The first time I thought I started my period, I was eight. I had been racing my friend on my bright pink Huffy, when she suddenly stopped in front of me and my vagina made hard contact with the metal bar that separates the pedals.
It was painful, but I hadn’t thought anything of it. If you’ve ever been kicked in the vagina you can understand the dull pain it emits, but it’s not exactly lasting.
Later that day I had discovered blood in my panties.
My best friend had just started her period, and I burst into the type of crocodile tears that only an 8-year old can manifest. What did I know about becoming a woman???
I stuffed my panties with toilet paper, imitating the pads that I had seen my mother put on herself. It was bulgy enough for my mother to notice, and when she questioned me about it, she assured me that I had just broken my hymen (whatever THAT meant) and everything was OK.
I later learned that had it been the Middle Ages I would have been stoned to death or drowned for being a promiscuous heathen, but luckily this was the 90’s and it was nothing to worry about.
Flash forward about 3 years, to when I actually started my period.
To be honest, it was rather uneventful. I had been learning about it in those ridiculous “tea parties” that they make you attend in elementary school, and was actually looking forward to it, since all my older friends had already began “womanhood.”
Again, I had noticed blood in my panties, but this time practically jumped for joy and ran to tell all my neighborhood friends the good news. Upon retrospect, I understand why I received a handful of mixed reactions, but at the time I was confused about the hush-hush of it all.
I mean, I figured it happened to at least half the population, why was it weird? It was actually then that I decided that when I had a daughter, I would throw her a period party, including red velvet cake and fruit punch…
I recently told this to a man sitting next to me on the bus, and he gave me one of those sideways glances that indicated he thought I had a few screws loose, but I didn’t mind. In my opinion it’s human, it’s beautiful, and it’s woman.