Here's what’s fun about PMS: It is simultaneously the most unifying thing about being a girl and the thing about being a girl that dudes are most afraid of. (Dudes, you know? Can’t live with ‘em, pass the peanuts.) Think of PMS like testicles: Everyone assumes that the actual period/penis is the real deal, but the thing you’re actually thinking about when you think you’re thinking about the period/penis is the PMS/testicles. Menstrual blood? No big fucking deal. The week before menstrual blood gets going? A world of pain, nephew.
Oh, PMS means pre-menstrual syndrome. Nobody actually says “PMS” out loud because it sounds like a throw pillow. You know that line--its origin's with George Carlin but has since been reappropriated by every dude who thinks he’s a cool guy--“I don’t trust anything that bleeds for three days and doesn’t die”? That is half-annoying, half-actually-medium-funny, and overall OK as a sentiment because the wariness that (some) guys have about periods and their circumstances (TIP: “don’t trust” means “don’t understand”) is logical. S is f-ed.
The bras that I fill out when I am waiting for my period to happen are mega-absurd. Like, any other week of the month I could still fit a bunch of pairs of wool socks inside them and strut around like Bugs Bunny when he was dressed up like a girl bunny (TM Wayne’s World). I don’t know what they get filled with ( ..Air? Not milk, right? Sick) but I think maybe it's barbequed rage because that’s what it feels like. Motherfuckers hurt. Sometimes I’ll forget and pull my laptop bag over my boobs and it feels like suddenly activating four hangovers (two in each tit). The plus is that they look cartoony and good. The minus is that any sex-pressure on them--and you still want and kind of need to have sex--other than the very lightest palming is going to sting. Nothing helps except pot, really, which is why I never noticed this symptom until I stopped being a full-time burnout.
Picture the hand of the original Crimson Ghost curling around your lower-insides and squeeeezing, releasing half-way, squeeeezing again, and then once in a while when you’re doing something normal like existing it squeezes and twists so that you maybe walk into the outside of someone else’s cubicle and you have to be like “Oopsie my mistake!” because a world of warcraft bent on total annihilation is taking place just above your bathing-suit area.
Mittelschmerz is Awesome for “middle pain” and refers to the feeling (it’s so fucked) of your ovary releasing your egg, which happens before all this PMS mess. But since I’m on the pill and my eggs are all like “Wait, what’s happening? Where do I…?” I’m going to use it for the constant low-level physical pain--water-balloon tits and cramps and bloating and how much extra it is when someone even touches you too hard – that happens between ovulation and menstruation, which is so very mittel and so very schmerz. It’s like, you know how when you have a cold it sucks but you can kind of just make a bed-fort and live inside it with steamy yummy things for a few days, and be like “I HAB A CODE” to everyone, and make a toque and a trailing blanket cape your uniform? PMS is just like that but there’s no escape, there’s just feeling weird and bad for several days a month for most of the rest of your life.
I don’t feel like looking this up because health information on the internet is pretty much useless but mostly I'm including it because I get wicked-cold. I am wicked-cold right now! Is this real? Also: so sleepy! Zzz. You too? Email me.
MUTATION INTO MYTHIC WARRIOR-HUNTER-TYPE
Essuse me, buuuut, don’t you think that having a period is evidence of the girl-beast’s ultimate and mythic powers? Guys just get old while girls continually cycle through this whole dramatic thing of dropping eggs and shedding uterine material and blood-letting. Also there are special tools (blood chalices, blood swords, and blood shields, depending on your method of feminine protection) and special costumes (jammies; sweatpants) and special powers (being cunty). It’s a little bit eye-roll, but it’s nice that we welcome girls into their womanhoods with hugs and prezzies and, in some matriarchal-y hippie households, flower-crowned menstrual ceremonies. (I was so WASP-weird about getting my period, despite having two big sisters and a mom, that I flushed unflushable Kotex down the toilet until it clogged and my dad had to plunge it while I stood there being like “…”) Further evidence of this is that right before I get my period I turn into Artemis, literally and figuratively out for blood. Literally, I’m expecting my iron to drop, so during PMS aka right now I’m basically ready to eat a raw steak with my bare hands. Figuratively, I want to rip open and feed on the warm heart of any living thing that wanders into my bitch-arrow, then cry. Estrogen, progesterone, something something something. The PMS-transition from You into Period You is crazytown (like the band); pretty sure True Blood is a simple menstruation parable?
So, for some people, including people who a) have just broken up with their man and b) are iffy about casual sex because of knowing too many herpes statistics, PMS = needing and having a lot of sex, or maybe just rubbing one, two, or three (three) out before work (before). For other people, it’s all, get away from me. Usually the first thing. Like “If I don’t bleed soon I’m going to fuck that guy’s iPhone while he’s texting on it.” Also: maybe this has something to do with Canadian health care, but my doctor told me to have a lot of sex during PMS because the penis acts as a massage. Should you tip your doctor after an appointment like that? You should at least share a cigarette with her, right?
Usually if a post-teenage girl with good skin gets a zit you can consider it a flickering red light that’s like “Warning!” about not saying too much bullshit that day. Also, don’t look right at it, Jesus Christ.
HUNGRY FOR SWEET/SALTY/EVERYTHING
The ideal PMS snack is plain, salted popcorn sprinkled with peanut M&Ms. I don’t know why, I didn’t invent it. (You’re not supposed to drink coffee or anything other than, like, rose-hip tea. I didn’t invent that either, but it’s fascist; ignore it.) PMS is worse than drunk for taking a handful of gnarly candy, like those little Kit-Kat balls, and throwing them on some Kashi Go Lean Crunch, and then doing two twists of sea salt, and enthusiastically thinking “Soooo good!” No, not so good. There is some convenient and sexist theory about how PMS makes women technically/chemically insane for the duration, in a way where Kit-Kat balls (balls!) become a destination snack, and you’d maybe bite someone hard on the cheek to get them once they’re in your head. Maybe. But, so? Fuck you!
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Previously: What Girls Should Do in Their Twenties