Making Peace with Menstruation
This was also posted at Only-Mama.com but hey, I'm coming out as a menstruating woman everywhere I can today.
I went grocery shopping last week, and I heaved the mega-jumbo pack of toilet paper onto the conveyor belt in full view of the male customer ahead of me in line. Screw it. I am tired of pretending I don't pee or poop. I thought about jumping up on the cart and proclaiming "I shit and I am proud!" but I figured that was going overboard. And besides, the cart would probably roll away leaving me on the floor while proclaiming my membership in the shitting class, and that's not cool.
You may wonder what the big deal is; everyone goes to the bathroom. Every living thing goes to the bathroom at least, but I blushed furiously not only when I bought toilet paper, but when I wrote it on my grocery list for years. I literally wrote T.P. on my shopping list until I was forty.
If you think that was bad, just imagine how I felt about sanitary supplies. You know, Tampons. Maxi Pads. My ex-husband used to offer to pick them up for me if he was the one doing the grocery shopping, but he was forbidden not only to buy them, but to be in the same aisle with me when I made my selection. I preferred to pick them up on the way home from work with no witnesses.
Thank you, menstrupedia for making my awkward blog slightly more awkward
When my boys ask me what tampons are for, I yell, "Get out of the bathroom and stop bothering me!" in my best scary mom voice.
Men are not allowed to talk about menstruation. Men are not allowed to acknowledge menstruation. Men are certainly not allowed to joke about menstruation, not until they start bleeding out the end of their penises for a week every month - then we can all laugh about it.
I am not a shy person. I do not hesitate to talk about boobs, sex, or underpants that ride up your butt crack and ruin your day. So why am I so childlike about menstruation? Is it because men don't do it? Is it the secret shame of being a woman? Or am I the only one with weird issues?
I remember when I was longed to cross over into that secret grow-up club, when I lied and said I got my period years before I finally did. I am not sure when I learned shame, but I think it was exactly 10 minutes after I actually got my period.
They say the first step to overcoming something is admitting it.
Hi, My name is Only-Mama. I use toilet paper because I pee and poop. I menstruate. Often in the same day. I bleed for seven days and do not die. My womb has borne children and could probably do so again. I am woman. I am not ashamed. (But I totally need to buy a cute tampon case for my purse so no one can ever accidentally see me with a tampon.)