- 7:28 p.m.
I’m sorry to do this, it's just what I need to talk about tonight.
You know it’s happened SEVERAL times since I’ve started this diary and I have yet to mention it (well, not actually “it”, but I guess I’ve hinted at it before) but today I just have to. Can’t not do it. Gotta talk about it.
(Pausing to allow time for the Squeamish and the Amish to turn away now.)
Enough of this already. Enough with the bleeding!
If this were something that was happening to WHITE, REPUBLICAN MEN every single month, it would have been eradicated by now. There would have been studies, more studies, congressional hearings, investigations of those congressional hearings, and then they’d have found a way for it to STOP. THE BLEEDING.
I don’t mean stop via MENAPAUSE, either. (thanks, I’ll keep my natural hormones)
I mean that 38 year old WHITE REPUBLICAN MEN (sorry to all the cool and fresh WHITE REPUBLICAN MEN out there, I hate to generalize, but give me a break, I’ve got raging hormones right now.) those men would find a way to still be 38, to still keep all their hormones and internal organs and abilities to create and recreate and procreate and NEVER HAVE TO BLEED AGAIN. They would. There’d be a way. I’m sure of it.
Anyway, somewhat moody & menstruating as I may be, and all the UNFAIRNESS aside, I got to wondering about WHEN exactly humankind figured out what the hell this whole menstruating thing was all about. Can I even for a second imagine being my same neurotic self, thousands of years ago, and all the women-folk would be sitting around the campfire (or whatever) telling their young women that for some reason, and they don’t know why, they’re going to just start BLEEDING, and it’ll go on for many a fortnight (?) and then, as mysterious as the new invention “fire”, it’ll stop. Then, after a few wooly mammoths have passed by, you’ll bleed again,… and again… and again. Then, an old, wrinkled up woman-folk will wheel (a new invention) herself forward in her chair carved out of stone and tell us that it DOES STOP, but soon afterward, all your teeth fall out and “ti-ites” (they were known as “ti-ites” before they became known as “titties”) begin to face downward and you’ll start wearing knee-high stockings with short dresses (they had knee-high stockings back then). Someone in the crowd will cry out loudly “Shut up old woman”, then someone else will pick up a rock (lots of rocks, everywhere) and throw it at the “shut up old woman” person, then before you know it, THE COPS come by and break the whole campfire up and tell us all to get back to our caves (or whatever).
Anyway, THOSE WOMEN, and all their sisters that followed, for generations before RESEARCH and Kimberly Clark, what did they do to “take care of business”? What did they possibly think was happening to them? Was it just one giant “They’re all gonna laugh at you, they’re all gonna laugh at you” (hello Carrie) all the time??
I think back to a younger version of myself (hello younger self)… back when I was straight (hello all the boys I loved before) and on a road trip with a group of other young-ish straights. Of course, the morning we were leaving for the road trip, AUNT FLOW (euphemism # 1) arrived. I was so angry at my ovaries/tubes/uterus. How could they do this to me? Who wants to travel while CATHY RIGBY (euphemism #2) was visiting?
Tough Tampons! I had to do it. I had been told about a NEW, EXTRA ABSORBENT product called “O.B.” (designed by a woman doctor for other women doctors, or something like that). Anyway, I was trying to buy myself time (no one wants to be the one to say “Can we stop, I need to check the status of my private female business)”.
So, I used the new product.
Hours passed. Road trip songs had been sung. Mix tapes had been listened to. Girls’ heads were leaning on guys’ shoulders (simpler times!). We crossed a STATE LINE.
Hmmm, I thought to myself. Hmmmm. Wonder how “I’m doing” with my private female business?
We stopped for gas (finally!) and I ran (skipped, I was young-ish) straight (hi honey) to the bathroom (you know me and bathrooms) to check my private female business.
(pausing in case ANYONE doesn’t wanna go any further. Really. Put down your snack.
Walk away from the screen).
Time elapsed: 2 minutes
So, shock, horror.
Somehow, that tiny, eensie, pencil thin product had the absorbency of an entire roll of BOUNTY (the quicker picker upper) PAPER TOWELS. I, me, youngish me, youngish but somewhat neurotic me was now in a filthy rest stop in the middle of a road trip with the equivalent of an entirely absorbed roll of BOUNTY PAPER TOWELS embedded (hello Iraqi war coverage) in my uterus, and a tiny, eensie, dental floss-sized string to remove that roll of paper towels with (bad sentence structure, sorry).
Paralyzed with fear (and by the filthy bathroom), I began sobbing.
Just then, a more seasoned Menstruater who had several older sisters and knew a lot more about the world than I did, came into the bathroom to check on me. I told her what had happened, and she talked me through it, like a good LABOR COACH, or someone in a suspense-filled movie trying to instruct the person on the other side of the door WHICH WIRE to cut while trying to disarm the bomb (NOT THE RED ONE! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, NOT THE RED ONE!).
We did it. We got it out.
I named it and left it in a blanket to be found by a nice couple from the Midwest who could raise it as their own. (hello Lifetime Television for Women). I know it wasn’t a baby, but it might as well have been… oy, the labor.
Have I shared too much? Yes.
Where was I going with this? Not sure.
Am I done? Yes.
Lesson Learned: There is such a thing as TOO ABSORBENT.
Must have warm bath NOW.