Oh, hello, Aunt Flo. I suppose the proper thing to say would be that I’m glad to see you, but… To be honest, we aren’t that close. At least, we haven’t been for the past ten years. I’ve hardly seen you, and I’m not gonna lie; I haven’t missed you. I think my friend IUD more or less built a wall between us. She kept you and all those pesky little swimmers away for all these years, an impressive feat, in my humble opinion.
And now you’re back. I can’t even say it’s like old times, because back before IUD separated us, your visits were infrequent yet far too long. I never knew when you were coming, and then when you did, I kept waiting and waiting for you to leave again. And waiting—and waiting some more. You definitely made up for those long dry spells when you did show up, that’s for sure.
It’s odd to have you back. I mean, you brought Dry Skin, Hives, Heat Flashes, and Night Sweats with you. Why? I knew those gals would all eventually show up to hang out for a while (okay, not Hives. WTF is with Hives joining this party?), but I sorta thought their presence meant you’d be gone… forever. I don’t mean to sound so cruel, it’s just I thought that’s the way of the world. Can’t have everything.
Or apparently I can. Lucky me.
I suppose there have been times when I’ve been happy to see you. Maybe once or twice, back when I was too young to be doing the sorts of things I was doing with what’s-his-name. Your long-awaited, better-late-than-never presence quite literally kept my life on track, so I guess I can’t begrudge you those few visits.
Although I still recall the resentment I felt for those six months when I was trying to get pregnant. My husband and I certainly did not appreciate your regular visits during that trying time, that’s for sure.
You know, I remember your very first visit like it was, well, thirty years ago. My thirteenth birthday. My first sleepover. Me and three friends, playing with the Ouija board, until my one friend started crying because she swore we’d managed to summon her dearly departed grandmother.
I had to pee, so I headed to the bathroom. And when I wiped, the TP was… red.
Panicked, I jerked up my pants and probably forgot to wash my hands before I rushed upstairs to where my mother was hiding out in her bedroom. Even a small sleepover consisting of only four twelve and thirteen year old girls was a bit much for her. Let’s be honest–probably for anybody.
“Mom, Aunt Flo is here! What do I do?” My voice had taken on a new high. I sounded screechy, like that portrait outside the Gryffinders’ living quarters, only I’m pretty sure the glass broke for me.
Mom, as calm as I was hysterical, said, “Oh. Congratulations, dear. She’ll be visiting you fairly regularly for the next forty years, give or take. She’s going to need a place to stay until she leaves again. Which, by the way, you won’t really know when that will be until she’s gone. And it could change month to month. Sometimes, she leaves and then reappears again a day or two later. You just never know with Aunt Flo. Anyway. go check the cabinet under the sink in the bathroom. There are both pads and tampons under there. Take your pick.”
Take your pick?
“Well, which one would you pick?”
“A pad is bulky and you feel like you’re wearing a diaper when you walk. A tampon you have to shove up your who-ha. Which would you rather?”
Shove up your… Can I be twelve again?
“Although, if you’re anything like me—and chances are you will be—you’ll bleed through a pad in no time. You’re probably better off using a tampon. Just be prepared to change it every two hours.”
For the record, back then, tampons hadn’t yet evolved into these dainty, gentle, smooth plastic things with the rounded tips they sell now-a-days. It was more akin to sticking a paper towel roll up your va-jay-jay. I can assure you, changing one every two hours was not a particularly enjoyable experience. But neither was walking around with a giant bulge in the back of my pants (especially obvious when wearing leggings or sweatpants), right about the time I discovered a driving need to try to impress any boys within my visual range. I might as well have tattooed on my ass, “Aunt Flo is Visiting, Stay Away.” Aunt Flo, I confess, your visits weren’t accommodating. Or comfortable. Or pleasant.
And now here we are again, spending quality time together. Time I would rather spend doing pretty much anything else at all… Except maybe having a baby, especially at this point in my life. I only mention this because along with all the friends I noted above, you’ve also brought Sore Boobs with you this time, and you know how that always stresses me out. I can’t tell if I’m pregnant or menopausal. Is it possible to be both?
Oh, Aunt Flo…You certainly know how to keep a girl on her toes. Now, excuse me while I go hunt down a package of tampons. And a pregnancy test. And a bottle of wine.
Tami Lund writes tastefully amusing blog posts, drinks wine, and writes a lot of books. Her Twisted Fate Series is published through Soul Mates Publishing, and is loaded with her rather quirky sense of humor. You should read them and let her know what you think.