Thursday, September 14, 2006

Be Happy. Period.

[Note to faithful reader(s). This next post is about menstruation. Mine, specifically. You've been duly warned.]

Always is my menstrual products brand of choice. I select for my Womanly Time their most advanced, absorbent, and thinnest pads, called (I'm not kidding) Always Ultra Plus Nighttime. I will not share with you why I must use their most industrial-strength version, save to mention that I wish that my reproductive circumstances were otherwise.

The point to this blog entry: if you click on the link above to, (men, be advised that if your computer is registered to a male-sounding name the monitor will promptly explode) you'll see in the upper-right corner a clickable banner that says, "Have a Happy Period". OK - [leans into the microphone] - does anyone besides me find this new marketing ploy beyond absurd? Really. Come on. It's on the facing on the actual pad as well - you know, the tear-off bit that exposes the adhesive? There it is, every time I'm alone in the bathroom stall, staring at me: "Have a Happy Period Have a Happy Period Have a Happy Period Have a Happy Period" like a manic chorus-line of pale tangerine false cheer. Gah.

Why, you ask, is this slogan so abhorrent to me? WHO IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT'S HOLY HAS A 'HAPPY' PERIOD? You? You, ma'am? You, sir, does your wife ever seem happy during her sacred feminine time? Anyone? No. I thought not.

My period's not happy. A week beforehand I experience PMS. I'm lucky in that there's no physical pain involved. This is sadly not the case for many of my sistern. However, mentally I'm not in a good place. Geez, you know how much I hate false gender labeling bullshit. People accusing women of PMS-ing when they assert themselves at work or what have you gets me hotter than hell (not in a good way), but I'll be honest. I go berserk about a week before I menstruate. Berserk. I can feel it rising like heat in my brain, a buzz of irritation at work, at myself, and especially at Ramon, poor fella, because he's there. Eventually it'll get so bad (especially if I didn't mark my calendar and am therefore not aware of what's happening) that I personally, mentally will not be able to process the fact that he's left the water-sprayer on the bathroom sink again instead of hanging it on the shower caddy where it belongs and go after him, claws extended, guns blazing. Sometimes it just comes out as one snarky comment and then I snap awake: "Wha...? Whoa. Did I just bitch at you about the water thingy? I did, didn't I? Must be PMS. Sorry, babe. I'll mark my calendar." Sometimes it escalates into a straight-up fight (featuring shrieking ultimatums from me and sullen obstinance from Ramon, our specialties) followed by sobbing hysterics from me and THEN a crazed realization that this ruined evening was brought to you by the letters Pee and Em, and by the number 5 (5. S. PMS. Get it?)

[Irrelevant side note: I've finally figured out why women, when they're excited or upset, cover their nose and mouth with steepled hands (a dreadful-looking habit, in my mind). It staves off hyperventilation. Try it - much faster than a paper bag, right? I figured this out when Ramon and I were tussling and suddenly I couldn't stop laughing. Covered my breathing apparati and everything calmed down at once. A miracle. It works for screaming hysterics as well, I found. No need to thank me.]

Honestly, sometimes PMS doesn't manifest itself as much at all, thank goodness, or nothing more than a passing irritability that brushes right off.

Then the real deal a week later. Heavy, heavy flow, backaches, craving for all things edible (as long as they're wildly unhealthful), headaches, fatigue and a totally new and exciting bowel schedule. You'd be surprised how big of a deal that last one can be. The whole thing's not that bad, really, since Ibuprophen and those ubiquitous, cheerful tangerine pads keep me up and functioning more or less normally. I have it so much easier than so many women, y'all, so don't think I'm complaining inordinately. But my period is. Not. Happy.

I beseech you, Always, to rethink this last ad campaign. For me? How about "Have a Reasonably Livable Period"? Or "Please Don't Kill Anyone This Period"? Or "Everybody Understands If You Strangle Your Houseplant This Period, Really"?



Blogger Aly H. said...

OMG. This is akin to "Have a Happy Apocalypse" or "Have a Happy Bitter Divorce."

9/15/2006 3:55 PM  
Blogger jmum said...

Have a happy time whilst the aliens eat their way out from your innards.

Have a happy puking your guts out every month from ages 13-63 time.

Have a happy time with the electrical pole you are skewered upon for seven days every month.

Have a happy wanting to choke those you love most time.

I think these are viable, and much more accurate options for Always.

9/16/2006 7:50 PM  
Anonymous el gato gordo said...

Thanks for writing more posts, but I got nothing to add to this, so instead, I'll insight the riot by saying that it was better when all women were sent out of the city limits during their monthly cycle.

"We didn't start the fire, it was always burning since the world's been turning.."

9/18/2006 2:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This had to be a MAN, Have A Happy Period Always is so stupid and something a MAN would be stupid enought to say. What is so happy about bleeding, cramping, and just feeling terrible? I'd like to slap the person that says this bullshit. They need their head examined or need to be comitted to the nut house............Next they'll say Have A Great Menopause, Now And Forever! Remember I said it FIRST!!!
Who is this blog author, another MAN?

12/13/2006 11:24 AM  
Blogger Morphea said...


Well, you're obviously a lot more angry about it than I, and more willing to attribute stupidity to one gender or another (not really my M.O.), but - you know - whatever yanks your crank.'re not a troll, are you? Just checking.


12/13/2006 11:51 AM  

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