Dec 1, 2006

"FRANKLY, MR. SHANKLY"

Ohhh, if you will again pardon for yet another vanterie sans scrupule... check out this funny interview that came out this morning in Girlistic. (Thank you to the charming and sharp Robin Meredith and mazel tov, as I hear she has a novel in the works!)

Chicago got a good dumping of snow last night. I love it. Everything looks so clean and pretty with a little fresh snow on it. And, today is all about staying in and playing catch-up on work, so other than one tiny errand I've already checked off my list, I'm in for the day. I whipped up a little poached eggs-and-whole wheat toast action, made a pot of the good Earl Grey, prioritized my To Do list, slapped a heating pad on my hip and am all set.

I've never blogger about my period, per se, but it rules. Some hate theirs, I love mine. It's only a couple of days long, of little substance, and easy on the cramps (hence heating pad on hip). Bing. Bang. Boom. Just a little check-in to remind me I'm a woman, then it's on it's merry way. Super.

And, know what I find rather nice? The "have a happy period" print ads on the trains these days. When, say today for example, I have my period and I see one of thes ads, they do, I will admit, make me smile and think, "Yeah! Thanks subway train print ad! I will!"

For one, most men I know seem to be pretty cool about such matters, but a lot of women still seem hung up and embarrassed about menstruation. So, I like the idea of a little goofy expression to remind us to chill, rest and take care during a totally natural, no-need-to-be-ashamed few days.

I just Google'd the phrase to see the mistressmind (har har) behind it and discovered there are e-cards available to spread the messge, which, eh, maybe that takes it a bit far. Good in theory, hokey in practice. But, wait, dig around the website a bit more and there are "time-o-the-month" mantras. What? Are you kidding me? Okay, (ding) if there is anything that I can't stand, it's the expression "time of the month". It rates right up there with addressing your (or someone else's) vagina as "down there". Where? Like Mexico City? The Seventh Layer of Hell? Down there? But, I'm straying from my topic...

The mantras. Right. So, the mantra on the website is:



Hmm. I love the message. I like the ending, especially the "make it the best period it can possibly be" part. But the rest is pretty pastel, don't you think? I mean, is it really necessary to default to the toe-nail-polish-chocolate-and-shopping-mall business?

(Susan Jane Gilman wrote a gorgeous manifesto in her very funny book, Kiss My Tiara [wonky title, I know, but it's a terribly funny read, I assure you], called "PMS Is a Power Tool". In this funy essay, she asks, "Why harangue our loved one when we can harangue our legislators?" Love that! Then, she goes on to say:

"Besides, lots of us gals today feel kinda blah about activism: Either we're cynical or sick of all the 'Kumbaya' singing or we simply have too many other things on our plate. But PMS provides a regular, ready-made desire to vent.")

So, how could the mantra be improved? Anyone? Power-eat super-food? Tank up on the good bottle of pinot grigio? Write legislators and let it rip? Rock out to 80s hair bands unashamed? Power-clean your place? Finally get something off your chest? Whatever. I want to know what you think. How would you write the mantra?

19 comments:

dana the poetess said...

My mantra:

Ohhmmm.... My period will give me the balls to tell my boss to shove it up his ass and quit talking to me like I'm his bitch!

Amy Guth said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Amy Guth said...

That's the spirit, Dana! (Nice to see you around here again, by the by.)

Who else?

Leah said...

Er... when did we sync up? Is it possible to cyber sync without hormones mixing together?

"Do do do do do do do do"

Mine has been much easier since Yom Kippur, fewer and fewer cramps each month.

Dykey Bear said...

"Do not get fed up and take a razor to your head during your period. Do not get fed up and dump your partner during your period. Do not get fed up and quit your job during your period."

Amy Guth said...

Hmm, that is a little weird, Leah. Eh well. Stranger things have happened, I'm sure. (Have yourself a happy period.)

Uh, Dykey Bear, I take it you speak from experience? Haha. Thanks for coming by. (Dig your display name.)

jake ryan of sixteen candles fame said...

Why do I find all of this so sexy? And I hadn't previously considered the idea of women have a little community during their menses! That makes me a sensitive guy right?

I would have made breakfast for you. Can I prove it?

Amy Guth said...

No. Jake, proofreding your comment might have qualified you as a sensitive guy...? I'm sure your culinary skills are adequate, but you must use them elsewhere.

I don't even know where to begin with the rest.

Wings said...

Talk about different strokes for different folks. My wife uses most of her sick days each year for the time of the month when Freddy visits. She often is bed ridden for at least one day.

While I would love to share your observations with her, I have a feeling she would not take them well. ;)

Amy Guth said...

Man, nobody caught that I made a typo in my comment to Jake? Get it? Making a typo when talking about making a typo? Huh? Yeah?

Is this thing on?

jennie said...

Why wouldn't they be taken well? Bigmouth didn't say anything that would piss off any woman, hurting or not.

Amy Guth said...

Hi Jennie, welcome. Nice to meet you. I see what you're getting at, but I think Wings just meant "Ms. Wings" (sorry) wouldn't feel well enough to go bang on legislative doors, is all.

And, maybe that if he wished her a happy period she'd beat his ass. :)

Wings said...

My dear Amy, I think you hit the nail on the head.

I am quite sure the old (outdated) tradition of naming hurricanes after women was devised by a meteorologist who was married to one of my wife's ancestors.

After one particularly bad month where everything I attempted to do for her was wrong, I had what I thought was the blessing of being out of town on business for Fred's next visit. Wrongo! I was then cursed for not being there when she needed me.

This is a Jekyll and Hyde situation. She is quite a lovely and civil person 26 days a month.

Amy Guth said...

Ha ha. Why Fred?

dana the poetess said...

In all of this chatter about cycles, I almost forgot -- nice interview! Really good one.

katie schwartz said...

I love my menses, especially saying menses. It’s so Depression glass, 1940s 5-story walk up in Coney Island.

I'm also a big fan of menstrual communication and creating menstrualisms. When the dams have parted and someone asks me how I’m doing, even a store clerk, I say, “Menstruating. You?” Regardless of whom you tell, be it a friend, colleague, a stranger; male or female, 90% of the time, the individual is noticeably befuddled and I am always surprised by this. It’s 2006— since the dawn of time, once a month, eggs drop. Vadgeys bleed. The menstrual chach has evolved, but the game remains the same. What gives? Why the ahj? I’m fascinated by it. Truly. I willingly participate in the discomfort of others because whatever the hang up, talking about it gets you past it.

What I also love about menstruating is that it reminds me that everything is working correctly. I can’t tell you how much I love that. Though it’s the only time of the month my emotions are erratic, which I’m not a fan of, I’ve become intrigued about where my moods and feelings might take me minute to minute.

As queer ass as those mantras are and oh boy are they super queer ass, they do make you laugh or smile and they contribute to reducing the shame associated with menstruating. For those who have shame this is a good thing.

I guess that’s not really a mantra. Oops. But if I had a mantra it would be, “Bleed, bitch, bleed. Bleed like it’s going out of style. Like you’ll never bleed again. Give an Academy Award winning menstrual performance.”

diane said...

Uh, wow. I should have commented earlier. I just wanted to say I love the first snow too, but I'm apt to go tromping around in it and catching snowflakes in my hair. :)

Wings said...

Amy,

Well everyone has those special names for personal parts, events, etc. and that is one of ours. Being together since before dirt we basically have our own language.

It started out as Fred the Red, then got shortened to Fred. It's really great. We can be riding the Blue Line in rush hour and have a conversation about fairly intimate things and know one has a clue.

wings

p.s. here's a few, terms we use, let your imagination run wild.

Lily
Greensboro and Durham
Bing and Bang

AmHistorian said...

So when your wife begins menopause, will you celebrate by singing "Freddie's Dead" by Curtis Mayfield?