Remember that book? Judy Blume fans certainly know what I'm referring to. I think I'm going to read that book all over again. I need to go back in time to a place where I'm just a child with childlike thoughts and concerns. Enough of this adult shit.
I remember reading "Are you there God, its me Margaret" in 5th grade just as the class was divided by the sexes for that special movie in health class. Awkward boys in one room; giggly girls in the other. My health teacher back then was the school nurse, Mrs. Z. This woman was very tall and lanky... and very old. Her gray hair was styled in a fashion that made her look like an ancient version of Tennile from "Captain & Tennile". She wore polyester pleated pants and plain blouses that had huge bows in the front. She was the one who taught us about periods. To this day, every single time I get my period, Mrs. Z. comes to mind and her voice rings out in the words she once told us when describing them, "Oh, and you'll know when you get it... because its verrry wet!!!" Gross. The monthly cycle thing didn't sound fun at all. In fact, it sounded scary to me. Bleeding, cramps, crankyness... pads!
In the book, Margaret gets her period for the first time and has to learn about wearing a sanitary napkin pad. The description of a sanitary pad in that book, for the longest time, confused and scared the hell out of me! I was totally engrossed with finding out how they worked... why the hell did you need a belt??!?!?!??? A belt????? For what??? I was totally embarrassed to ask anyone about it! This period business sounded more and more like a pain in the ass and I had decided that I didn't want any part of it! I made the decision that I wasn't going to get it ever! ... as if I had a say in the matter.
Then, one day in the girl's bathroom, it appeared... that little spot of blood on my flowered underwear. "Great! Just great!", my 5th grade voice echoed in the sea foam green bathroom stall.
Did I tell anyone??? NO FREAKIN WAY!!! Nobody was gonna know about this! It was soo embarrassing! I didn't want to have to get "pads" because I didn't know how to use the belts!!! My period got heavier and I got more sneaky in hiding it. I waded up toilet paper bundles and put them in my underwear. Who needs pads and belts??!! I figured this period stuff out myself! ... but then by the 3rd day the flow was too much for a mere wad of Charmin! I soiled my panties a lot and stashed the evidence wayyyyyy in the back of my underwear drawer. Soon I ran out of my own panties and resorted to stealing pairs from my mom's drawers! HA! I had outsmarted mother nature! Me, Sadie... all by myself! Ha!
But... the next month it came back. Supplies for hiding this annoying monthly occurance dwindled. My mother's underwear drawer thinned out quickly. One day when I came home from school I went to my bedroom and to my absolute HORROR there was a GIANT box of Maxi pads on my dresser and all my previously dirty underwear in a nice, neat pile next to it. Oh my God did I think I was going to die! I was sooo embarrassed and ashamed! I didn't want any part of this!!! I turned around and my mom was standing in my doorway. I didn't say a word. "I was wondering where all my underwear was disappearing to and I found them in your drawer!" I thought I was going to get a lecture on how bad the situation was but instead I got a huge bear hug and a speech on how happy she was that I was a woman now, or something. Ugggg!!!! I didn't want the hug, I didn't want the giant box of pads, I didn't want to be a woman. I just wanted to be plain old Sadie in 5th grade again. When she finally left me alone to sulk in my gloom I looked at the pictures on the outside of the giant box towering on my dresser. Finally, I would find out about the belts! ... but the picture didn't show them. "They must be inside", I thought so I opened it. There weren't any belts whatsoever! What??? The scariest part of being a new woman wasn't real at all. It was the 80's and Maxi pads didn't have belts anymore! I was so relieved.
I'm waiting for my period again to start the fertility stuff that was put on the back burner. I'm taking Medroxyprogesterone to make me start bleeding again after 6 months of no period. Starting to get crampy and I have a feeling that my lining is going to be rather thick when it debutes. If only my womanly problems were as simple as they were in the 80's. I want to be plain old Sadie from 5th grade again.