Funny Things

1.  Elias sent me the link to this cartoon.  “I’ve got a friend on the team.”–What more can I say about the Patriarchy?

2.  Brittney gets me back on Nashville is Talking just as I start talking about menstruation.  I really should just change the name of this blog to “All Cooter Talk.  All the Time.” to give folks more warning. 

Hello, Tennessee!  Welcome back.  Don’t mind the mess!

3.  Speaking of WKRN, I’m totally digging Kleinheider’s new gig and I have a suggestion so brilliant that I can’t believe they haven’t already thought of it–The Volunteer Voters soundtrack!  Kleinheider has awesome taste in music and he’s already hard at work exposing his readers to rap lyrics.  Think of how Grand Theft Auto revolutionized the intersection of gaming and music.  Kleinheider could do that for political blogging.

Edited to add 4.  Ceeelcee is totally surreptitiously taking over Tiny Cat Pants.  Yes, I’m about to post about that motherfucker again!  But there are sex toys and misunderstandings.  How can I resist?


Days So Bad You Wish You Could Chalk It Up to PMS

Note to the squeamish: This is going exactly where you think it’s going, so do us both a favor and stop reading.  If you continue after this and complain in the comments about how gross it is, I will hunt you down and go all Donita Sparks on you.  Well, not right now.  But in the near future.  God, I hope.

Once, the Professor and I were sitting in her car talking about menstruation and the Professor was all like, "You know what’s good for cramps?  Fucking." and I blankly stared at her as if she’d just said, "You know what’s good for cramps?  Brlghalbheghts." 

"What in the hell are you talking about?" I asked.

I’m not going to take you through the whole conversation, because it wandered, as our conversations have a tendency to do, but I do want to bring you to the salient point.  Other than whether we’re late or early or what, I have never had a conversation with any woman I know except my mom about what it’s like to menstruate–What it feels like, what it looks like, etc.

I was thinking about that today because I have felt like utter despondent crap about my life since Friday.  (Some of you may recall my ode to beer.  Others of you may recall the sad emails.)  Last night, I couldn’t sleep, because I felt so anxious, and today, I was just fuming at work–justifiably, but usually, I don’t get pissed off; I just ignore folks.

So, I’ve been waiting, hoping to feel the familiar shifts in my body that say, "No, your life doesn’t suck.  It just seems that way because everything in here is out of whack a little earlier than usual."  No dice.

But it did get me thinking that my day would be vastly improved if I ducked out of work early and talked about menstruation.  And so I did.  And so I shall.

A Brief History of My Period

I started menstruating some time in junior high.  The first couple of times, it was just a rusty spot on my underwear for a couple of days and, since I’d read Are You There, God?  It’s Me, Margaret, I wasn’t particularly freaked out.  I also didn’t tell anyone.  I just raided my mom’s pads when I needed them and got on with life.

Then, in high school, I learned a new and terrifying feeling–cramps.  I had cramps like… like… imagine a puffer fish made of steel and sharp razors expanding and contracting in your lower gut.  Or like an earthquake made of broken glass just above your cooter.  That’s what I had cramps like.  I couldn’t sleep.  I couldn’t eat.  I couldn’t take any pain killers, because I would throw them back up.  I just had to lay there in bed in a half-awake stupor dreaming of contraptions you could shove into your uterus and just scrape everything off all at once and get it over with.

My mom would sit next to me and rub my back and tell me about how she also had terrible cramps when she was my age, but that, eventually, they stopped happening as frequently or for as long.

She was right.  I still cramp up–which we will get to in a second–but not the days-on-end pain and not usually anything close to that bad.

In grad school, I learned a nifty trick for dealing with the severe cramping, though.  I would lay on the couch and ask my crazy roommate to sit on me.  Do whatever.  Watch TV.  Knit.  Gab on the phone.  I could not care less.  Just let me have some pain-free time.  Since then, I’ve been lucky enough to find a handful of men and women willing to sit on me when I need it and it helps so much.  To y’all, I am grateful.

How It Goes

The first thing that happens is that the lump in my right tit swells up so that you can feel it right under the surface of my skin, if you push in just a little bit.  This usually happens three or four days out.  Two or three days out, I’ll start dropping things or knocking things over like crazy.  It’s like I lose all ability to accurately tell where I am in the world.  After about the third time I knock my toothbrush on the floor, I also notice that I can smell things really, really vividly.  Two days out I start to feel a little something rumbling around, like gas, but more centrally located.  This is when the inability to tell where I am in the world transfers to being able to read people, or, actually, no longer being able to read people.  You don’t realize how much you rely on visual cues from people until those days when you just can’t read them.  I don’t like it.  It’s disconcerting.

The day before, I usually sneeze a lot and I feel like I’m on some kind of mild hallucinogen.  Things seem much more vivid and smell really intense and everything feels really, really awesome.  I can remember standing in a bathroom at Michigan State running my hands under the faucet because it felt so cool.  Even now, I can remember exactly how it felt like I was feeling every individual stream prickling against my skin and how amazed I was that I’d never noticed that before–how wonderful water is.

The day of is usually not that bad.  I have some mild cramps, that really feel like gas or something and I’m really aware of how wet and unusually cold my cooter feels.  But basically, I’m just waiting around.  When it starts, it doesn’t really feel like anything.  You just go to the bathroom and wipe and, instead of the clear, kind of slick cooter juices*, there are some streaks of red.  Or a lot of red.

The second day in is really terrible.  I have cramps.  I bleed really heavily, especially in the morning, like someone just opened the floodgates.  And I hurt all over.  Everything aches and everything is painful to the touch.  Sleeping is a joke, because who can find a way to lay down that doesn’t feel like all the pain of a red-hot poker with none of the burn?

This is why I was flabbergasted when the Professor recommended sex for cramps.  The thought of someone touching me in any way but to sit on me?  It makes me cringe.  Even my hair hurts.  Please don’t touch me.  Because that might make me throw up.

The third day is also really heavy and I start to see bits and pieces of the endometrial lining.  Secretly, I think this is pretty cool and weird.  It reminds me of some kind of dark red cross between raw liver and slugs.  I’m convinced that I can feel the bigger pieces as they slide through my cervix, but this could just be psychological on my part, I guess.

By the fourth day, the bleeding has lightened up quite a bit and the cramps are over and I’m feeling back to my usual self.  The fifth day is like this, too, but lighter still.  There may still be some endometrial bits and pieces and usually I’m only really bleeding in conjunction with the arrival of this stuff at this point.  By the sixth day, it’s just some light spotting and finally, it just tapers off into nothing.  I usually wear a panty liner on the seventh day, just in case, but there’s rarely any reason.

In Conclusion

Oops.  I don’t really have a conclusion.  I do feel better, though.  So, there’s that.




*Ha, someday I’ll have to write up a post about all the different cooter-juice permutations I have, but not today.



Other Folks

IvySt. Mark should give lessons to others!

KatherineI wasn’t sure what you meant by politically incorrect.  I’m still not.  I thought this was insightful and informative and deeply moving.

RachelHer mom and my mom must have gone to the same school of "How Little Can I Get Away with Saying?"

HeatherPosts like this and Katherine’s really make me think that it’s obscene that we don’t talk about this stuff.  Also, I’ve decided that, if your doctor says something like, "Well, that’s just how it goes for [redheads, fat chicks, sluts, etc.]" we should get to kick them right in the shins.

KristinaOne of my friends has a set of sheets she calls "the scene of the crime" that she uses when she menstruates and has given up bothering to get the stains out of.  The bathroom scene in this post reminded me of that.

The World is an Interesting Place

I wanted to link to saraclark on the new blog roll, but I’ve been reading along at and been all like “That’s a new design and I don’t remember these posts.  Hmm.  I’ll just read along and see if anything starts to sound familiar.”

Finally, I figured out my mistake.

And discovered this crazy-ass thing.  Saraclark is not even her real name!

So, she’s added.  Also, I added Ceeelcee.  Check out the name of his blog.  It tickles me.  And now, sir, you are obligated to continue to blog forever!  Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha.

Shit, I need to come up with some better nefarious plots.


MSM Lies About Barbecue, Defames Grand Southern Tradition

I’m sure you all saw the news yesterday that barbecuing meat leads to prostate cancer.

Alarmed, I sent the article to my friend, The Anonymous Meat Expert*, who explained that this is not anything I need to worry about**, but is simply more Yankee shenanigans like our destruction of the Hee Haw masters (or, say, Atlanta).  Frankly, I had no idea we Yankees were up to so many shenanigans.  I guess it’s that we have nothing better to do during those long, cold winter months than make babies and plot the ruination of the South.

Anyway, read these words and be comforted, my friends:

Now that is a classic example of dialectical confusion. In the rest of the country, anything cooked on a grill is barbecued. Cooking hot dogs on the Weber is called “barbecuing” in New York or LA. But in the South, barbecue is a specific style of cooking known as “low and slow” where the meat is cooked for a long period of time at a very low temperature. If you have charred the meat in real bbq, you have failed.

So the report starts out talking about “a compound that is formed when meat is charred at high temperatures.” That is grilling, not barbecuing. So the headline should have read, “Char-grilling meats linked to prostate cancer.”

Once again the liberal left yankee media is trying to ruin something near and dear to the hearts of the Southerners.

-The Anonymous Meat Expert

Happily, I think this means there’s no reason to hesitate about putting a little Southern meat in our mouths***.  



*Appropriately enough, the Anonymous Meat Expert is also the Not-So-Anonymous Best-Strippers-for-a-Lap-Dance Expert.  You’ve got to appreciate a guy with diverse skills.

**I also don’t have to worry because I’m not in a high-risk group for prostate cancer, as you might have noticed.

***And, luckily, the Anonymous Meat Expert has set aside April for just that very activity.  Ha, how can a pun so juvenile and obvious also still be so funny?  I don’t know.  It’s a mystery of the universe.