On the Rag

The commuinques above are from the esteemed owner of Dolly Python, a shop in Dallas, using a nom de guerre.

~

This one below is from the classy socialite and fashion maven Judy Aldridge (regarding Anna Wintour):

What do they have in common? I see a disturbing preoccupation with menstruation.

I remember being around 10 years old and having to see a film in school about menstruation. I   recall feeling intense embarrassment and general discomfort.

But then I got a little older and had my first period. My sister showed me what to do. It was kind of upsetting. She forgot to tell me that you had to keep changing your pads. But soon enough, I learned that menstruation is just a part of life. I never used cute little euphemisms like “My friend is in town” or however that one goes. I never   called it “the curse.” I would say, “I have my period, do you have an extra tampax?” or something like that.

Once, after a night out and being a little tipsy, I couldn’t find my tampax! I tried and tried but the more anxious I became, the more impossible it was to do it. Finally, I went to get my date (now my husband) who was waiting in the bedroom.

Now, for you gals in Texas, it’s time to leave. You’re never going to be able to handle this. Scram! Shoo!

Okay, so then, my gracious date told me to lay down and relax. He would find it for me. I will never forget how gentle he was.   Gentle, confident, and manly. Manly enough to remove the tampax and go throw it away like a gentleman. I felt my heart go CLUNK. This was a man in a million. I fell in love right there, right then. Nineteen years later, he is still the only man whose hands I want on me. Except for Johnny Depp, of course.

I always loved having my period. It’s messy but sensual. It reminds you that you are a woman. It reminds you of the cycles of nature, the moon and the tides.

Where does the fear and loathing come from, ladies of Texas??

If you would like to share your memories or point of view and you can do so without being a slobbering lunatic, jump in.

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227 Responses to On the Rag

  1. The Bad Kate says:

    As a good little hippie pagan, I should be all over this womanly body-loving shit… Maybe if I could take six days off as required, and meditate in a dark, peaceful hut with my soul-sisters lovingly bringing me catnip tea and light meals, I would. However…

    My period has, first, never been regular. From the start (age 14), my cycle’s wandered between about 30 and about 45 days. Hi! Blood! Surprise! Hope you didn’t love that skirt! (Except for the seven years I was on the Pill, which came with its own set of problems AND an asshole doctor.)

    After I went off the Pill, within a few months I started bleeding all over the landscape every period. With that came a serving of pain so intense that I routinely took the first and sometimes second day of each cycle off work so that I could stay home curled round my belly and vomit occasionally. I was diagnosed with endometriosis, and told that there was nothing usefully certain I could do, except perhaps have a baby, if I was able to conceive. None of the medical options, apparently, work in all cases OR for any guaranteed length of time. I had, and have, no intention of making children. And since I’d had other side effects from the Pill (dangerously high blood pressure being the most exciting), I wasn’t going back to that either.

    I opted for herbs instead (found out I was allergic to evening primrose oil) and had moderate success with chasteberry.

    Then – unrelated incident, which I’ve already discussed – eating disorder. I LOST MY PERIOD. You know what? Despite the crazy, the osteoporosis, the heart murmur, the total lack of sexual interest, and the lingering adrenal problems, it would ALMOST be worth it to starve myself again, just for that wonderful, amazing absence of the periodic hell-beast.

    Now, it’s back. The pain isn’t quite so intense now (maybe the stray endometrial tissue died back without hormonal support) but in trade, I’ve got intense depression and/or rage, and nasty pre-cramping, for a week beforehand. Then a few days of spotting. (At least I’m no longer surprised by blood leaping out of the bush any more.) Then waves and floods of blood — I’ll usually have at least four or five gushes that fill my Diva cup in moments, and woe betide me if I’m not within five minutes of a bathroom.

    And through all of this bullshit, I’ve got to go to work, be productive, and live my life through a haze of discomfort inadequately masked by Advil.

    I HATE IT. I hate everything about it. I’d choose to celebrate my womanhood just about any other way, thank you.

  2. Sister Wolf says:

    Bad Kate – This isn’t okay. You need to see a caring physician (even though this sounds like an oxymoron.) Have you scrolled up and looked at any of the comments? So many women have suffered in similar ways…I had no idea! There must be some remedy for all this pain and hemorrhaging.

    Anybody have advice foe Bad Kate??

  3. Andra says:

    There must be a good woman doctor (I mean of the female persuasion) who is sympathetic and can help Bad Kate.
    Hideous to suffer like that all the time.
    As my delightful young lady doctor told me when I went temporarily mad during menopause, “It’s not easy being a woman sometimes.”
    Got that right luv.
    I do hope there is some help somewhere for all these suffering women. I suggest the girls writing here are merely the tip of the iceberg.
    And some half-wits think there might be a god! Ha!!

  4. Sister Wolf says:

    Andra – If god is around, he has abandoned me. He seems to be siding with the half-wits.

  5. Bevitron says:

    @The Bad Kate – wow, do I ever empathize & sympathize. My endometriosis experience/nightmare was, as I’ve said, a long time ago, so I know that all kinds of new info has been discovered about it, and after I had the hysterectomy (due to a big mean ovarian tumor, NOT due to endo) I stopped keeping up with the latest. The first thing I would recommend is that you shop around (if possible) for an endometriosis specialist. Also consider joining the endo association, which is a great source of information and support. Also I’d ask if you were definitively diagnosed with laparoscopic surgery (there might be other & better ways now, but back then it was the only way to diagnose it absolutely). My endo had been proliferating for decades when I was diagnosed, and by then I had numerous endometriomas and adhesions literally gluing my guts together – hence the raging constipation – and when the gyno surgeon (an excellent one, I’m happy to be able to say) who did the laparoscopy was rummaging around in there, he was able to cut bunches of adhesions free and got rid of bunches of old wads of endo that they call “chocolate cysts.” Put me off chocolate for a long time, that. But my pain level decreased by two-thirds after that. I don’t know what treatments you’ve undergone, but I’d urge you to keep looking for help. It sounds stupid to say, I mean, no shit, but you really shouldn’t have to suffer like that, whether it’s outright pain, or flooding of Old Testament proportions, or depression, or whatever. Sometimes you have to be really aggressive in your health-seeking. Being female should never be that fucking difficult. Good luck to you, (The) Bad Kate.

  6. ari says:

    Gretchen is the one who posted your link on our fb walls. On it, she also posted all of her comments from today (including the one below). Which in no way implies that we started a hate campaign against you. We merely got crafty with bugs. You’re reading WAY too much into it. She’s just having a laugh at this point. Relax.

    Gretchen: “Ari and her hot piece of ass Ben are the ones who are responsible for this ’shit’ storm (they made the fucking cockroach necklaces). I better fucking get an early Christmas present out of this. My fucking cockroach better be wearing a top hat and holding a cane. Goddamit!!!”

  7. ellio100 says:

    I still don’t get why ari ben etc are so pissy about some mockery of that necklace. The roach in resin isn’t even their own original idea so it’s not like we’re teasing something deeply personal they have created. It’s weird.

  8. Sister Wolf says:

    ari – Fuck you, you stupid crazy hillbilly trash, y’all are out of your minds.

    dexter – I don’t know what to think about that one!

    ellio100 – They’re all insane. They’re all named Billy-Bob and we can’t begin to penetrate their sensibilities. It’s like one of those horror movies where the crazed inbred hillbillies are really cannibals.

  9. Sister Wolf says:

    ari – HAHAHA, you can’t handle ONE negative comment on your “blog” after all the crap you’ve sent here?!? God, that’s funny! Man the fuck up, is my suggestion.

    Bevitron – Thank you, xo

  10. I am sure there are some lovely Texan women out there. It’s just a shame about these bad apples, or the masqueraders.
    And there are some clearly wonderful caring boyfriends on here. Mine just used to get a bit grossed out, and/or disappointed. I need to move on from boys, it seems, and find a nice caring man.

  11. Cricket9 says:

    Oh, brother. There is no end of this fucking cockroach saga? I’m trying to be kind to all sorts of creatures, I take the spiders out before my cats can eat them, but if I ever see a COCKROACH again, in lucite or not, it’s not going to be nice.
    Now the demented crowd is pointing fingers at each other – “she did it!” “no, they did it!” and whining about SW “wanting to destroy me”. Go back to your roaches and your gushing over “insanely stylish Jane”, enough of this crap already!

  12. Tricia says:

    @The Bad Kate – Bevitron gives great advice: you need a new doctor, as whoever told you your only option is to get pregnant is completely wrong and dangerously irresponsible. Yes, pregnancy will help, but those of us with endo often have big fertility issues! You do have other options. And although I’m a big believer in herbs and alternative medicines, I would not rely on this to help you w/endo. I did holistic treatment for a while, which did nothing in the end but cost lots of $$ and delay aggressive treatment which is necessary for severe cases. Like Bevitron, it was attaching to my organs and I needed surgery, which could perhaps have been avoided if it was properly treated years earlier. Try here for doctor resources: http://www.endofound.org/faq#faq1 – and definitely look into other endometriosis resources online. And if you’re in the NYC area I have one of the best surgeons and a very caring and skilled gyno!

  13. hammiesays says:

    I hated my period. It came too early (at 13) and my real “best” friend didn’t have hers yet and my Mum is so weird that I hid it and stole my big sister’s protection for about 3-4 months.

    it’s true. Child birth seems to help with world shaking cramps. The pill does too so consider that, AND it gives you bigger boobs all month long.

    AND I used to get “mitteschmuttes” or middle of the month ovulation pains. You have to love the germans, they have a word for everything.

    These days I am like ‘phew” because of the build up of menstrual tension, sore boobs and eating of entire tubs of Ben & Jerry’s Freetrade Macadamia Icecream for 2 weeks before hand.]
    But my period has turned into one of those rush jobs where you want to wear black and sit on newspapers for the first 2 days.
    I carry a sarong in my handbag to wrap around my hips like a fashion statement at these times….
    Oh and I get low blood pressure that I try to cure by staying in bed eating high fat, high salt foods. Usually end up holding on to the walls and waiting or it to pass.

    But what this really reminds me of is my Gorgeous Grace and her impending woman hood. Like mobile phones the kids are all getting their puberty younger so I am kind of terrified of what this will be like.
    And what is the point? she doesn’t have the ability to care for herself independently – let alone a child. So why put her little body through all this every month?
    It does NOT prevent breast cancer. My sister had the worst craziest hormonal horrible periods, she had 3 successful pregnancies AND breast fed every child. And yet she got the full on horrible breast cancer. So fuck that.

    I don’t want my daughter to have periods. She has only been toilet trained for 4 years, so I wanted a bigger gap before having to clean up anything else.

    Does that disqualify me from the sisterhood?

    xx

  14. Sister Wolf says:

    Redheadfashonista – You deserve one.

    Cricket9 – I think the noble cockroach has been besmirched and should sue them, to restore its good name.

    Tricia – Thankyou!

    hammiesays – I love the sarong! And the ice cream, of course.l As for your girl, yes, I understand completely. And as we know, back in the day, women had very few periods because they were usually pregnant. The monthly period is relatively modern. She will be okay without them.

    You are a leading member of the sisterhood, it’s a lifetime status.

  15. emma says:

    if no-one has yet mentioned it (I don’t have time to read every single comment here right now ) I had great results using Chaste Tree (some kind of herb). it has pretty much cleared up my pms (which was borderline pmdd) and my insanely painful cramps too (decreased in severity by i’d say at least 50%….)
    a friend of mine kindly visited the greengrocer/naturopath for me and they recommended it. I had better results on this than on Evening Primrose so if you are searching for a new treatment I urge you to give this a go for a couple of months at least.

  16. Suebob says:

    My exceedingly long “First Period” story is here, in all its bloody glory:
    http://redstapler23.blogspot.com/2009/03/my-first-period-story.html

  17. kellie says:

    The Bad Kate-O have fibroids, and that can be part of the disaster too.
    There is no easy answer, other than to just turn it all off. When they were thinking about doing surgery, I was like “take it all out-all of the womb and whatever else you can find”.
    I was so over it.
    Now, life is back to normal.
    Or, as normal as it had ever been.

  18. Lisa says:

    LOVE it! Had the same exact thing happen to me after a night of drinking and my boyfriend (at the time) had no problem doing retrieval, I knew right then and there this was the man to marry- and I did, 15 years ago. We still laugh about it!

  19. firefly says:

    I…hate it. Mostly the pain, discomfort, cramps, and the feeling of bleeding out my uterus lining. It takes me an hour before the painkillers set in, and then it last for only another few hours. Plus, I can’t get over the feeling of vulnerability and not being able to do anything-one of the dis-privileges of being something of a “women” in modern society.

  20. I like getting my period because it means I am not pregnant.
    That about sums it up.

  21. Ma says:

    I got away from the internet for one week and missed the opportunity of saying something to these sea of ari/gretchen/whoever people.
    THAT’S NOT FAIR.

  22. morgana in oz says:

    Thats how I met my next door neighbour….she had a sponge stuck up her for three days, so she dropped by for an introduction, retrieval and coffee…have 2 say, weird way to meet…

  23. I had a hard time growing up fat. Yes, I said it. Fat. I am now able to accept it. I HATE the fact that I can’t come across elegant clothes though. I feel we are being discriminated. We deserve to look wonderful too do not we?

  24. I agree! And I could not have said it any better! Keep up the good work my friend.

  25. Ty for the read I loved it.
    I really like the layout of your site.
    I have bookmarked. thanks

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