Elements Of The Periodic Table

14 Nov

NaNoWriNO Day 14

Topic: Menstrual Cycles

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“Are you on your period?” Never have five simple words gotten under a woman’s skin more, and caused a world of hurt for so many men. While some inquire with good intentions, others flippantly ask this whenever the woman in their life seems unhappy with something.

I believe that most guys aren’t callous and insensitive; rather, they’re ignorant to how unbelievably uncomfortable riding the crimson wave can be. They don’t understand the severity of the situation, and because of this, treat it as a joke. Well, I’m here to dispel any misconceptions they may have about what actually happens when Aunt Flo comes to town.

The Cramps

I really resent when a man says, “Come on, it can’t be that bad. You’re exaggerating.” Challenge accepted, good sir. At the end of each month I am going to come to your house, and use your Vas Deferens as a swing set. Nonstop. Until you wish you were born a woman. I would only stop once you begged for Midol, a heating pad, and the latest issue of Good Housekeeping.

The Flow

Envision a world where your manhood leaked every 28 days, and the only way to manage it was to plug up your urethra with a Q-Tip. You would have to do this every 3-4 hours for 4-7 days. I can confidently say I’ve spent more time, money and energy performing maintenance for my periods than I have on my vehicle. Periods are also like ninjas, they sneak up on you in the middle of a pool party, work presentation, or while you’re on vacation. I’d have my uterus removed if I wasn’t so afraid of deepening my voice by three octaves, and growing a Wolverine-like beard post-surgery.

Breast Tenderness

This is no joke. There are times when my breasts get so swollen I’m convinced a stiff wind will cause them to burst like water balloons hitting the ground. I wear “menstrual shirts” which are so loose and billowy that it looks as though I’m channeling my inner pirate. Some of my male friends joke that as a woman I shouldn’t complain about bigger breasts. Okay, well let’s inflate your scrotum until the skin becomes transparent, and it’s rubbing against your zipper all day long. Feels good, doesn’t it?

Gastrointestinal Discomfort

To put it bluntly, we have a bit of a leaky valve back there. We’re talking about farts on steroids, the kind that could knock out an 800-pound bear. A select, lucky few get the kind of diarrhea nightmares are made of. Think back to a time when you ate something exotic (and questionable) to impress a woman. Remember clenching your butt cheeks for a week because you were afraid of what would happen if you relaxed the muscles? Yeah, that’s what it’s like.

Hormone Fluctuation

Imagine that in one hour you had the best sex of your life, found out your dog died, and someone keyed your car– that’s what being on your period is like. One minute you’re happily driving to work, and the next you’re crying while listening to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. Point being, there are homicidal maniacs who are more mentally stable than a woman who is menstruating. You should just be glad we’re not cutting off your hands while you sleep, and using your fingers to pick our noses.

Credit: We Know Memes

The irony in this situation is that women spend the majority of their lives hoping they get their periods. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten a phone call from a friend who has said, “Guess who isn’t having a baby? BOOYA!” We understand that it’s a necessary evil, but it doesn’t make it any less of a burden.

This isn’t to say women don’t bear some responsibility in the situation. We need to communicate that we’re approaching D-Day so the men can prepare to take cover. When I sound the alarm, my roommate quickly assembles an “emergency kit” consisting of wine, chocolate and bath bubbles. This has helped us avoid not-so-friendly fire.

The next time you see your girlfriend crying while watching a Hallmark commercial, offer up a little sympathy. The next time your sister is fuming over the results from the “American Idol” finale, offer up a little sympathy. The next time your wife is the happiest she’s ever been one minute, and the saddest she’s ever been the next, offer up a little sympathy. It’s very possible that she has breasts which are about to explode.

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Thanks to Storkhunter who gave me permission to post things from my archives. Her post on Team Vagina inspired me to dig this up, so check her out.

NaNoWriNO Day 13

NaNoWriNO Day 15

82 Responses to “Elements Of The Periodic Table”

  1. Storkhunter 11/14/2012 at 6:10 am #

    I just love me some hormones for breakfast, sore boobs for lunch and cramps for dinner. Men should definitely get a period every so often – the full technicolour version – just so they know what it feels like.
    Oh and I’m definitely going to go with Shark week – if you smell blood, swim away as fast as you can.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:30 am #

      The Shark Week thing killed me when I first found it. It’s so true though.

      And yeah, a little perspective wouldn’t hurt. I must say that most of the men in my life are either really supportive, or they’re too afraid to say anything. They just hand me the chocolate, and nobody gets hurt.

  2. Ruby Tuesday 11/14/2012 at 6:13 am #

    You had to find the one thing that would drag me away from Bill Holden, Starbucks Caramel Brule Chocolate Bites, and self-imposed isolation. I love you for this. But you left out the miracle that is water-retention (can’t fit into my favorite Jeans, my feet are so swollen). And I could write a whole paragraph or two, maybe two, on menstrual migraines.

    Then again, I think I crossed over to the even darker side of things earlier this year, what with the PMDD discovery and Uterine Watch 2012.

    Sending you kisses.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:32 am #

      I’m glad you’ve come back and commented. I like seeing you around these parts, or any parts for that matter. That was unintentionally dirty.

      Water retention! UGH. How could I forget that? I have two sizes of jeans because during my period the smaller pair does NOT fit. My waist grows like 160″ during this time.

  3. Fern DeVilliers 11/14/2012 at 7:00 am #

    So funny. Hormones suck. I usually want to have sex the most when I feel like absolute crap.

    Also, guys could never take this. Just yesterday, my 19-year-old son said, “I just want to cut my ‘penis’ and ‘testicles’ (he didn’t use these words, but I’m sure you can guess what he DID use) off. They are always getting so jammed up inside my pants.” Poor guy. Nope.There’s no way in hell he could handle being a woman.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:33 am #

      The weird thing about periods is that you’re absolutely disgusted with yourself in one way, but your hormones can kick in, and pretty soon you’d hump a couch if you had to.

  4. aliceatwonderland 11/14/2012 at 7:03 am #

    Good news. You can take out your uterus and not grow a beard. They just have to leave the ovaries in. Granted you can still have the fun mood swings, but no cramps from hell and no bleeding every month. Also, I never have to worry about unplanned babies. Best. Thing. Ever.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:33 am #

      I’m printing this out and bringing it to my doctor. I’m going to tell her, “TAKE THIS MONSTER OUT, AND LEAVE THE BEARD BEHIND.”

  5. aliceatwonderland 11/14/2012 at 7:03 am #

    I am totally waiting for the first man to respond to this, btw.

    • Enchanted Seashells 11/14/2012 at 7:27 am #

      LOL. There isn’t a man alive with the huevos to step into this discussion. Unless he has a functional uterus, his opinion doesn’t count and could be considered grounds for justifiable homicide.

      • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:39 am #

        We had a few dudes step up, but they took the safe route and told us that we’re allowed to be a little bit psychotic when it’s that time of the month. I fell a little bit in love with each one of them.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:34 am #

      HA! Yesterday when I was getting the notifications for comments, I was wondering if any man would dare be brave enough.

  6. Rutabaga the Mercenary Researcher 11/14/2012 at 7:10 am #

    Don’t forget all the money we spend on underwear, sheets, clothing etc that we have ruined celebrating another ‘no baby month’ … periods suck – suck suck…

    I’m sure we all remember the Jr High girl who got a surprise at school in white pants….that kind of memory lives forever.

  7. La La 11/14/2012 at 7:26 am #

    Love this post. My dad used to ask that question and it killed me. When I cry at a Google Chrome commercial, bitches beware. Luckily, I don’t really get symptoms otherwise and when I actually had my period it only lasted a day. I don’t miss it.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:38 am #

      The spontaneous crying is the worst! Years ago before I got a prescription to regulate my period, I was standing in the middle of a Best Buy, crying at Airbud which was playing on all of their televisions.

  8. Love and Lunchmeat 11/14/2012 at 7:45 am #

    My favorite thing is when I put on light colored pants, and spend the drive nervously doing period math…

    And after three kids, I’d happily have my uterus removed. If I start growing a beard, I’ll do laser. Seriously. Please just take my uterus already. It’s organic; I’m sure it could be buried in a garden somewhere or fed to Hannibal Lector.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:40 am #

      You’d have to name your uterus Clarice before giving it to him.

  9. UndercoverL 11/14/2012 at 7:58 am #

    Love it, again Jen. I love the day I begin bleeding because it means I ask not adding another baby to our village-worth of children. The rest of the time I am swearing like a sailor in both my inner and outer voices. Can I add that a special zinger for period time is right at the end when the flow has slowed considerably and you have to take that last (dry) tampon out and it feels like you just masturbated with an emery board. Delish. (TMI?)

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:41 am #

      “…feels like you just masturbated with an emery board.”

      Ohmigod, I DIED when I read that. It’s so true! You just know you’ve left a small cotton field up there.

  10. Viciously Sweet 11/14/2012 at 9:27 am #

    This is so totally true. Every part of it. And yes I have thought about having it removed and beginning life as a side show entity. And sometimes when it’s happening I get so upset with everything in life I actually hide from people, and end up looking like this:

  11. Madame Weebles 11/14/2012 at 10:05 am #

    They NEED to publish this in Details, FHM, and Sports Illustrated. Seriously. I once described my monthly friend as Cato from the Pink Panther movies. Except less funny and more destructive.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:44 am #

      I’ve often said my period is like the Tasmanian Devil. Just leaving a small path of destruction behind me each time.

  12. Daan van den Bergh 11/14/2012 at 10:24 am #

    Come on, it can’t be THAT bad…

    I kid, of course. Having stood by my wife during labor (and practically being her coach and cheerleader – a very masculine one, that is – during the whole process) has given me a whole new respect for women.

    Seriously, what women go through in their life… Wow! That apple Eva ate must’ve been one poisonous apple, to ruin so much lives 1000′s of generations later…

    Restecp.

    • mmkng 11/14/2012 at 11:30 am #

      I must say she was lucky that you saw/went trough it all. My labor lasted only 40 minutes that I know of, that is the 40 minutes that took me to get by car, driving, to the hospital, being prepared and giving birth :D. The first 8 hours I didn’t even know it was labor (I was asleep at home). Lucky me, huh? So my boyfriend just had time to leave work and get to the hospital and there she was, his little princess. Needless to say that he told everybody that one can give birth like in the movies and that women do complain all the time for nothing :))

      • Daan van den Bergh 11/14/2012 at 11:50 am #

        Yeah, my wife gave birth to 9,5 pound baby and labor took 25 hours… It was hell… The doctors were absolute idiots. That’s why at one point I took over, they were seriously exhausting my wife with their discussions over how my wife shouldn’t scream while pushing, etc. etc. Which moron starts a discussion with a woman in labour I ask myself… Retards…

        • mmkng 11/14/2012 at 12:01 pm #

          Yeah, indeed retards! Okay, Irma weighted only 7,2 pounds. Got lucky with that one, too, lol. My doctor, who was asking every 2 minutes if I didn’t feel the urge to scream (’cause I wasn’t) thought of asking me if I would agree of her 6th year students to see the miracle of birth live. That was funny. I didn’t say no, but while pushing I told them, they really did not want to see their wives go through it, because not everyone has such an easy time giving birth. I think I have managed to make some of them want to become something else, haha.

        • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:53 am #

          9.5 pound baby? HOLY MOTHER OF GOD.

          • Daan van den Bergh 11/15/2012 at 9:05 am #

            Yeah, Danell was a fucking giant. I don’t know where he got it from though. My family’s pretty average when it comes to height and weight and my wife’s family are all tiny people. But, Danell, he’s 2 now and he’s just as tall as his 3-year-old friend. He’s not fat, though, he never was fat. Just tall.

      • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:48 am #

        I imagine him running in like a scene from the movies, all scrubbed up. “I’m here to help!” Then they just hand him the baby.

        • mmkng 11/15/2012 at 10:44 am #

          haha, something like that, except for the scene where they hand him the baby. It was first the bribe and then he got to see her. “She was claret, screaming and had a huge mouth”, he later recalled.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:45 am #

      Every hospital should issue a trophy to a woman who has just given birth. I saw my mom give birth to my sister (I was 13 at the time) and couldn’t believe that someone could do that. It’s incredible.

  13. The Bumble Files 11/14/2012 at 11:00 am #

    I love this post, Jen! Thanks for writing it. Hell yes! I usually want to disappear when it’s my time of the month and live in a cave, or at least, hide under the covers. But we can’t…we must continue life as normal.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:46 am #

      It’s the worst. I stand in front of my closet and think, “What covers up moodiness, tender breasts and a craving for KFC chicken?”

  14. becca3416 11/14/2012 at 11:29 am #

    Not to mention the amount of money we spend on tampons. Ugh! BULLSHIT I TELL YOU!

    But hey I love rocking out to sad music. God, why am I so happy?!

    Can’t women and men just understand each other? Whyyyy :( *tear* *sniffle*

    ^^^^ Yep, that’s about right.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:47 am #

      You were VERY happy to talk about your period! Do you have a secret you wanna share with the class?

      Tampons are expensive because they advertise them in those stupid commercials where we’re all doing cartwheels and running on the freaking beach.

      • becca3416 11/15/2012 at 9:15 am #

        Commercials depict everything in the least accurate ways.

  15. badfads 11/14/2012 at 11:37 am #

    My husband recently told me he doesn’t trust anything that bleeds five days a month and doesn’t die. I magnanimously refrained from destroying him, but I did punch him several times in the side.

    I think the worst is when the flow is completely unpredictable. Last week, I was fine for about 95% of my period, but there was a several hour stretch where I had to go change my tampon what felt like every four minutes. Nightmarish.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:50 am #

      You’ve always got to have half a box on hand just in case. You think you’re through the thick of it, but then it plays a little trick on you.

  16. calahan 11/14/2012 at 11:44 am #

    I think I got lucky and married the one (also lucky) woman who doesn’t have these types of symptoms. Wait a minute… Did I get lucky or did I marry a mannequin? Damn you, Vegas!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:51 am #

      You do realize that we will be forced to kidnap your wife, and study her for research purposes, right?

  17. Bill Friday 11/14/2012 at 11:45 am #

    As a man who has survived a vasectomy, two hernia operations, been run over by a car while riding a bicycle, and gallstones, let me say that none of those incidents has ever caused me to tell anyone (medical professional or otherwise) that I had achieved a perfect 10 on the Wong-Baker Facial Grimace Scale.

    And as a man who has seen up close the carnage that is menstrual cramps, I can honestly tell anyone (medical professional or otherwise) that menstrual cramps deserves a 13.

    That is all.

    http://www.pacificu.edu/optometry/ce/courses/22746/ocularpainpg1.cfm

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:53 am #

      What about that time someone broke your nose in martial arts class? Oh wait, that was YOU giving the beatdown.

      You are a very understanding and patient man. Remember: red wine and chocolate. It’ll all be okay.

  18. Nicole Marie 11/14/2012 at 11:51 am #

    Haaaahahahahahahahaha man, I love your writing so much. I’m sharing this with all of my girlfriends! It’s the ugly truth about that time of the month. My fiance likes to refer to tampons as “corks”. He also ignores me during this time, which both pleases me and makes me want to rip his head off. Joy!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:54 am #

      YES! I feel bad for men because on one hand, we want them out of our faces YESTERDAY. On the other, if they do ignore us, it’s like they don’t care.

      Maybe it’s better to be the one having the period…

  19. nikkix2 11/14/2012 at 12:11 pm #

    I’m soooo glad I don’t get “that” anymore :)

  20. Plum Jo (@PlummyJo) 11/14/2012 at 12:31 pm #

    Ooooh, love you, Jen. If only men would *try* to understand and not spaz out like cats in water at the least mention of anything even remotely related to periods. They’ll discuss all of *their* bodily functions and fluids at length, loudly, and in excruciating detail (thanks, guys), but blood coming out of a uterus is the most disgusting thing ever.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:56 am #

      I had an ex-boyfriend who loved farting into his hand and putting it in his friends’ faces. This is something they all did. (Boys in their late teens are dumb.) When I’d mention needing to buy tampons he’d say, “Come on, that’s disgusting.” Um, okay STINKPALM.

  21. Janene 11/14/2012 at 1:22 pm #

    Absolutely hysterical, Jen!

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:57 am #

      Thanks! (And I still can’t believe I subject you to this kind of stuff)

  22. Lyssapants 11/14/2012 at 1:28 pm #

    For me, this is a big deal and not all at the same time.
    It’s messy, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s a huge hassle most of the time, but I also feel special when I have my period, and I sometimes like it when I can actually feel my uterus inside me (but not when it’s cramping like hell….). I also DESPISE that our cycles are a funny joke and the reason why I might be in a bad mood. I’m in a bad mood because I fucking want to be, damnit.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 8:59 am #

      I like your idea of feeling special. We need to go into business and create an entire line of clothing and accessories with funny sayings on them:

      “I’m on my period and all I got was this lousy t-shirt”

      “All hail my uterus”

      “In nine months I won’t be having a baby”

      • Lyssapants 11/15/2012 at 1:34 pm #

        “I contain the most nourishing substance known to humans…jealous?”

      • Lyssapants 11/15/2012 at 1:35 pm #

        “Got uterine lining?”

  23. speaker7 11/14/2012 at 3:07 pm #

    How did you get that picture of my uterus?

  24. writerwendyreid 11/14/2012 at 4:10 pm #

    Ha! This was great. I don’t know HOW many times I’ve told my husband that I wish he could feel all of my symptoms for JUST ONE DAY. I’m sure he’d stop trivializing it after that.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 9:01 am #

      Right? Just *one* day, and then to imagine us doing that for…30+ years.

  25. DeeDee 11/15/2012 at 3:59 am #

    Yes, THIS!

    I don’t get the farts or diarrhea but there’s always a few days of constipation followed by a colossal colon self-cleanse. Between that and the water weight, I can rely on a 5-lb spike on the scale that fades away in a couple of days.

    In all seriousness, however, the uncomfortable drying effects of disposable feminine products are easily avoided with other approaches to managing sanitation. Yes, I’m talking about a menstrual cup. Much less mess, discomfort, waste, etc. You know, in case you were considering it yourself.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/15/2012 at 9:03 am #

      The menstrual cup is one of the greatest things to happen to me in the last 5 years. I’m not kidding. I know some people are really freaked out by it, but it has eliminated a lot of the maintenance and cleanup.

      • DeeDee 11/15/2012 at 10:10 am #

        Amen, sister, amen. I’m glad to be sending less biodegradable material to a landfill as well. Then I don’t have any additional guilt over my natural hormonal cycle KILLING THE EARTH on top of cramps and mood swings.

  26. GiggsMcGill Jill 11/15/2012 at 11:42 pm #

    OMG! Sisterhood fist bump! *bump* I have this conversation with men ALL THE TIME! Taking birth control has made it way better, but before bc, I would find myself curled on the floor in the fetal position crying my heart out in the middle of the night because of cramps and pain. Awfulness.

    And when you bleed through your clothes at the most awkward times ever? Yeah. That too.

    • Jen and Tonic 11/18/2012 at 1:31 am #

      Birth control does make it way better. Although, I do find myself crying much more one or two days than I normally do because of it. I see an old lady writing a check, and I’m crying over the “good ‘ol days” when “things were much simpler.”

      • GiggsMcGill Jill 11/19/2012 at 12:40 pm #

        Hahaha! I always found checks tricky… not to mention losing them all the time…

  27. SocietyRed 11/16/2012 at 8:05 am #

    Damn! That is all…

  28. John the Aussie 11/17/2012 at 3:22 pm #

    That time of month has never been explained with such awesomeness to me before…

  29. Adam S 11/25/2012 at 6:50 pm #

    This is brilliant! (Put the Q-tip down) What a masterpiece. There were a few “chicks” that I was thinking about as I was reading this. I think I’m going to send out a few Hallmark cards tomorrow. It’s not that I wasn’t ‘aware’ of it already, but damn, this sounds debilitating.

    Makes me thankful that I *only* have to deal with a prostate exam in a few years.

    I’m trying to think of a sensitive way to send this to a few facebook friends. Any ideas? I don’t wanna end up picking any noses with my severed fingers…

    • Jen and Tonic 11/28/2012 at 12:53 pm #

      I love that you’re going to send them cards. It really is better to do these things from far away because you never know when that volcano is about to erupt.

      And besides, prostate exams aren’t all that bad. You get a thumb up your butt, and who doesn’t do that a few times a week anyway?

      • Adam S 11/28/2012 at 3:29 pm #

        Hmm. I’m pretty confident that I’m still not looking forward to a thumb — or any other digit for that matter — climbing up my virgin ass. But, thank you for consoling!

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