Thursday, June 21, 2012
As a girl, you pay attention to what week of the month it is, or at least you are supposed to. After 18 years of this, I still get surprised when I wake up feeling hateful and mean for no reason, and then later that day I look at the calendar and it's like, duh, okay, of course. Stop freaking out.
I think men assume that PMS and all the other hormonal effects of having a uterus only happen all together, one week of the month. That's not how a cycle works.
I have three days of feeling hateful, which are usually about two weeks before the Bleed. Right after those three days I have one week of absolutely crazy making horniness. Like, the kind where you are living in a kind of electrical net, and every sensation on your skin is amazing and yet really awful cause the whole feeling is one of prolonged anticipation, and seriously that might be the worst feeling in the world after too much of it. Also, my skin tends to be bad right and I feel bloated at the moment, which is very bad planning Nature.
The next week my skin is great, I feel great, I'm totally normal and awesome in all respects. And then the week after is the actual bleeding. Of which, the very first night is the best night in the whole month for me to have sex. During my actual period, I actually feel pretty great, happy, ect, only I'm very tired. And then the next few days after my period ends, I have zero interest in sex and I am super into talking about politics and other people's problems and I'm really pragmatic. This is the best week for me to have job interviews or get paperwork done, or edit.
So in some sort of structure, here is what I know about my body:
1st 3 days of the cycle - angry, intense, emotional, very good writing time, worst time to talk to significant other about anything emotional at all.
2nd week - basically the "in heat" week, I spend a lot of time outside, I tend to wear brighter colors, and less makeup but more lipstick (I swear that's actually true, I might as well be a baboon.)
3rd week - everything is totally great and I look great and people love me and I feel awesome. Someone at some point will tell me I'm too nice to people or I'm too positive and geez I see the good in everyone even complete assholes. This is the best week to give me really bad news, and also if you compliment me now, I will remember and love you for it forever.
4th week - I just want to read all the time, and I'm mad I can't go swimming, and I don't go out a lot, but instead get really impressed with the idea that my body can totally do this, and I get sentimental about the universe and love and death. I talk in a lot of metaphors. I change my underwear twice a day, and think I smell funny. Not bad, just different.
Last 4 days of cycle - I am a completely non-sexual being. I'm really into reading about science and talking about documentaries I watched, and this is usually about the time I'll complain that someone else I know just "talks about sex all the time, like whatever, there's totally more to life than girls/boys".
If you think about the sum total of these things I've learned, it's so primitive and basic as to be laughable. I mean, it reads like an astrological chart or a rudimentary map of the seasons. And this is the subject with which I should be most intimate of all, my own body, the thing I live in and feel every waking minute of, and have been in close proximity observation of for almost 33 years.
So it's sort of humbling, to think how much our ancestors actually knew about the solstice, a thing that happens twice a year an unthinkable distance away from them, a huge step backwards in perspective from their place in the woods. Especially if I can't even put calendar dates and time to my hormonal waves, if I have to talk in generalizations in this day and age of reading DNA.
I've been feeling a different kind of electricity the last two days, a sort of buzzing awareness, little ripplings of current in my body's water reserves. I want to cover everyone with every sort of emotion I've ever had about them, just spew it out of my mouth like a dry stage fog, and envelope them, and have really good lighting.
I think Summer is a season for the world much like my own 2nd week season, and we all tingle with heat and sensation and anticipation as a species.
Posted by Bridget Callahan at 12:49 PM