February 12, 2008 by Marj Hatzell
Today is a very special day. I know you are thinking, “Abe Lincoln’s birthday? What’s so special about that?”
Patience is a virtue. I’m gonna tell you. I’m nice like that. If you are one of my male readers (out of the two that maybe, perhaps read this blog) you may want to turn away now, so I don’t embarrass you and all that.
February 12th, 1986. Twenty-two years ago today, I became a woman. I was in eighth grade, thirteen years old, a few months shy of heading to high school. Every other girl in school (just about) was wearing bras, checking each other’s backs to see if they were wearing a bra, bragging about shopping for sanitary supplies.
Every girl except for me. I was literally the last girl in my grade to “start” and it was dreadful. I wanted it soooooo much, even though I had no idea what I was getting into. I had no idea that this blessing/cures (depending on if you are optimistic or pesimistic. Or just plain crazy.) would visit me monthly for the rest of my life. I also had no idea that it would last a few days each month. I do not know why, but when we watched the movie in fifth grade I really and truly thought that when Aunt Flo came to visit each month it only came for one day and then POOF! See you next month! I did not know about cramps. Heck, I didn’t even know how to use female hygeine supplies (isn’t that what they call them in pharmacies?). The sad part was, my mother never explained anything. Due to her own personal issues nothing was ever mentioned. My sisters told me a few things and the rest I figured out on my own.
Here I am twenty-two years later. Every twenty-eight days, just like clockwork, last three days. I have only experienced cramps once or twice, and that was right after Bugaboo was born. Since I had just had my abdomen cut open and my uterus removed, I figured that it was fine to experience cramps for a while. It really has not been horrible, in fact, I am probably one of the lucky ones. Lucky? Did I just say that out loud? I mean, what’s so great about the “curse?”
Plenty. Having this experience is part of life, part of nature. This very thing is part of the cycle that is womanhood. This experience enables me to have babies. It enables me to plan my family. It allows me to eat chocolate without abandon once a month. I am fortunate to have a “normal” cycle and to be able to conceive. I know plenty others who do not have that. I view this as a blessing, even if it is difficult and I don’t always love it.
Just don’t ask me how much I enjoy it next week. You know, when Aunt Flo comes to visit.