That first day of freshman year of high school when B. C. (yes an upper classman) asked me to lunch, you just had to appear to wreck my confidence. You chose to appear as he and I were talking inside of his car. Thank lord for black seats. Needless to say, he never asked me out again...
Fuck you Period!
Dear A. M.,
Confidence wrecker? Oh come now, that seems harsh. Besides, I knew that B. C. wasn't into you.
Spring 1982. Junior High School Gym. White pants. 8th grade graduation practice. Teachers guarding doors so no one could leave. Someone tapped me on shoulder to tell me I had a big red circle on my butt. My first period. In white pants. In front of entire class. I ran past the teacher pushed through doors to my locker. I took my locker partner 's sweatshirt, tied it around my waist and called my mom for pick up. Dr. told me I wouldn't get my period again for a year.
What can I say? I like a dramatic entrance.
I wish I could go back in time and slap my 12 year old self for ever wishing you would show up.
12-Year Old Self
Dear 12-Year Old Self,
Be careful what you wish for, very very careful.
Your red friend,
I felt lucky as a teenager that my Catholic school uniform was a dark green and grey plaid skirt because it would camouflaged the inevitable period mishaps in class. I figured public school girls kept extra clothes in their locker or just went home.
Dear Catholic School Girl,
You're correct those public school girls did need extra clothes and often a pick up from mom too. Another plus is that you didn't have to worry about the unfortunate white pants/skirt/shorts bloody fiasco. Outside of the ugly plaid and the fact that you were never told the truth about me, you were quite lucky.
I'm 13 years old and I know I'm going to get my period on our family vacation. My mom won't let me use tampons because she said I'm not old enough. I don't understand. I'm thinking about buying some and not telling her but she'll know when I go swimming. I don't get what the big deal is.
I know this is frustrating. You should speak with your mom about her reasoning behind this thinking. She may be in the camp that thinks tampons are unhealthy or that if you use them you will no longer be considered a virgin. The latter is a complete myth! Using tampons though does require diligence, they do have to be changed every few hours. The bright side is that they require you to become more familiar with your body and can be super convenient. And hey, pads can be convenient too, but not for swimming, gross.
Why not try to strike a deal with her that will make her feel comfortable? Find out why she feels this way about tampons and design a plan around both your needs. Maybe a mix of tampons and pads would work? Tampons for the convenience factor, say during high impact activities (running) and swimming (ask her if she's ever gone swimming with a pad on?). And pads the rest of the time.
We're in this together 13. We'll find a strategy that works for you and your mom. But don't keep anything about me a secret, the more you share, the easier it will be to navigate ... and you can also help out your friends along the way.
Stay afloat 13,
At my all girls high school if you said you had cramps most of the teachers would let you sit in the back of class with your feet up. I basically spent most of high school in back of class with fake cramps.
You know I'm not one for faking, because I'm as raw as it gets. A little feet up doesn't hurt anyone in my book, so I didn't retaliate when you used me in vain. We worked together Faker - now that's what I'm talking about! Don't forget there are boundaries, Faker. If I feel you are taking advantage of me, I just may get a little raw with you as a reminder of who's really in charge.
My three best friends got their periods in 7th grade. When you still hadn't shown up by Xmas of 8th grade I pretended to have you and started carrying my mom's gigantic maxipads in my backpack. Little did I know how much I would come to dread you.
I would be remiss if I didn't mention the ol' "Be careful what you wish for" adage. You put a lot of pressure on me in 7th grade and I just wasn't ready. The more you demanded an arrival, the more I resented it. Carrying around your mom's maxipads was a call to arms - en garde! I held off as long as I could, and sure I may have been a little aggressive during the first few years in retaliation.
We definitely started off on the wrong ovary (haha), but I've come to appreciate you Maxi. Perhaps one day the feeling will be reciprocated?
I'm not sure why I'm calling you Dear, because you never were. It was downright cruel for you to show up in my life when I was only 10 years old. Wearing pads in the fifth grade and being so embarassed by simply existing becuase you were there...You were a pain in my belly from the start. You owe me an apology.
Oh my 10 year old friend,
I admit we started off on the wrong foot, a bit early, I get it. I know I haven't done much to make it up to you...other than being a CONSTANT and TRUSTED presence in your life. Think about it, who else have you been able to count on like me?
And sure, some of my visits have led to awkard moments, but what visits don't? THink about the last time you had a friend or relative in town, mmhmm. So you see you've got it all wrong sister, I don't owe you an apology, you in fact owe me some love. I'm willing to forget the harsh words and start anew, shall we say next month?
Here's to celebrating us.
Your loyal friend,
Remember the week I started my first year in secondary? Because I most certainly do. On the second day of school I started getting cramps and I just shrugged it off assuming it was nothing. But a while later at lunch break I felt wetness between my legs and had to run the the bathroom to see that there was blood on my pants and could even see wet patches on my jeans. The rest of that day I half walked and half waddled so classes and it was slightly embarrassing considering the fact in certain light you could see the patches even though the jeans were black. I still appreciate the whole "you're not pregnant and you're in perfect health" part of you though, so thanks for that.
I have to let you in on a secret - I like attention. So it shouldn't surprise you that I want to announce my arrival with a bang. Sure this may have been a bit traumatic, but it got you ready for me, didn't it? A hard lesson for sure, but it's all part of maturing.
Let me finish by saying thank you for recognizing some of my strengths.
I've always struggled with a heavy flow since I was 12, but I'd learned how to cope with it (or so I thought). One day I woke up with blood literally everywhere - my black sheet was covered as well as my favourite douvet and one of my cushions. I know I toss and turn in the night but surely I didn't deserve this! Like a normal human, I changed my bedding aswell as my pad to a super night time one (I have to wear those during the daytime as normal pads will not hold my flow).
After all this is done, I go into my mums bedroom to have a chat and get some painkillers. Within minutes, I felt the wet feeling again and as I sat up, there was a bloodstain on dad's side of the bed - right by his pillow. Not only had I leaked through my thick pad, pants and leggings, but i'd stained my parents sheets; I was mortified - and still am to this very day!
It may be difficult to see through all the stained sheets that this entire time I've been trying to teach you to be resourceful and creative. I may have come on a tad strong, but I thought you could handle me, even at the age of 12. Sometimes my desire to be the center of attention gets the better of me. Case in point, that time I stained your parent's sheets (extra credit for being on your dad's side of the bed).
I'll let you in on a secret MC - you need to think of me like a game of chess. Be strategic. Think two or three steps ahead, or I'll always have check mate. Consider this my white sheet of surrender - albeit a temporary one. I'm no softy, but every once in a while I can be a little sympathetic.
Looking forward to your next move.
I remember the day you came, I was at my friends house. Even though you have visited me a couple times I've never got the nerve to tell anybody about you. I know your still getting into the flow of things but just come once in a while on time. I wish you hadn't come yet. Also any ideas on how I can get the nerve up to tell/talk about you ?
From a teenage girl who is shy
I know it's difficult when someone new comes into your life, especially someone with a big personality, like me. I'm not the most consistent visitor right now, but you'll thank me later for that. Anyhow, a cool way to get ready for me in my full glory (read every 28 days) is to use a period app, there are a whole bunch out there. That way you can start tracking all things period like the date I arrive, how you're feeling before that, and when I leave.
Use me to your advantage Shy, I'm something to talk about with your friends. I like attention, a lot of it, and it would make me feel good that you're talking to your friends about. And hey, they may learn something.
I'm sorry but I've never had a good experience with you. Growing up in a culture that made me feel ashamed of you, I've never had enough tampons and pads to protect myself for a period and the leaks are so bad. But the cramps are the worst, although I should be kind of grateful that they aren't always bad enough to make me skip college. I love swimming, so why do you come when I really don't want you? Also the weird unpredictability of cycles, 6 years of having periods yet I still have cycles of 2 weeks up to 2 months. It just makes me feel awkward.
You cause me so much distress and I don't really talk to anyone about it, so I'm telling you.
I know I can be burdensome at times, but my intentions are good - I promise. My enthusiastic visits could be misconstrued as overzealous, I get that. I am an ambassador of your health. So, if I'm coming too frequently I may be trying to tell you something. I'm thinking a visit to the health clinic for a wellness exam is in order. And then you'll have a doctor to talk to about me with.
You don't really know my sentimental side, so I'm going to reach out a helping hand and offer a few suggestions for dealing with me: menstrual cups are super handy if tampons and pads are hard to come by (and you produce much less waste using a cup). And there are nifty period apps out there that will help you track me and how you're feeling throughout the month. Also, low-intensity exercise like swimming can actually help to relieve your cramps - READ keep on swimming girlfriend. Just an FYI that during exercise your body releases endorphins which act as natural painkillers.
Keep being patient with me, we're still relatively new at this and we have a long way to go. We'll eventually get in the groove.
Why is it that after my first period your just like I'm gonna wait six months to return. Are you going to be that nice afterwards? I assume not, this was really a rhetorical question, I think.
Why period why,
It's not you, it's me. I wasn't ready to commit just yet. You shouldn't take my absence as an indication of what's to come. I was just being shy, that's all. My goal is to visit monthly. Hmm, maybe I'll even bring some bloating, cramps, and lower back pain with me? My baggage, so to speak.
I should probably start packing soon ... this is getting exciting.
I hate you. You made me vomit at school twice and you always come at the most inconvenient times. I got you in the 6th grade and ever since it's been hell! I'm a sophomore and these girls haven't gotten "it" and I get it the worst out of all the girls that do have it. Why do you have to punish me for that ? And everyone else gets big boobs because of you and I don't ! Not cool! But although you're so tiring sometimes I can use you as I'm excuse to get out of PE
The girl who is tired of you
I know my arrival is a pain. I'm truly sorry I've made you sick a few times, that's not my intention. Sometimes I arrive with such a force ... I'm trying to figure that out. Be patient with me because we're going to be together for a long time. I like to think our relationship is a bit more complicated, unique so to speak.
On the positive side, you can be the go-to for your friends when they get their periods or have really bad ones, "oh let me tell you....". I will ask one more one thing Tired, don't skip PE. Exercise really helps me calm down. If you do that, I'll try to work on the boobs. Deal?
Could you please not be so painful? I can't miss anymore school. Also stop f#*^ing up my bed at 4 am.
Okay, obviously we're not jiving if you keep missing school. I'm supposed to be demanding my friend. You knew this, right? As in "I'm coming girlfriend, feel my cramps and hear me roar",. Hmm perhaps this is a bit much. I'm wondering what else you can do to pad my arrival? Making you more, makes me more comfortable. When you're off, I'm off. When you're feeling funky, I'm a wreck
Let's negotiate some new terms friend ... you take time to eat well and sleep enough and I will try not to ruin you sheets. That sounds fair to me,,,
Your bed wrecking friend,
Dear period (AKA: Satan's Waterfall),
Thanks for showing up so unexpectedly when I'm sitting in a middle of an exam and you came. It's always nice to have a friend, keep trying cause you don't have one. I also LOVE having my guts stabbed to death and loosing a few pounds of blood a month!
I thought I was doing you a favor popping up during your exam. I distracted you from your test anxiety, didn't it?
Now to this Satan's Waterfall stuff, I'm a fine tuned self-cleaning machine my friend. You try cleaning a uterus. It isn't easy, I'm talking some serious coordination of hormones girlfriend.
How did you do on that exam anyway?
Today has been rough. Why aren't you regular yet?? It's been 2 years!! Maybe I'm the Virgin Mary. BTW it's our 2 year anniversary. Will I stop growing??
Look at us - two years! That makes me warm and fuzzy. I know someday I'll be influential in your life, like you'll be planning things with my arrival in mind. But for now, I'm going to take my time arriving, slow and steady is how I'm flowin'.
We've got a bright (red) future ahead of us.
Thank you for making me a strong powerful women but did you really have to ruin my 13 birthday? Or always be late even though all my other friends periods come on time? Period why do you always show up when I'm about to have the time of my life or want to go to the pool? If it's something I've done I'm sorry but you need to fix yourself... like seriously!
Now now, did I really ruin your 13th birthday party? I found it the perfect time to show you how much I adore you. Let's talk what it means to always be on time...don't get me wrong, structure is great, but consistently being on time for my arrival is a snooze and rather restrictive don't you think? I like to party too....which is why missing the times of your life or a pool party would be torture.
Party rock is in the house tonight
Everybody just have a good time
And we gon' make you lose your mind
Everybody just have a good time
Oh and you are welcome for the strong power...use it wisely.
Hugs and cramps,
It was seventh grade and I was sitting in social studies. You caught me by surprise. At first I thought I peed on myself, turns out it was more. Now 6 years later and I love/hate when you come to visit every month. I appreciate your visits.
I do like to make a grand entrance, don't I? Love always wins over hate, trust me. Love me more and more and let's see where this relationship can go darling. I know I'm looking forward to the years ahead, and will just apologize now for your late forties.
Hi this is my second period now and I am 11. The pain is horrible but it is still worth it for possibly future children! ? maybe you could leave the pain behind but otherwise thank you for changing me into a woman.
Well hello darling, welcome to the exclusive group, so elated to meet you. I do sincerely apologize for making my grand entrance so early in your life, but I knew you were mentally ready. As we venture through this long relationship there may be some pain, some mishaps, some misunderstandings of one another, but most importantly, there will be love.
Some tips...if you feel me cramping, drink raspberry tea. On day one of my arrival, be sure to exercise in some format as that helps me adjust for the days ahead.
My Dear Period,
Sometimes I can't stand you.
You literally planned a surprise party for my 13th birthday. It was nice to have someone think of me, but it just didn't seem like the right time to meet you, you know? Maybe in a later time it could have worked out. But it's time we move on.
I don't care for tomorrow, and I want you to be gone from me. Thank you.
I do like a grand entrance honey, and you're surprise 13th birthday seemed like the perfect red carpet. Now now, wishing me to be gone is only going to cause irritation between the two of us.
Let's make a deal...I'll be kind if you will?
You complete me,
You know how my boyfriend and I had our first kiss today? Well, why the hell did you decide to come after I was 100% sure you were over? This is why I have trust issues.
Dear First Kiss,
I do apologize for making a bloody scene during an important milestone for you. As time will show you, it is very difficult to really determine when I will start, end or heck, even decide to show up! I suppose the element of surprise is a natural phenomenon within me. Please allow me to assist with any trust issues you may encounter, and do know that the largest someone to trust is always you.
My Dearest Period,
I know you like making your monthly visits, but it really isn't necessary. Because you never can come by yourself! You always bring pain, whining, cramps, moodiness, cravings, acne, sleepless nights, and ruined clothing. I know you feel the need to inform me that i'm not pregnant, but I am, very well, aware of that fact.
I don't think i'll ever be able to forgive you for coming heavier than usual at school and deciding to go through my skirt. It was VERY unappreciated. Thank you for not giving me cramps the first two years i had my period. BUT WHY COULDN'T IT HAVE STAYED THAT WAY!?!!!!!!!!!!!!!
TAKE A VACATION - A PERMANENT ONE.
Lots of love 🙂
Did someone say vacation? I love to vacation. Have you looked at my schedule though? Seriously, I'm busy 24 out of 28 days a month getting hormones just right for my arrival. As much as I'd love to have some me time, my responsibilities are too important.
Hmm.... maybe it would help to think of the cramps, moodiness, cravings, etc ,,,, as part of my gang. The Period Posse? I like the sound of that. We work together and support one another.
I'd say send a post card if you travel, but I'll be by your side the entire time. Excellent news for me.
I hate to say this, but I hate you. I really do. I wished for you to come because all my friends had by them by the age of 13 but you waited another year. Month one was a walk in the park and I thought this would be easy. But oh I was wrong. When you arrive, I experience cramps that you couldn't even imagine the pain. And also my uterus occasionally feels like it's exploding, like a little pop in my stomach. I strongly dislike that sensation.
Oh, and in case I didn't mention, I hate you.
Hey now, hate is a strong word. Look this is hard for me too. I'm trying to get it all figured out - there's a ton I have to do in preparation for my arrival. You try balancing all these raging hormones! So a few days of cramps, well I'm working like mad for 24 days straight!
Look I say we call a truce for now, cool? We're still getting used to each other and well hun, we're going to be together for a long time to come. Just know I'm doing my best. I hope you find some patience and appreciation for me because I am truly amazing.
Remember how you thought it was a great idea to spring along me for the first time when I was eight.. EIGHT!!!
Also why do you make me have cravings and cramps 2 weeks before I even come on?? You're the reason I'm fat. Haha.
I know that was a bit young for starting, a few years younger than the average age. But who wants to be average? Not me!
The cramps and cravings are, well just part of the deal. Exercise can help with the cramps and work off some of those calories from succumbing to those cravings. Trust me there are ways to work the system. Why not try this approach next month, what do you have to lose?
So you decided to first come 3 days before I turned 13. You knew very well that I had an odd thing about not wanting you to come until I turned 13. So you decided to do come when I'm 12 years and 362 days old. So rude.
However there was another reason the date was bad. It was a Monday morning when the cramps arrived. I was also in math and someone kept going on about how it was their birthday be nice. I was naturally very annoyed and the cramps didn't help. It was hell
That's not all though. You came in the evening when my mum isn't home. I had no idea what to do so I panicked.
I don't want to come off as harsh, but you're not the boss of me. I adhere to my own schedule. I arrive when I want to arrive, not when you want me too.
We should probably come to an understanding - I'm direct and I like attention. But I also want you to be empowered by my, shall we say, enthusiasm. Me coming early while your mum was out was a perfect opportunity for you to trust in those closest to you and your instincts.
We have a long journey ahead, Me. I think we can be supportive of one another, don't you?
Love and cramps,
I was really excited to get you and to join all my friends and finally feel more grown up but now I really should have been dreading you! You hurt and I have awful cramps every time I have it?. You made me feel like a grown up and you helped my parents to treat me like one so thanks...
My Dearest Another Person,
The cramps are part of it. Look I'm not perfect, although pretty darn close, and that means with all my good attributes there are some negatives - cramps, crabbiness, bloating, ruined undies... In the big picture not so bad, just a little annoying.
Don't forget we need to work together, there are things you can do to reduce cramps, like exercise, limit caffeine, or even try raspberry leaf tea. Try it next month and see if I'm on to something.
Love and cramps,
I got my first period on my 13th birthday great timing (sarcasm). Just my luck on this day I was traveling out to Florida for the next two weeks and the first week we stayed in a villa with a pool and boy did I want to get in that pool badly!
So thank you for ruining my holiday.
Here's a little secret - you can swim when I'm visiting, but there are some things you should know. When you get into the water the pressure can stop me from flowing - temporarily. BUT the water pressure can drop slightly if you laugh, cough, sneeze, or move around so a little blood may come out. Getting out of the water will change the pressure again, and I will flow again, so it's probably a good idea to use a tampon or a menstrual cup while swimming to avoid leaking once you head for land again.
Now let's get to this unlucky business. In some cultures 13 is considered a lucky number. My arrival on your 13th birthday is a beautiful alignment. So don't think of me as bad luck or think you can't do things when I'm visiting because you can. Don't forget that. Bleeding doesn't mean boring.
As a 13 year old, I anticipated your arrival with such excitement! When you no longer made your regularly scheduled appearance, I knew I was pregnant. What a break for you that was!
Now, as I journey into cronehood, you appear at the oddest times - usually when having penetrative sex. My sheets and mattress are stained with your blood. They remain reminders of former sexual encounters and the ability of all my wonderful partners to laugh it off. To wear your blood like a warrior! Your unexpected appearance helped weed out the immature partners who couldn't handle it. Thank you for that!
I know we're getting closer to the day that I will no longer see you (at least I hope so!). I see you often now - a few times a week. I can feel your urgency, your need to be seen. Once you're gone, I will remember you...but please don't feel like you need to stay.
Yes, yes you are correct, our time is closing after decades of fun. And well tickle me a pinkish red with your desire to remember me darling. I do sincerely apologize for appearing at the most random times, as I too am going into crone-hood (which by the way I just may steal that lovely term), and just want to be around all of the time.
Let's face it, I'm needy, in charge, urgent at my pace, and my stay inside your uterus doesn't necessarily have a checkout date just yet. Be wary, as I may disappear for months at a time, and make a statement by coming back for just one last dance shuga before I dance right out that door.
Until we meet again friend,