"Why are you bringing a purse to the bathroom?" and other such mishaps
There are few things more universal than getting your period. And with it comes a huge wealth of stories. If you, like me, were the first one of your friends to get it and paved the way, or if you haven't gotten yours yet and want to see what the road ahead may look like, I hope you enjoy some of my greatest period stories.
The worst possible timing
It was New Year's Day of 7th grade and, for winter break, my family was skiing in Vermont. My mom had turned in a little early, so my dad, grandpa, brother and I went up the chairlift for one last run. For those of you who don't ski, here are some facts you need to know for this story.
1. Skiing requires lots and lots of layers of clothing.
2. Once you're on top of the mountain, the only way to get down is to ski the full trail.
3. There is nowhere to pee at the top of most lifts.
As we got off the chair lift and began planning our route down, I felt something in my underwear. "Gross" I thought. "And weird. I didn't have to pee."
Then it hit me. I had sat through health class and I knew what periods were, but it had always felt like something far away that just wouldn't happen to me. Well, not anymore. The only way to get back to the hotel was down, so down we went. I rushed to our room, struggled out of my ski clothes and ran to the bathroom, certainly confusing my male relatives. (I had not disclosed why I absolutely *had* to rush down the ski trail that fast.) I had definitely gotten my period. Unfortunately, hotel rooms do not come pre-stocked with pads and tampons, so my mom waited with me in the bathroom while we sent my dad to the nearest CVS for pads.
On top of a mountain and without supplies. The good news was, things could only look up from here.
"Why are you bringing a purse to the bathroom?"
It was 8th grade and I was sitting in health class, bored out of my mind. "I put my tampon in about six hours ago," I realized. "I should probably change it."
I signaled the bathroom sign (my teacher hated it when kids raised their hands to ask about the bathroom), grabbed a little purse from my backpack and headed towards the door.
"Why are you bringing a purse to the bathroom?" a boy at my table said, too loudly. "Are you going to check your phone in the bathroom? You can't do that!"
I froze. Potential answers swirled in my head.
"None of your business." No, that sounds like you are sneaking off to check your phone.
"I need to change my tampon." In front of the whole class? No way.
As I stood there, my teacher calmly walked over to his desk. He reached into one of his drawers and, with a perfectly straight face, threw a tampon at the boy's head. In the ensuing laughter I ducked out of the door, grateful for the distraction and the fact that teaching this kid was not my job.
The battle with birth control
About two years after getting my first period, I was in a bit of a bind. My period just had not regulated. I could get it twice a month or not for six weeks, my acne was awful and my cramps were debilitating. All in all, it was a terrible situation. My mom decided we should ask my doctor what to do and she told me to try taking birth control.
I was shocked. There was absolutely no way I was going on birth control. "I'm not sexually active and if I am on birth control everyone will think I am," my panicking brain yelled. In retrospect, that was completely insane for four main reasons:
1. It's not like anybody knows you're taking birth control unless you tell them.
2. If you do tell them, literally nobody cares.
3. Birth control is a contraceptive, but it's also super commonly used to regulate hormones.
4. If you tell someone and they don't know Fact #3 and they actually care and it changes their opinion of you, they are not worth your time.
Problem solved. Time for a regular period and less acne, mood swings and cramps, right? Unfortunately, there are lots of different brands out there and the only way to find the right one for you is to just try them until you get in right. Three months later, after three different brands, three different side effects, and three different results, I found the brand that worked for me. I've been taking it for two years and I'm so grateful I did.
What are some of your stories?
We want to hear from you! Send us your weirdest body questions here (seriously, we'll answer anything!) and it just might get featured.