Sunday, June 10, 2012

Why I Wanted Boys Once Upon a Time

Before the P. was born, before an ultrasound upskirt revealed the female gonads that are likely the culprit behind her hatred of pants, I wanted a boy. Some part of me knew I wasn't having a son but I crossed my fingers for one anyway. Not because I'm a secret lady misogynist or because I wanted to save on future wedding costs, but one simple, selfish reason.

I did not want to have to eventually explain the horrors wonders existence of menstruation to yet another female in the long line of females who will at some point publicly ruin a pair of white capris.

Perhaps you'll be appalled to know that at 32 years old, the expression my face makes -involuntarily, I assure you - when I imagine myself explaining menstruation to the P. looks something like one of the more horrific Inca portraits.You've no doubt encountered some of the moon cult types who practically worship at the alter of Aunt Flo. Or maybe just the less intense version in the form of women who get all googly-eyed and soft voiced when discussing the Crimson Tide.

That's not me. Which probably became obvious to anyone who decided to talk womanhood with me the first time I refer to my period as Shark Week.

Someday, the P. is going to bring home a pamphlet or worse, a whole packet with samples of granny pads and diagrams that make the female reproductive system look something like a post-modern pink elephant. Hopefully by then I will have at least touched on the topic of Miss Scarlett's Homecoming. Playing Banjo in Sgt. Zygote's Ragtime Band. Rebooting the Ovarian Operating System. And maybe I'll even use real science-ready terminology if she's lucky!

But I'll be darned if I'm going to try to make monthly vaginal bleeding into some mystical experience or *gag me* one of the highlights of womanhood. That road, as far as I can tell, leads to nothing but disappointment. As much as Big Menstruation pushes the idea that Shark Week numero uno is a girl's exciting entrance into womanhood, it's also her introduction into roughly 35 years of regular rounds of black underpants and sleeping on towels.

18 comments:

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    1. You know what? I bet he'd be really good at it. He's so much better at things like that than I am!

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    2. You could also film it so you could embarrass both of them with it someday. :)

      In all seriousness, just thinking about explaining the birds and the bees is one of the things that makes me glad I've got no kids...

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    3. She'd be embarassed, I'd wager. But Doctor Matter-of-Fact? Never.

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  2. I'm sorry,I just have to play devil's advocate on this one: My mom was a hippie and when I got my period we had a big maidenhood ceremony with a cake. It made me feel special because I was part of he larger tribe of women, not just girls. Still, I have never been "excited" about bleeding for 507 days straight, but I think that the way my mother prepared me (honestly, gently, lovingly) gave me a deep appreciation for being a woman. Now, of course, I have a son...but I will probably have a very similar talk with him that my mom gave to me, because knowledge is power. He won't get a cake though.

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    1. Oh, I will do cake because there is nothing I won't do cake for! Heck, let's celebrate normal functioning lady parts! Cake for everyone!

      And if I have a boy someday, he's going to hear about this stuff, too, because I do not want him being 17 years old and asking some girl - like an ex asked me - if you know when you're going to get your period, why not just go into the bathroom and let it come out in the toilet. Also because I want him to turn out like my friend E. who always kept lady supplies around (and probably still does) because he was suave like that.

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  3. oh man, nathan found a tampon i had in a car emergency kit and was like, "what..is..this?" and i was like "we'll discuss it later" because i just did not want to get into a huge biology discussion in the parking lot of his school. i still don't know what to tell him! the truth is kinda weird.

    ITS FOR STOPPING NOSEBLOODS, SON.

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  4. One of the funniest things I've read in a long time... heheh. I love 'Shark Week' and all the other wonderfully descriptive names you have for it. :)

    I wouldn't describe myself as a big fan of periods (although far less vile the older I've become).

    One thing I wish I had been offered upon the arrival of my periods - when they were far heavier and more painful - was the option of using a menstrual cup. Best. Thing .Ever.

    I'm going to do P. a favour and recommend you buy one for her, along with all the other paraphernalia you offer girls when they start, so she has the choice.

    It might even save a pair of white capri pants somewhere down the line. :)

    x x x

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    1. I will certainly take this to heart, though I think we'll take a trip to the midwives for advice about using it because I couldn't for the life of me figure out how to use a tampon until I was about 16 years old though I tried gamely and wasn't by any means body unaware.

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  5. My 8-year old stepdaughter is coming up for the summer tomorrow, and her dad and I are already discussing how we're going to initiate discussions such as this. Thankfully, my husband has five sisters, so it's a topic he's completely comfortable with.

    My main memory of when it happened for me was that soon after I was out drag racing with my dad. (Yes, really.) I was pretty much the only female at the track, and was surrounded by 8-15 year old boys and their fathers. My bag fell on the ground and all my menstrual pads went everywhere. I was so mortified.

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  6. The period is not the only thing, there are also the variant frequencies of hormones the rest of the month. My daughter surprised me by becoming a tracker. She is aware of ovulation time and how it affects her and the males around her for example. It can be quite interesting. The cramps however, she could do without, as could I way back when I had them.

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  7. I call it shark week too, it just sucks.

    When you get to talk about it though, it's kinda funny :) "hey guess what, I've got some sucky news for you... about a 3rd hole...!"

    :)

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  8. I call it Shark Week too! Definitely the best descriptor.

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  9. I have never heard of our lady parts referred to as pink elephant, that cracked me up!

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  10. Aaaaand that is exactly why I am glad that I have boys. Puberty talk is all on Dad. Well, mostly. Things are going to get real gross and smelly when my kids hit the teens, so you will be winning there.

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  11. You still have a few years to prepare for the nightmare. Practise in the mirror. Or on the dolls. lol. Hope all is well.

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  12. Yeah, this one made me giggle. Y'know, I'm happy to have "The Talk" with her, if you'd rather. :)

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    Replies
    1. The way it plays out in my head is P. coming to you with the sex questions and E. coming to me because they're both thinking "I can't talk to my MOM about this stuff!!"

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