If you are the purveyor of a penis and you are squeamish about girl things in any way, stop now. I don't know how graphic I'm going to get just yet, but knowing me... well, yeah.
Monday morning, I woke up and realized the bed next to me was empty. After a moment of the dis-remembered panic of "Sweet Jesus! What has he gotten himself into, now?!" everything came flooding back and I was relieved and delighted and able to squirm around in my bed looking for perfect combinations of warm, sleep-snuggled spots and cool, untouched sheet. Just about the time my left foot was reveling in the chill and the rest of me was purring with the contentment of warmth, I realized I had to pee.
I was able to successfully put that off for approximately fifteen seconds longer, but there was a growing urgency to the situation, so I threw the covers back. momentarily mourned the evaporating of stored warmth and swung my legs over the side of the bed. I blindly grabbed for my glasses on the desk and stumbled into the bathroom. Since I tripped over neither child, dog, cat nor discarded article of clothing, I was thinking this was going to be a great day.
Except that when I sat on the toilet and let fly, I felt the unmistakable sensation that has plagued me, with some regularity, nearly once a month since I was fourteen years old: the woosh of tissue breaking free from my now-useless uterine walls, sliding down through my vagina and into the toilet bowl beneath me with a defeating and cruel certainty.
And I thought, Shit.
I have never enjoyed being a girl. It is ridiculously over-rated and full of pressures that, frankly, I just don't feel like rising to the challenge of meeting, let alone exceeding. I was totally hoodwinked by the romantic ideal of "becoming a woman" when I was younger. Now that, my friends, is a marketing campaign of unparalled genius. I was under the impression that once I hit "that" level of maturity, I would have cleavage, confidence and feminine wiles.
What I got, instead, were uncontrollable mood swings, pimples and and the sudden inability to ever wear white pants again. But I did, at least, expand my my wardrobe elsewhere: I got two sets of underwear (the "pretty ones" and the ones in the "I don't give a shit what happens to these" category.)
So on Monday morning, when I realized I was in for six days of complete and utter apathy shattered only by clumsy episodes, cotton-headedness and intense desires to set something -- anything -- on fire, I made one of those small gestures; one of the sort that will unravel the entire fabric of a day with a gentle tug.
I scratched my nose. And in doing so, I felt it: a small pimple. I leaned in, closer to the mirror to get a better look at this newest development and then realized I had other business to take care of, namely switching out of expensive panties and into the sort that may or may not end up looking as though they were used to tidy a murder scene -- you never can tell with me. That accomplished, I returned to face my whiteheaded adversary.
You know, God damn it, I am almost 40 years old and the presence of this thing on my face was almost too much to deal with. Actually, the fact that I am almost 40 years old makes me think that I am too old to have to deal with this sort of thing -- I should be able to trade plucking the disgustingly thick, single black hair that insists on sprouting from my chin once a month for zits. But, you know what? Life isn't fair, and I probably should have stopped my self-inspection there. But no! I am nothing, if not a glutton for punishment.
Speaking of the aforementioned chinny-chin-chin hair, I figured I might as well do some Re-con. It's been a couple of months since I yanked one, but I was able to give an all clear. I was surprised, but honestly -- I'd still rather deal with a monthly pluck than the bullshit of a break-out. And that should be good news, right? The idea that I am not turning into a man one whisker at time should be enough to put a smile on my face and send me staggering off to the kitchen for my much needed coffee and cigarette.
But, I figured, while I'm here and thinking about how old I am and about how all these crazy changes have overtaken my once youthful body, why not catalogue all of them?
And, see, here's the thing: One part of my brain was all for that, while another part was thinking that this was probably the worst idea I'd had recently, at least since the time I'd thought a Jagerbomb followed by a Burp and some shots of well whiskey were a fine way to spend a Saturday night. Yet still another part of my brain was just sort of begging me to go get some coffee. I knew the third part of my brain was trying to distract me and get my mind on something -- anything -- else, knowing my short attention span would effectively erase any intentions of returning to my inventory of What is Wrong With Me. The first part of my brain, the S&M side was all hopped up on hormonal waves, though, so it effectively kicked the crap out of the other two thirds and thus, the self-torture began.
In the span of about thirty-five seconds, I realized I need a haircut, I have visible and disgusting roots, as well as gray hairs that have multiplied like rabbits on Viagra. I have soft laugh lines around my eyes that I have never noticed before, and I seriously need to do something about my eyebrows before I earn myself the nickname, "Borgnine."
I was wicked high on hormones, and I wasn't going to let me get in my way of stopping the self-abuse. I went for the gold -- a full frontal assault on my own self-esteem. Without giving you too many details, let's just say that it almost seemed like I might have Tina Turner in a headlock, while sitting on Buckwheat's shoulders. I was also in the running for winning "Who Wants To Ruin a Razor" with my sexy Yeti-legs. Between a case of mild depression brought on by living with Satan's retarded younger brother and it just being winter, I had seriously let myself go. I fought my shame and called a day spa/salon combo a few blocks from my home, prepared to erase as much of the horror as possible.
Did you know there is no such thing as an emergency leg and bikini wax? I didn't. I thought the fact that I was completely irrational on the phone due to the extreme presence of extra femininity and a distinct lack of any kick-starting chemical substances bespoke of a person in severe need of the relaxing spa experience of having hair forcibly ripped from the most intimate and tender places on their person. Apparently in the dementia caused by the above two factors, I merely sounded like I was raving and I was hung up on. Repeatedly.
Well, whatever. Anything they can do for me, I can do half-assedly on my own. But first I needed coffee. Little known fact about making coffee when you are in the throes of absent-mindedness brought on by your period: without some Maxwell House in the handy-dandy brew basket, you can only make a pot of really tasty hot water. I tried again and got it right. But immediately after my first sip, I felt the toenails of a desperate Yorkie combing the lush locks of my calves and I almost cried when I realized I needed to put pants on. Putting pants on seemed like more of an effort than I could muster at that time, and I thought about just figuring out a way to trap him in the cat's litter box for fifteen minutes or so. I would like to tell you that I immediately dismissed this out of hand, but I have to admit that if I could have figured out a way to get it done that involved less effort than putting on pants, the title of this article would have been, "How I Litter Trained a Yorkie."
Monday was cold here on the prairie. It was gray and the sky spit rain on me and the damned dog decided that he was going to sniff every blade of grass, every tree trunk and every hubcap in the parking lot until he found the the one that met his descerning and exacting specifications and was deemed worthy of the four tablespoons of piss he'd stored up.
Five minutes into this process, a robin took a shit on me -- I suddenly had a quarter-sized dollop of warm, white bird-excrement dripping down my arm.
I did what any reasonable person would do: I threw up in the bushes.
The maintenance guy saw me. I think he thinks I drink all the time now.
I don't even know if the dog did his thing or not. I leaned down, picked him up and carried him back inside. I turned the shower on full blast, stepped in, rested my forehead against the tile wall and cried. It was a good cry, though. It expelled a lot of anger and frustration and it really did take the edge off of the hormonal high. Between the tears and the incredible amount of reconstruction work I had to do make myself appear like something less simian, I was kind of tired, so I got back under the covers thinking about a little nap.
Then the phone rang, and I ignored it. It stopped.
It rang again, and I ignored it. It stopped.
It rang again, and I ignored it. It stopped.
Hey? Are you guys picking up a pattern here? Yeah -- me too. I thought it was a pretty easy one to catch on to, myself. I wasn't going to answer the telephone no matter how often whomever insisted on calling back. I've admitted this before: it practically takes an Act of Congress to get me to answer a ringing telephone and this instance was no different than any other. Then my cell phone went off, and I glanced at it. My older sister was calling and I thought, It figures. It just fucking figures. She's gotten herself into some easily avoided mess like she always does and now I'm supposed to fix it. For your edification, "fixing it" usually involves throwing enough money at a problem until it disappears. This seems to be the bulk of my inheiritance from my parents. And this instance was no different than any other time: In spite of the fact she has a fully functioning gauge on her car, could I please go to QuikTrip and get her some gasoline and bring it to her?
Oh, and she'd pay me for it on Friday.
Getting a can of gasoline requires pants, too. You'd think, of all people, I wouldn't have such a problem or issue with pants, but that's just my Internet Persona. In real life, I'm big on oversized tee-shirts and slouchy shorts. I basically only wear pants if I'm leaving the house. So I searched the laundry pile for a pair of pants that were suitable for wearing to the convenience store when your dumbass older sister runs out of gas and strands her moronic self in her own driveway. The sort of pants required for that, by the way, are vastly different than the sort of pants you wear to walk a dog until a bird shits on you and you throw up. Dog/Robin/Puke pants are yoga pants with a two year old coffee stain on the right leg that refuses to give up the ghost no matter how often you wash them. And I wasn't going to put on CLEAN pants for a simple run to the QuikTrip. I finally found a pair of jeans that didn't have any beer stains and pulled them on. That's when I realized I was bloated.
I was Dora The Fucking Explorer in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade Bloated. I was distended and extended and while I could get them halfway zipped, no way was the button going to function as a button. So I pulled a trick I haven't pulled since I first moved to Kansas and was lying to myself about gaining 20 pounds. I found a ponytail hickey (I hate to use such technical terminology without a footnote, but if you don't know what is, ask a girl. Just makes sure that you ask again if the girl you choose to ask immediately says, "Scrunchie." This is not a Scrunchie. This is a ponytail hickey. Any girl who isn't really a post-op tranny knows the difference.)
So, I found the ponytail hickey and looped it through the buttonhole of my jeans. I then stretched it over and around the button of my jeans enough so that my pants stayed in their correct place and I was not "ghetto dippin'." I put on a really big sweatshirt I appropriated from Mr. Right , 1999, grabbed my purse and ran to the car.
Except when I started the car, I realized that I'd left my cellphone on the bed when I'd hung up with my sister. So, I left the car running and unlocked, with my purse splayed open on the passenger's seat and ran back into the apartment, grabbed my phone and ran back through the apartment, hoping I still had both a car and a purse. But when I opened the door to leave my apartment, a funny thing happened. Time stood still while I (even more ungainly than usual,) went headlong through the breezeway outside of my door. I watched, fascinated, while my not-quite-six-month-old and uninsured Motorola Razr flew in slo-mo through the air, landing with a gunshot crack of doom on the cement approximately five feet from where I stood, confuddled and confused, and trying to figure out why I had hurled my phone. I glanced down and discovered that in the space of time that it took me to fetch my cell, some mainstreamed IDIOT had delivered my new YellowBook directly in front of my door -- and just in time for me to stumble over it in my haste, too.
My groan and muttered, Fan-fucking-TASTIC echoed in the empty breezeway as I crouched over my phone, knowing it was too late for anything other than maybe a priest. I grabbed the battery, the battery cover and went to grab for the body of the phone, except that I tried to stand up all at the same time and when I did, I forgot my pants-issue. The teeth of the zipper bit into the tender flesh of my bloated belly and I gave a yelp and jerked, phone sailing through the air and then skipping across the concrete of the front sidewalk five times before coming to rest not all that far from where I'd hurled earlier.
Honestly, if I could have just curled up in a ball in the breezeway, I would have. I really wanted crouch in the shadows like an abused and abandoned dog, snarling and growling and snapping at the maintenance guy who thinks I'm a drunk. But I had to get my sister her gas and now I had to go to the phone store, too. Again, I point out to you: Life isn't fair.
I got my sister's problem dispatched with relative ease, especially after I informed her she was returning the loaner gas can. This almost became an argument between us, but when she started to whine about how long it had taken me to get there and how she was late enough for work as it was, I merely raised my sweatshirt and gave her a glimpse of shining white menstrual pooch and she shut her mouth, fast. I started to pretend that my bloated belly had superpowers, after that. For the entire ride to the phone store, I had crazy fantasies of using it (only for good, mind you,) against anybody that got in my way yesterday. It probably made me more assertive, to a certain extent, while I was dealing with world's oldest T-Mobile Employee who was under the misguided impression that he was the crankiest thing in pants in the KC Metro. I argued him down on cost, but the old coot wouldn't budge on letting me have the rebate, too. I thought about using my Bloat Power, but there were young children -- girls, no less -- around. I didn't want to take away from the anticipated & mysterious joys of becoming part of the Woman Club. So I took my new Nokia phone and I drove home.
Once I was pantsless again and situated in my office (my bed,) I logged onto Gather and with one glance at my front page, it all came clear again. I am a mere mortal, forced to suffer the whims of the machine. But this isn't the best week to fuck with me too hard. You never know when I'll put on some pants and fuck back.