Saturday was odd. It started out a funny sort of awkward, had some slight awkwardness in the pursuit of kitschiness, and then by dinner time, went full-throttle into just plain awkward. But the real kicker of it all is that at about 10 PM, I went to the bathroom and made the discovery that I was starting my period — and you know what my first thought was? I thought to myself, “Oh, that explains it.” As if my freakin’ period & all the hormones it implies were somehow responsible for the stuff that happened that day.
Could hormones make my eyes more sensitive to my neighbor’s blinding shirt? Sure. And maybe you could argue that my psychic prediction of his request was female intuition inspired by my moon time. But the irony of his request, the still-drunk-the-morning-after oddness was not my doing. And there’s no way in heck that the stationary dry hump I received from a drooling disabled girl can be attributed to my soon-to-be-on-the-rag status. But still, that was my first thought.
Because we women are told that we are nutty when we’re on the rag. We’re told, directly or via insidious “jokes,” that strange things occur because we menstruate. Or because we are pregnant. We women are driven by our hormones, you know, to the extent that anything & everything outside of us is our hormones’ fault — or at the very least our hormones color our perceptions. Our bosses aren’t asshats, our husbands aren’t abusive, those guys aren’t too handsy; we’re too bitchy, too sensitive, too moody.
The message gets pounded into your brain, your psyche, to the point that you no longer have faith in your own response, your own experience — you see a bit of menstrual blood and there you are, questioning whether or not the days events actually occurred.
Accepting being a woman does not include accepting the notion that menstruation invalidates your experiences — or that you should shush yourself, counter your beliefs, or otherwise weaken your voice.
The “inner yous” the women need to clean, the emotional douching that needs to be done, is to get rid of the notion that our biology makes us crazy. Because the notion that as women our perceptions are all wrong because we have hormones is the crazy one.
I do get more emotional a day or two before my period starts. I realized this one evening when I pulled in the driveway from work and started bawling about life the universe and everything. When I went inside I made coffee, started dinner, went for a pee and realized I needed to get a pad. Since then I have found that I do get emotional at that time of the month. I once asked my husband if he noticed that I was any different at that time of the month, he said no – during but not before. I think it may be something that has started as I get older. I had a hair cut today and the young lady thought I was in my mid twenties. (We had been talking about curly hair and college courses and that is how age came up). Anyway, the fact is that I will be 45 this December.