Random Blog A Musing Farf

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

SOMETIMES, THE FIRST TIME IS JUST LIKE EVERY OTHER TIME

I have recently been doing much self-censoring on this site. Part of it is that I have been tempted to write things that, while they may be true right now, are certainly not true over all and some things can’t be taken back. Part of it is also that I have suddenly developed a new-found sense of privacy and, as such, my posts have suffered in that they are less of me and more generic.

And all this is why I read Suzanne’s post about collecting stories about a woman’s first period with such amusement. There is nothing generic about first period stories and so many women have great stories to tell about, if not their first period, at least a pretty eventful menstruation experience. Well, so many women - except for me.

Sure, I read “Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret” just like most other pre-teen girls of my generation and I was a little jealous when all my friends got their periods first. But, not too jealous since it seemed more of an inconvenience than anything else. For example, there was Sarah from camp who was being raised by a single father. She got her period at camp and wrote to her dad asking for a box of pads. Within a week, a care package arrived filled with 20 legal size note-pads. Then there was Lea who got her first period while on vacation with my family and refused to use to pool in Las Vegas since she did not know how to use a tampon.

Maybe for me, because I did not get my period until my mid-teens, it was a non-event. In fact, the only reason I remember it at all was because I expected more fanfare and was disappointed. After all, Sister had already had her period for years and it’s not like I did not have tons of aunts and female cousins. So, when I looked in my underwear and saw blood, I did not panic, I simply went into the bathroom, read the instructions about how to insert a tampon and rejoined the party that was going on in my parent’s backyard. My mother’s response to being told was simply, “Ok, just remembers to change your tampons regularly.” That was it. No fanfare and no great story.

In fact, it was the same annoyance for me it seemed to be for other friends. Every month, around my period, I would develop debilitating stomach pains, which lasted until a doctor put me on birth control pills. I hated having to run to the bathroom to change tampons, even when I did not need to pee and having my period never made me feel “more like a woman” than before.

So, I am curious to see the stories that Suzanne collects, but I am also curious to know if my experience is the norm or if it is more common for a woman’s first period to be some life-changing event. I would be happy to hear other’s thoughts on the subject.

3 comments:

Suzanne said...

I was just mortified and displeased by the whole thing. Copious swearing was involved, although copious swearing seems to be involved in most things that I do, so that was certainly not unusual. Did it not bother you that your younger sister got her period first? (I'm just curious. I think there's an interesting story in that potentially.)

Oh, and the legal pads story? Priceless.

Sara said...

You know, I am sure that Sister getting her period first would make me jealous, but I have no recollection of it. I guess it was too long ago to remember!

Suzanne said...

Interesting.