Aunt Flo’s visit
Every month, every damn month, it comes to visit. Like an uninvited mother-in-law who intensely repeats for two weeks that she will come and then suddenly surprises you at the door. If men have issues with their mothers-in-law, we, women, have only one thing to be worried about - aunt Flo's visit.
It first came unannounced when I was ten years old. I remember that day as if it was yesterday. It was getting ready for spring outside, and even though I didn't feel good in the morning, I wanted to go to school. My mom bought me new clothes. The day before school, I took them out of the closet and moved them to a chair next to the desk, where they waited until morning. After the obligatory brushing of my teeth and watching the first hairs under my armpits, I jumped out of my pajamas and put on the light blue velvet bell-bottoms, a white T-shirt, and a light blue furry jacket with black stripes. I liked it, especially since the zipper was on the side.
I put on my coat and dark red shiny leather shoes, picked up my school bag, and hurried behind my apartment building where my best friend was waiting for me. We had about a fifteen-minute walk to school. Although I was overflowing with pride because all the classmates were praising my clothes, I didn't feel okay. My belly was aching, and I was getting worse and worse. In fear that the teacher would send me home, I preferred to wait quietly until the end of class.
I didn't hear half of the things my friend was telling me on our way home. I just wanted to get into my bed; as soon as possible. I quickly said goodbye in front of the apartment building and ran home. I had a feeling it was going to explode. At home, I greeted my mother, who was still working night shifts at the time and locked myself in the bathroom. I changed into a tracksuit, what do you know, maybe I got so fat, and the belt on my new pants was pressing on my belly.
It wasn't that. I pulled my pants down and sat on the toilet. I was rubbing my belly and waiting for the pain to pass. It wasn't until I pulled my pants back on that I noticed - shit, red stain on my pants. My first thought was that I was dying, and I panicked. I screamed in fear until my mom came to the bathroom. She just looked and started laughing. Still in shock, I didn't know what was wrong, until my mother said:
“You've got your period."
I burst into tears, thinking that this would be my new reality. I will have to wear pads every day; I will bleed every day. It was only after a rather funny conversation with my mother that I realized that Aunt Flo will come every month, stayed for a few days, and then she will leave. I felt calmer and just wanted to sleep till morning.
Since then, my bloody days have been a problem, especially at school. Because I was the first among my classmates (so I conclude, given that I was also the highest and the most developed among them) with regular aunt Flo's visits, I was quiet. When we had to change our clothes for gym classes, I hid in all sorts of toilets and wore boxer shorts over my panties. As I walked to the bathroom, I hid the pads in my pockets and gently, with feeling, opened the packaging so it wouldn't be heard.
I was getting new signs month after month. Pimples were appearing all over my face, I was becoming more and more annoying, and my cramps were getting worse. Even when most of my classmates were already menstruating (at that time, I was the last standing in the row at PE, i.e., the smallest), and we were still too ashamed to talk about it, my periods were getting nasty. The second day was always hell for me; I vomited at every turn. Despite the painkillers I took, I was not getting better. The teacher even sent me home in high school. The hormones calmed down a bit in my fourth year of high school, but I still didn't survive the first and second days without pills.
I tried everything, a hot-water bottle, painkillers, some Chinese herbs, birth control pills (I was in heaven when I was taking them), even energetic panties. Nothing but chemistry helped.
And not to mention PMS. That's when I'm unrecognizable, tears flood my eyes, pimples appear, I eat Nutella with a spoon, I become a real pain the ass in need of anger management. Also, I wake up every night, sweat like a pig, and do not sleep on my stomach due to sore breasts. So I know precisely when the aunt will knock on the door again.
While this will sound weird, I'm glad I have my period. Without it, there would be no good and funny stories connecting women. It had happened to almost every one of us that we sent our partner or father to buy pads, that it poured between our legs when we got up from the chair during an important event, that we felt relief every now and then when we saw blood between our legs.