Today another little girl had to give up a good portion of her freedom.
I don't give a d*** about what the stupid advertisements say -- happy period, indeed! Periods are a pain in the ASS!
I am for all things natural and beautiful, even if it means a bit of an ache here and a pain there. But menstruation? I just don't get it.
Couldn't there have been an easier way of nature communicating our readiness to procreate? Couldn't there have been a simpler way of reaffirming month after month that we are in good health and that our body is functioning the way it's meant to?
I would gladly settle for any of these alternatives – an ugly mole on the left buttock, 2 pimples erupting every 28 days. Or even just plain old stomach cramp for an hour every month; But does it have to be this much of a 'bloody' pain every month.
When I heard of this little one getting her first periods, all that I could think of was giving her a big, long hug as she bids good bye to all things simple... and then I worried about how I would react to my girls going through this. I can't wish this away – after all it's a sign of good health.
I remember my own initiation. In the summer of 1986, soon after my 12-year run as the baby of the family ended (my niece, the first grandchild, made her appearance). I was spending a few days of the vacation at my crazy-funny aunt's house. Unable to control her fit of giggles, she dropped the laundry she was doing -- when she made the 'discovery' -- and rushed her two sons and me into a rickshaw. All that I remember of the 5km-ride home was how hysterically giggly my aunt was.
When my mum explained what the drama was all about, I found little to be amused about.
Yes, at 12 I had no clue what I was in for. Despite growing up in a household of women -- mum, aunts, 3 sisters and a multitude of girl cousins, and studying in an all-girls convent, I was blissfully ignorant of the P word.
And I can't forgive my mum or sisters for not preparing me for this.
I remember early-bloomer friends of mine discussing 'monthlies' the previous year and when I asked them what they were talking about, they pointed out a movie poster at the bus stop. Sly Stallone's First Blood. I made the connect only that summer.
Yes, I was dumb and ignorant! WAS is the keyword here...
I don't let my Periods (however, painful) cramp my style. I still keep with my routine. But WE (I and every other woman) have earned the right to be ill-tempered about it, and crib to our heart's content.
It's just not about 'chums' (why such a benign monicker for something so mean?), it's about everything that goes with it.
The bleeding, the cramps, the crankiness, the embarassment of a stained skirt on a public bus or watching the Carefree advert on telly with your boy cousins and wishing you could disappear!
The breasts, rounding your shoulders in the hope of making it less evident, and frustration that it doesn't work; the lecherous stares, the bras, straps biting into your shoulders, the tenderness, the hormones, the acne...
Yes, guys have their pubescent woes too... but why does ours have to be so much more 'out there' for all to see? Just when we think we are done with this, then it's time for hot flashes, night sweats and hair on your chin.
Oh, I am all for loving who we are and celebrating womanhood. Just wish it were a little less celebration on these lines.