I want periods to be beautiful, I really do. I want to be blissed out about diva cups and my menstrual cycle. I want to dare to wear long flowey white skirts and run down beaches amazed with the wonders of my body. I want to do ‘period yoga’ where I stretch out my cramps and marvel about motherhood. I want to write my body love letters, encouraging it to keep doing its thing and keeping me healthy. I want to wake up and drink chamomile tea while tenderly patting my pelvis and curling my toes.
I appreciate all the sweet feminist boys who say periods are beautiful. I appreciate the sweet feminist boys who try to get rid of the stigma surrounding women's bodies. I really do. I respect the women who paint canvases with their menstrual blood to make a statement. I respect the women who create new feminine product alternatives so that periods don’t keep young women from attending school. I really do.
And I really want periods to be beautiful, I really do. But let’s be honest. I’ve gotten period blood on my feet. On my feet. There is about nothing worse than waking up, standing up and feeling a waterfall gush down your legs. Pads are the grown up woman's equivalent of a diaper. When I’m on my period I consistently wonder if it possible to become addicted to ibuprofen. I spill little red pills all over my purse and swallow them as if they are magic.
I’ve written slam poetry about periods. There is something really poetic about bleeding over the possibility of a child, of children for years before their potential arrival. My mother bled for me, for my brothers. And I bleed for the children I may never have. I bleed for possibility. I am thankful for my mother’s blood. But let’s be truthful, no child’s gratitude is ever going to cover waking up at 2 am, clutching your stomach. Is my child ever going to thank me for that? No. No one is ever going to say to me “Thank you so much for feeling like you might die once a month for me. That’s so nice of you.”
I cry when I have my period. It freakin’ hurts. It has always, really, really, hurt. I do not tend to be an envious person. But I envy all females whose periods do not feel like a small drummer is banging on the walls of their uterus. If your period does not hurt like heck, do not gloat. If you gloat, I will hate you. Though by the time you have mentioned it doesn’t hurt, I have probably already put serious thought into hating you. Give gratitude and have lots of compassion for your not as blessed sisters, here. Let me just tell you, I missed many days of middle school, with a stinky lavender compress against my pelvis, in bed, worry about how I would survive college without my mother checking on me and my cramps. However, I did just make it through a whole year of college without missing a day of school.
This year I bought a little pink diva cup in hopes I could learn to love my period. I don’t know how to use it and i hate seeing its little daisy bag. My period is not daisies. It is not a frolic through a little feminist field of body celebration. My period does not bring my closer to nature. It does not make me feel like an empowered women. I do not go on spiritual full moon journeys and bleed into the earth. Instead I fill my purse and pockets with tampons and curse he who created waist bands and tight clothes. I do not find this experience transcendent or spiritual.
And I’ve been trying. I have really been trying. I do have affection for my period. I think my body is neat. I’ve written my poetry, I’ve read my feminist literature, I’ve yelled at my brothers for thinking my period is gross. Here’s the deal, I don’t think my period is gross. But I also don’t find it beautiful. I find its rhetoric, its poetic potential, its symbolism beautiful. But this actual experience, this waking up to stained blood sheets and fear that sharks will eat me when I swim in the ocean, I’m not really digging this. I’m not digging stuffing bleached horrible things in my body. I am not digging reading articles about Toxic shock syndrome and that tampons are ten dollars a box. I am not appreciating that my government taxes feminine products because its run by a bunch of old white men who don’t care that I’m over here glaring at them all. I am not digging cute little acronyms like T.I.M. “Have you met T.I.M yet?” Yes, I have and I hate him. I am not digging any of this.
So in case you were wondering:
My period is not a spiritual journey.
It does not connect me to the moon, or God or whatever inner women goddess crap you’re selling me.
It has not caused me to transcend my human form.
It is not my body’s way of calling out to Mother Earth.
It does not want your red cupcakes and pink balloon parties.
It does not want your homeopathic remedies and krill oil.
It does not want to be your feminist art project.
I want periods to be beautiful.
I want periods to be beautiful.
But more than that, much more than that, My period and I just want to curl up with a bottle of ibuprofen, a pair of loose pants and a bowl of frozen cream puffs and wait this thing out. That is all we want.
That is all we have ever really wanted.