I think I was 11 when I got my first menstrual cycle. What a strange time in a girls life. My daughters are getting older and that's weird, too, to see their bodies changing and their personalities more developed and complex.

When I was around 12 or so something really horrible happened to me. And every now and again the terrible memory will wash over me, leaving my stomach tied in knots. I feel that I should warn my girls, but I just don't have the words, you know? How can you explain to a young girl just how quickly things can go downhill??

It's very complicated. Yet also simple. Here is what happened. I was invited to go the mall by a girlfriend whose dad was willing to drop us off. My cycle had started that morning so I put on the only protection we had way back then - a maxi-pad that you could land an airplane on. If you wore pants that were too tight with one of these things on you looked as though you had some kind of tail that made squishy diaper noises as you waddled around. As if I didn't feel conspicuous enough. That's probably where those baggy MC Hammer pants came from. Women created them because they didn't want to advertise that they were OTR.

Anyway, my friend and I were walking around at a brisk pace when, without ANY warning at all, my pad somehow flipped upside down. Now...without being TOO crude, this was around 1980. Think back to all of the Playboy pictures from back then. Lots of hair. Lots of it. Nobody was really into coiffing their junk back then. Especially not naive 12 year olds.

And these pads didn't have just any old adhesive tape. No, this was magical tape that seemed to be forever slipping off of my cotton underwear but then could (apparently) hermetically seal itself to pubic hair in no time at all.

As I said, the pad flipped upside down. All I really knew was that I was suddenly, without any warning, in the most excruciating pain of my young life while cruising the epicenter of Junior High (the mall). I began wildly gyrating around, trying to ease the pain yet every move I made created an even bigger tangled mess. Finally, I doubled over (likely giving the appearance of eminent diarrhea) and ran towards the restroom where I could free myself from the wiley tangle.

I stayed in the bathroom for about an hour, convinced that "everyone" saw me. I didn't realize then that I was such a spaz, nobody probably gave it much thought at all.

So now that you know my secret, you can probably also see my dilemma. Had my mother told me that such a travesty was possible, I'd probably never have left my room. I suppose this will be just one more thing that my girls will have to discuss with their shrinks in the years to come. Sigh....


April said…
ohmygod! That's hilarious!

And the maxi-pads you could land an airplane on? yea, I remember those.

Fortunately for them, our daughters live in the advanced era of thin pads.
ZOMG. Good story. Chief thinks you should have called it "Are You There, God? It's Me, Bex."
leigh said…
ok, i remember a belt. i'm not imaging this. the pads had little extenders on the ends and you threaded them through this little elastic belt that kept it on. it looked like a padded g-string. as soon as i figured out how to use tampons i never touched these again.

bexie!!! did you have a good new year? have you moved yet? i'm still looking for work.
Jormengrund said…
I recall my mom using those nasty buggers on our dog when she went into heat..

Yeah, the dog hated them too!
Bex said…
April - Thankfully the times have changed. Our girls will probably get to use something size of a postage stamp.

Chief - Thanks. I have to go google ZOMG now, though. All I can think of is Zebra Oh My God and that's probably not it.

Leigh - I never did the belt. I think I missed them by a year or so because I had friends who talked about them in hushed tones. The first time I held a tampon my face flushed to the color of a plum as I read the directions. (I'm supposed to stick this WHERE???!)

And then it took me like an hour the first few times to "get 'er done". But yes, they are MUCH better.

We moved a few weeks ago. It's so frigging beautiful here that it's hard to get pissed off. As you can imagine that is a strange feeling for me.

No job yet, eh? Cocksuckers. Are you on linkedin? My hubs found some really good leads there when he was looking. If you want I'll link with you to expand your circle. Let me know....
Jinksy said…
Doesn't sound pleasant.

I think all adolescence (boys and girls) go through an embarrassing stage.

Most guys will tell you in was at the point when they were walking boners.

I can't nail the age, but it would popup without any reason.

"My penis is hard, and everyone knows. I'm such a perv."

My only suggestion is never growing older. No idea how to achieve it, but my only suggestion none-the-less.
Liz C said…
Oh lord, you brought back two memories:

1. In high school, my airplane-landing-strip maxi pad detached from my underwear and worked its way up the back of my pants where it hung out above my waistband as I walked down the hall.

2. When my daughter started, I had to tell her where to put the tampon. In explicit detail. Through a closed bathroom door. Call my weak, but there was NO WAY I was going in there to do it for her.

I, too, just missed the belt but I had to use it in the hospital after I had my daughter. The nurse had to show me how it worked.

Good times.
Brad said…
And this concludes Family Reading Hour. Join us next week when we'll discuss tales of horrible acne, and meet with three people who farted during the SATs.

(Bex, thanks for the laugh...)

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