I have been having periods for a long time.
Since the age of 12 in fact, when my body decided it was time to punish me forever by making me remember to buy sanitary products every month for all eternity. Well, until the menopause when I will have to buy products to stop the night sweats instead.
Since I started my first period (at primary school, in the toilets. First reaction was, “shit, I will have to tell my Mother and she will go mental”), each one takes me totally and utterly by surprise.
Let’s work this out:
25 years x 12 – 18 ish months of pregnancies = ……2 Billion. I have had two billion periods*
*I am shit at Math’s and have poor concentration skills
And yet, still each month, I go “Oh shit! What? I’ve got to run to the shop with toilet roll in my pants because I am so ill prepared!”
You could say I am slow off the mark. I’ve have had twenty five years to stock up, and every month, it’s the same mad panic to get to the shop before my pants are engulfed by the blue liquid you see on all the san-pro commercials.
My first period was very nearly a disaster.
I could not tell my Mother. She was catholic and very, very conservative about all things reproduction. Thank God for the playground, because without it, I would have probably still thought that babies mysteriously materialised out of thin air the night after you got married.
The first time I saw how crazy my Mother was about periods was when I was about nine and we were watching “Roseanne”. Darlene was being an arsehole and Roseanne was like, “what’s wrong with you?” and Darlene said, “I started my periods, okay!”
My Mum got out her rosary and had to go and have a lie down. I still remember her gasping in horror and shutting of the TV, announcing that we could never watch that immoral sitcom again.
So, therefore my first three periods were handled with loo roll. How I didn’t succumb to an embarrassing leak on the school bus, I will never know, but thank God, the andrex did a good job.
When I couldn’t take the worry about leaving a patch of blood on my school chair anymore, I told her.
Yep, she was shocked to shit and went and shut herself away in her bedroom for the evening. When she came out, she thrust a huge pack of incontinence pads into my hands – yes INCONTINENCE PADS. My Mum had terminal bowel cancer and was quite tight with money, ergo, I spent the next two years after she died wearing nappies every time I had a period, until I started getting pocket money and began shelling out on more conveniently shaped sanitary towels.
She also gave me a huge list of things I couldn’t do while on my period; go out and play, ride my bike, have a bath, wash my hair or go near boys (because you can only get pregnant on your period and all men will smell it and want to have sex with you. She got humans mixed up with dogs there). She was raised in a Convent boarding school in India – she spent 40 years of life thinking that the ridiculous things the nuns told her were all true.
I can look back and laugh now, but I wouldn’t go to school for a week every month because those incontinence pads were fucking huge. Cheers, Mother.
No wonder I never picked up a word of French and my Math’s is so shit.
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