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20 Something: An uncomfortable topic

Is there a reason why we can’t talk about periods? People—and this includes females—seem really squeamish about discussing it. And I’m not even talking about the gory details, I just mean having the matter brought up at all.

“You look like you aren’t feeling well. What’s wrong?” –Concerned Coworker

“It’s just my time of the month.” -Me

Cue instant stammering and/or blushing followed by a hasty exit. Why? That gentle explanation shows right there why this shouldn’t be an issue. It’s the time of the month, meaning that it happens every month to every woman between certain ages. Well, barring things like specific forms of birth control and being pregnant.

Actually it’s that last bit that makes me not exactly happy but at least celebratory each month because the pain is a reminder that I’m not harboring a parasite in my uterus. Of course, said female organ is distraught and likes to inflict intense pain and mood swings as punishment for my refusal to comply with turning my body into a walking incubator. But I think it’s worth it.


I can’t bring up these witticisms in conversation, though. Now, if I had some equally odd but apt description of a different bodily function like pooping, that would be considered at least acceptable—if not entirely appropriate—in most settings. I don’t know why, but for some reason, pooping is funny to a lot of people.

For instance, there was an entire scene in the movie Bridesmaids that involved uncontrollable diarrhea from food poisoning. Personally, I found this scene uncomfortable and difficult to watch. But since this film is labeled “comedy,” I’m guessing it was supposed to be funny.

I’m not saying that Aunt Flo’s monthly visit has to be a topic of comedy, but I do think it’s weird that talking about bowel movements is okay when talking about periods isn’t.

I just want to be able to explain why I’m crouched down in an aisle gripping my abdomen in the middle of work by saying “I’ll be okay. I’m just dealing with the wrath of my babymaker because I refuse to make babies. Just give me a minute.”

I want to be able to say this without the stammering and/or blushing followed by a hasty exit. Not that I expect the person to stick around, either; just commiserate for a second and then leave otherwise it would be awkward.

Basically, I just don’t get why we women are supposed to be ashamed of the red tide. Yes, for most of us it is at least an uncomfortable time if not downright excruciating. However, as someone who has no interest in producing offspring, I view each temper tantrum of my uterus as a win.

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