Saturday, February 28, 2009

Girl Stuff

[Disclaimer: The following post will make squeamish men nauseous.]

It was 1975. We were in Miss Johnson's 6th grade classroom, full of giggles, being screened for scoliosis. We girls all gathered in the huge side-closet and went out one at a time to be screened in our underwear. My friend, Amy, had a training bra that went from girl to girl that day, so that none of us would have to feel embarrassed about having no boobs. (Isn't that funny?!) A late bloomer, I was one of those grateful for the cover.

I was 13 or so when my SIL dropped off a bag of bras that her sisters (younger than me!) had outgrown. (Gee, thanks!) Mom (God love her) had attended "the class" at school with me the year prior. We got to go home early that day, and Mom sat me down at the diningroom table in our quiet, empty house, and offered (avoiding eye contact), "Do you have any questions?" Knowing that she was just as uncomfortable as I was, I shook my head, and that was it. (She didn't know that my friend's mom had already given me a copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves, which was at that moment tucked under a floorboard in my bedroom upstairs.)

My friends all had had their periods forever. I read Judy Blume's Are You There, God? It's Me, Margaret like 12 times. I just wanted to be like "everyone else" and join the mysterious "club" that would make me instantly more feminine and womanly. I turned 14, still without my membership card.

Funny, how I had longed for that day, but when it arrived, I was instantly and completely mortified. This is what I had been missing?! I felt offended, duped (although by no one but myself.) That Saturday, when we arrived at my country cousins' farm and I realized that I could not go swimming after all, was the day it finally clicked for me; getting your period is not cool and not something to look forward to. I should have been thanking my lucky stars to have put it off as long as I had!

Mom offered me a pad and a belt that night at home. In retrospect, I feel a little bad that I snapped at her with disdain, but was she crazy?! (Poor thing was just trying to help.) She didn't know that I had been prepared to use a tampon for more than a year.

I thank the Lord for the evolution of "feminine products," although I'm not fighting my way to the front of the line for the menstrual cup. That said, the woman in this how-to video tells you pretty much everything you might ever want to know about them. Think this is the wave of the future, or a great big step into gross?

And finally, I will end with this funny about Mr.4444's mother (copied from a prior post):

This reminded me of a funny story from Mr.4444's mom (who is at times a little ditzy, God love 'er.) When Kotex and its "two adhesive strips" first came out, she was excited and rushed out to buy a box. Her excitement turned to horror when she went to remove the pad she had unknowingly put in upside down and got it stuck to She was clueless. She said, "I shook my head in wonder about that; why in the world would anyone want TWO adhesive strips?!"

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