. Oh, and that's not everything, but I don't want to get any more graphic. Mostly because I have a sensitive stomach and don't want to make myself nauseous. Even though I don't experience PMS, I understand it. In my mind, women have the right to be a bit grumpy, if not downright homicidal, because their bodies are overrun with hormones and being put through an obstacle course of ridiculousness.
Some men might think women should get used to their 'time of the month'. They should adapt. I mean, after all, we have it every month from the time we are twelve-ish to about sixty-ish. That's plenty of time to adjust. Except, it changes as we get older. Our diets, exercise, and medications all contribute to our symptoms. So, I might not PMS today, but in a year, I might give bitchy a new definition. Who knows? Regardless, it isn't a picnic.
Which makes me think about Clueless - you know, the 1995 classic film staring Alicia Silverstone. In one scene she tells her teacher that she was surfing the crimson wave and had to haul-ass to the ladies room. Up until a week ago, that was my favourite phrase to describe the act of menstruation. Still, it doesn't sum up the experience accurately. Neither does the whole Aunt Flo visiting nonsense. It isn't a visit! It's an endurance test to see how well we handle gore. To be honest, I hate most of the terms associated with this week long Plasma Party. Period, rag, redwings, red tide - Gross. But none irks me more than the phrase 'that time of the month'.
Have you ever noticed how it's usually thrown onto the table as a snide remark? Like it's a punchline. A joke for everyone to have a good chuckle over. Oh, har-dee-har-har. Suzy's bleeding from her neither region. Has been for five days. Poor girl's boobs are so tender she threw her cat across the room when he stepped on them the other night. Oh, and she needs to change her tampon but there's a line up half a mile long in the ladies washroom because it's that time of the month. So unfortunate her uniform is white.
Why is this phrase tossed about so casually?
First, it's a bit personal, don't you think? I mean, is it anyone's place to comment on whether or not a woman's uterine lining is in the process of shedding? Secondly, the remark is always made in the attempt to explain behaviour people don't like, usually bitchy comments and snide remarks. But just because someone is in a grumpy mood doesn't mean it's 'that time of the month'. It might just mean they aren't exactly impressed with life at the moment. Or how someone is acting.
And lastly, it isn't like we want to be knee deep in the red tide. No one looks forward to it. Well, unless you've been unsafe in the sexual department or recently switched to a new birth control. Then it's all, "Good news, I'm not pregnant. Bad news, the love box is out of commission." No, I don't refer to my Vagasaurus Rex as a love box. It was just an example.
Now that I've cleared that up. Can we cut this phrase out? It's a pet peeve. And I find it hugely disrespectful. Not just to women in general, but to the miracle of bleeding from our vaginas for a week without dying.
You know, I didn't even mean to go down that route. What I wanted to say was, there are so many terms for the riding the cotton rocket. (That one is another favourite) But none of them accurately sum up what's going on mentally and physically, that is, until some genius discovered that a shark's brain looks very similar to a woman's lady bits.
Thus, in conclusion, a period will be known as Shark Week. Not only because sharks are methodical and intelligent beasts, but because there will be blood. And ruthlessness. Fingers may be lost. Personally, it makes a lot of sense to me. And the best part is it's a phrase I can say without cringing. Here ends this week's health and body issue. Next week, we'll tackle how to properly wash yourself. Meaning I'll teach you how to rope someone into soaping you up and rinsing you off. Yep, I go above and beyond here.