PSA: I doubt many men read this blog, but as fair warning, this post might make some men uncomfortable. And maybe even some women who don’t love TMI. Consider yourselves warned.
A couple of weeks ago I was sitting at dinner with three other ladies. A newly wed, a college student, and a recent high school graduate. All four of us are in different stages of life and yet conversation flowed freely as we shared different experiences and stories. Near the end of the evening we each started sharing the stories of the day we experienced our first ever menstrual cycle. I have no idea how this got brought up, but somehow it did. The stories range from pretty straight forward (“I knew what was happening so I told my mom and she gave me a pad”) to traumatizing (“I had no idea what was happening so I thought I was dying”) to absolutely hysterical (“My dad told me I was a woman now and paraded me around in front of people and said we would celebrate with a big dinner”).
It struck me half way through the story telling, how common this is. I know so many of my friends’ stories about the day they discovered that their first cycle had begun. I’m not sure why it gets brought up, but so often it does. And when I think about the big things that have happened in my life, it’s incredible to think about how many other people understand this particular experience. And I love that everyone has a story. Even if it’s pretty basic. We all remember that day. We remember how we felt about it and who we told first (and in some cases how long it took us to tell anyone at all).
And since my story isn’t terribly graphic and I find it pretty hilarious, I’m going to share:
It was my 12th birthday party. I had a slumber party with my friends and we were all sitting together watching a movie. I needed to go to the restroom about halfway through and when I did, I made the big discovery. I have two older sisters so I knew what was going on. I calmly went to go find my mom. I found my dad instead. Knowing that he isn’t exactly the talk-about-girly-stuff sort of person I asked, “Where’s mom?”
“She had a headache. She’s in bed already. What do you need?”
“Well, I really need to talk to mom…”
My dad got a little exasperated at this point because talking back is frowned on in our family, “Daughter, just tell me what is going on.”
I shrugged and said, “Okay, well um… I think my period started…”
You guys, I have never seen my dad move so fast. He leapt out of his chair and ran for the bedroom. He burst through the door and said, “PAM! Your daughter needs to speak to you!”
To this day, it still makes me laugh when I think about it. My poor dad. If it doesn’t strike you as very funny, it must be one of those things where you have to know my dad. But trust me, it was hilarious. 😉
Our family in 1999 about 6 months after my big moment. I’m the sulky looking pre-teen with massive hair in the back right. And that’s my dad in the front. Just picture him flying out of his chair running for my mom. Ah, yes, good times. 🙂
So normally in a post like this, I’d ask what your stories were, but that might be a wee bit personal for leaving in blog comments. But if you have a story you want to share, feel free to share in the comments or shoot me an email. 🙂