The Curse

I was supposed to go swimming today. The one exercise I actually enjoy. But I am not going! Not because I am a lazy person (thought tbh I am).

And not because I am barred. Though I nearly was!!! I had a nightmare swim last week when 10 zillion school kids descended on the pool meaning us adults were all corralled into two lanes and the guy behind me was so far up my arse he may as well have been my gynaecologist. I had to kick frantically to go faster and unfortunately ‘accidently’ kicked him in the face.

This in itself might have been enough to get me barred as it is possible his nose may never be the same again. But he did not grass me up so I left the pool rather relieved as Google has advised me on the numerous times I have checked that the menopause is not a justifiable defence for Actual Bodily Harm in court.

I was almost barred again as I enquired at reception for the times the school children came in to use the pool. The receptionist looked appalled and asked why I wanted to know. Snotty cow I thought. But realisation dawned just before she called social services and I frantically explained I wanted to AVOID the children so I could swim in peace.

So nope – not barred. The reason I am not going is because my friend has come unexpectedly. Do you know what I mean? I have the painters in. I’m on the rag! It is star week! I have ‘womens trouble’.

There are so many ways of describing your period. Germany calls it Erdeberwoche which means strawberry week. I particularly like Finlands description of Hallum Lechman Tauti which translates to Mad Cows Disease. This is most appropriate as I am as mad as hell. Four feckin months with nothing – NADA – and I had been lulled into a false sense of security.

I know this is normal – I know that fluctuating hormones interrupt the ovulation cycle. But this doesn’t make it any easier to to back to the start of the countdown to the magical year of no periods when I can officially declare myself post menopausal. It is a bit like when I spent 7 weeks losing half a bloody stone at Slimming World only to regain it all back on one all inclusive week in Tenerife and so it was right back to the start. FFS. Some women dread this moment – a realisation that they are no longer fertile (though my pal who smugly hit 12 months with no such incidents was less smug when she discovered the last four of those months she had actually been pregnant – her baby girl is beautiful and will celebrate her 3rd birthday at the same time as my friend celebrates her 50th, Turns out fertility does not disappear neatly with the onset of perimenopause as she had originally thought. Her 16 & 18 year olds are great babysitters though) But I cannot feckin wait to be shot of my periods. No more spending money on sanitary products instead of gin. No more paying VAT because someone somewhere declared them a luxury. No more wondering when it will appear from nowhere. Bring it on.

Except my body keeps playing tricks on me. Months pass with nothing and I think i am almost there. Then Mother Nature sends her guest down and pisses herself laughing at my distress. Especially today – when I have my best knickers on (£8.99 from Autograph!).

And of course I have nothing with me – no sanitary protection at all. Good news though – our forward thinking employer has installed a machine in the toilet where for 50p I can have a nice sanitary towel.

I wrestle with the machine and finally manage to get one of the most massive bulky towels I have ever seen out of a very tiny tray. But needs must. I think of Alanis Morrisette’s song ‘It’s like ten thousand knives when all you need is a spoon’. Well this is like ten thousand pads when all I want is a tampon. Though it is possible my fanny might have closed up due to lack of action – with my current bedroom fantasy is listening to Desert Island Discs on catch up while eating a galaxy. I had a scone once but the crumbs went everywhere so it was straight back to Galaxy.

The bloomin pad is huge – and has no wings to keep it in place. I walk gingerly around with this monstrosity balancing in my lovely knickers with the lace edges that are not designed to keep towels safely locked in. For the first time, I am glad to have pudsey thighs rather than a thigh gap coz there is less chance of it falling out. I don’t get embarrassed easily now. I used to – in second year at school Mark Nimmo saw a tampon in my school bag and took it out and threw it across the classroom, I thought I would have to leave school and never return, such was my mortification. But over the years I have been significantly more embarrassed by a number of events and so nowadays very little embarrases me – but even I might be somewhat abashed if I am queueing up at the canteen for a galaxy and the towel was to fall down my trouser leg onto the floor!

I remember the days I looked forward to my period coming – proof that all was in working order and i was most definitely not pregnant. Now I just want shot of them for good.

Isn’t it ironic?

Don’t you think?

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