humor · mental health

Red Ink?

Before I start, do you guys think it’s weird I wear my bathrobe like a cape when I write? It makes me feel sophisticated as I pace. You should give it a try, it’s very empowering. I especially need it for today’s topic. We’re not going anywhere near sophisticated, in fact, we’ll be at the opposite end of the spectrum.

I apologize to the men in advance, but I’m going to talk about my period again. For those who haven’t read my first post, I didn’t know what a period was. It took years to learn, and I still had no access to tampons when I did. I stuffed my undies with toilet paper to compensate for the lack of pads I didn’t know existed. I warn you now, if you’re squeamish, you may want to skip this one.

By Junior year, every girl I knew had their period. I now understood all women bleed for one week every month. It didn’t matter why; only that I accept it and act accordingly, regardless my resentment toward nature. I had limited resources for acquiring tampons, they were a highly desirable commodity. I saved them strictly for school and work. At home, I had high quality TP and a private bathroom, no need to waste one there.

I mastered the art of folding fat wads of TP into a homemade pad. It works best if you secure it in place with a combination pantie pouch, lip squeeze. Everyone have that image in place? Great.

You find some weird stuff googling ‘panty pocket’ but I found this in case my terminology confuses anyone. Huge thanks to whoever made this beauty. Everything else was super pervy.

I would like you to understand these events could not have transpired without grander forces (Karma, that bitch hates me) conspiring against me. As any woman can confirm, we all experience our periods differently, it’s like a conjoined twin you can’t cut off. All you can do is get to know her and learn to coexist. Mine was heavy the first day, got heavier days 2-4, until tapering off 5-7. Days 2-4 were the equivalent to the elevator scene from The Shining, it was foolish to waste a tampon on other days. Most of those required double protection, tampons and TP, to avoid public restrooms.

The book is way better, but doesn’t illustrate my point as beautifully.

A typical Day 1 entailed the usual stuffing of TP. Upon arriving at school, my rounds of tampon begging began. The trick is asking girls who are alone, (nearly impossible in high-school) or you significantly decrease your chances of scoring multiples. On a good day, I could get 3 or 4; on a bad day, I may only get one. Either way, I stayed alert, always waiting for a chance to beg another. Now I can share how I learned the necessity of begging in advance.

“Thelma, do you have a tampon?” I asked when we were alone at our locker. First period was about to begin, and I was already annoyed with sticky, drying blood in my crotch.

Thelma dug through her purse, “Damn, I guess not. Sorry” she shrugged and walked to class. Strike 1. I tried not to be too disappointed, she was my most reliable supplier, but it wasn’t her responsibility.

I tried to stay calm when I hadn’t scored by lunch. I lost count of strikes after the 5th failure, but couldn’t give up. When I saw a senior walk into the bathroom, I was desperate enough to follow. “Hey can I borrow a tampon?” I asked, heart pulsating in my throat. As if the situation weren’t bad enough, now I was speaking to a stranger.

“Sorry, don’t have one.” She replied with barely a glance my way.

After she left, I forced myself into a stall for spot check. It was leaking through my underwear and the day was barely half done. If I didn’t do something, it would be through my pants within the hour, and I didn’t have a jacket to tie around my waist. Gritting my teeth, I changed into fresh TP and returned to lunch. I became so desperate by 5th period, I asked any group I passed in the hall. No one would give me a tampon.

I tried to visit a bathroom after each class, but it was always full. When 7th period began, I knew it was bad, but getting away with it so long made me cocky. I thought if I could make it through the last class, I could drive myself home to clean up properly. I sat at my desk, legs clinched together as if I could stop the blood flow.

Our teacher (a man, of course) left his grade book in the science lab from 6th period. In a class of 15, he chose me to ask, “Could you go get it please?”

Saying no wasn’t an option I considered, but I was afraid to stand while all eyes were on me. Stop being stupid, you do this every time, and every time, you’re fine. You’re going to stand up, visit the bathroom, and insert fresh TP. When you see the blood hasn’t gone through the jeans, you’re going to be fine.

I took a deep breath, stood, walked across the class, and out the door. Walking felt terrible, but I finally had the bathroom in sight, it was finally over. Until I heard “Hey, lady!” somewhere behind me. I turned to see a small 7th grade boy standing there, pointing. “You got something red all over your butt.” He said, scrunching his face as one does when presented with something particularly disgusting.

Without a word I ran the last few steps to the bathroom. Victory had been so close. When I saw the mirror, it was much worse than I feared. My light-colored jeans looked like they belonged to a murder victim. I had no extra layers, nothing to cover my waist. I stood in a stall, staring at my phone, with no clue who to call, what to say, or how to get back to class.

Later, I learned what happened in class while I contemplated how to commit suicide in a school bathroom. Apparently, as I walked out, the class fell into a stunned silence, catching a peep at my soaked pants. Almost simultaneously, someone drew attention to the blood pooled at the bottom of my chair. The teacher, bless his mortified soul, tried to tell them, “It’s red ink. Her pen burst! Everyone shut up!” He was a gay man forced to live in the closet of a small, redneck town. Pms was not his forte, but damnit if he didn’t try his hardest to help.

Thelma asked, “Can I please go tell her, in case she doesn’t realize her… pen… busted?”

“Yes, yes please, you may.” He agreed, grateful the problem was being solved without his physical involvement.

As I sat in a stall, wondering if I had the willpower to drown myself in a toilet, I heard Thelma’s voice call my name. “Are you in here, hello?”

“Yes, holy shit Thelma, please tell me that’s you.” I begged.

“Dude! You got blood everywhere! Mr. M told everyone it was red ink.” She tried to be casual, but she was bouncing off the walls in excitement.

I chose to let myself believe red ink was a plausible excuse, I needed that. “I always knew I liked him. Dude a freaking 7th grader stopped me in the hallway! I don’t have any clothes here, tell me you have pants in your car. I’ll take a dress code violation, I don’t care.” I pleaded, trying to will new clothes into existence before she could crush my last hope.

“Well, no… but I could call your mom! Want me to do that?” She was already pulling out her phone.

“Hell no!” I snatched her phone before she could dial. “You know better than that!”

“Oh yeah… but what else can we do?” She said, taking her phone back.

“What’s your mom doing?” I asked cautiously, fearing the answer. If she was busy, I knew this ended with a very awkward call to my own mother, no matter how horrible.

“Umm, I really don’t know. Hold on, we can check.” She made the call while I held my breath.

“Momma! What are doing?” Thelma clawed my arm, shaking me as if it were her fate at risk.

When she confirmed she wasn’t working I snatched the phone. “Hello Mumsy!” I habitually thrusted my desire for a motherly bond onto friend’s mothers. “Could you pretty please bring an extra pair of pants to us? Thelma can meet you in the hallway.”

“Why do you need pants?” To be fair, I knew the chances of being asked were north of 95% but I had to try.

“She ragged all over her pants and desk, grab the ones in the third drawer.” Thelma yelled before I could think of a more delicate phrasing.

“Oh you poor thing. Hang on I’ll be there in 10.” She was very soothing, wonderful woman. “Give me back to Thelma right quick.”

Thelma took the phone, “Yes, Momma?” Thelma said, smile dropping as Mumsy’s voice perforated her ear drum.

Thelma jumped, pulling the phone away. Mumsy could be heard plainly without assistance from a speaker phone. “What’s wrong with you? Don’t you dare laugh at her! How would you feel if it happened to you, Missy? I expect to see you behaving like a supportive, decent human-being when I get there!”

“Yessum.” Thelma murmured.

“Love you, Mumsy.” I yelled before she hung up.

Mumsy worked fast, she even provided a bag for my ruined pants. I changed while listening to Thelma’s continued lecture. With only a few minutes until the final bell, Thelma returned to class, and I ran for my car. Though Bloody Mary was added to my list of taunts, it unfortunately didn’t replace Speed Bump as my nickname. I didn’t enjoy either, but at least Bloody Mary was a killer. Both actually; the real Bloody Mary and the horror movie Mary. I didn’t yet understand the ingredients for the alcoholic drink were disgusting, so that was another thing in the pro column.

Thankfully, at the time this took place, I was still an inconsiderate fool. Had I understood someone would later be forced to clean my chair, knowing exactly what, and whose, it was…. I don’t even know. All I can say for certain is, it would have been hella dramatic. You’d think this experience would teach me a lesson, convince me to grow up and ask Mom for some damn tampons… but it didn’t. All I did was collect tampons in advance with a new fervor.

To any unpopular kids out there, don’t worry. I know it really doesn’t feel like it, and I promise, I know you’re instinct is to hate me when I say this… but I promise. No matter how bad it seems, once you graduate, those bullies mean less than the poop you scrape from the bottom of your shoe. You only have to survive until then. Whether you believe me or not, in the video game that is Life, you haven’t yet completed the tutorial. The game hasn’t even started yet. Just hang on.

R.I.P Chester Bennington. You pulled so many of us from the dark.

13 thoughts on “Red Ink?

  1. I recognise the scene from The Shining – and not because I saw the film. Oof, this must have been horrible for you, my heart goes out to you reliving this memory!

    I had one I thought was beyond embarrassing myself: I sat in biology class, being bullied for years already because of my super light skin tone. Then the teacher started talking about menstruations and he told us that “some women have a very light skin because they bleed heavily during their periods.” I was in the front of the class and did not dare look up to see who started the laughter, but within seconds pretty much the entire class had joined in.

    I swear, I love mother nature and all, but the whole menstruation thing was a mistake. And WHY every month? Why not… like, twice a year. Tops. That’d be nice.

    Thank goodness for your friend’s mum, though, for helping you out. I know there’s this thing called “menstruation poverty” I never gave two seconds thoughts to, until I saw it in an item on TV. Now every time I change my “diaper” (because that’s what it feels like) I feel bad for all those girls who can’t.

    Thank you for sharing this. It must have been hard, but you are not alone. I would never have laughed at you – ooh, the mortification! I could relate – I still can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Lol thank you! Back then, if someone would had told me I would one day be writing all these things for anyone to read, I can’t begin to guess how I’d react but it wouldn’t have been pretty. In my 30s there’s enough distance to kinda… idk. Remove myself from the memory. I can laugh about it now that I don’t have to live there lol.

      Before I came to WP I never met anyone else who had similar problems and now I’ve found 2 more who didn’t know what it was at all, and you’re situation is close enough to the same. Welcome to the family, we’re blood sisters now 😁

      Like

  2. First of all, I owe you an apology. I chuckled few times while reading this. I… Wanted to stop, but I just couldn’t do it.

    Mind you, being a guy and all, the worse thing I’ve ever experienced is cumming in my sleep during my teenage days. I’m really glad that no one visited me during that time.

    Ahem, given my age, (Early 20’s,) I suppose I’m just about done with tutorial mode. But sometimes, I think whether I would even reach my 50’s or not, and if I did, what kind of condition I’ll be in, physically, mentally, and financially.

    Anyway, still sorry for the laughs.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL, that’s why they’re there. Hell if one person sees it and feels better about their self, I get to say the whole thing served a purpose. Least it wasn’t for nothing 😂

      Oh dude, I can NOT spend time imagining my 50’s, I had a mid-life crisis turning 30 as it is lol.

      There’s a super old band called O Town that had a one hit wonder, but they also sang a song called “liquid dream” – having NO clue what a wet dream or any of that was, I of course thought it was catchy and sang it everywhere – but thanks to how that story ended I’m pretty certain all guys wake up with a load in their undies at some point. If I were a guy I’d be so paranoid I’d have to sleep with my door locked lol.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Just listened to that song. And I have to ask, what were they thinking when they cooked this up?

        You know, it is a good thing that the male teacher handled himself as well as he did. You see, male teachers helping their female students… Well there are landmines there, even if their intentions are good.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lol that band was a one hit wonder, their ‘all or nothing’ song played on the radio all the time then they never had another. The boy band craze back then was mortifying, they weren’t even the worst😂

        IKR ,he was precious, definitely in touch with his feminine side. When two guys got in a fight, he was the only grown man around but he still ran away screaming “I need a man over here!” Lolll

        Like

  3. My mom and big sis told me about monthly period and what I should do. Unfortunately my very first came without warning, it probably did and I didn’t really think it was attached to it. I was in the Church when it started dripping, unknown to me. I stood up and a woman called me aside and said, ‘You’re stained.’ What? I said. The woman said, ‘Go home now, take a toilet paper and put it there.’ Haha. That was my biggest embarrassment of all times🙈😀 I pulled off my head scarf and covered my behind and ran home. I nosebled at the time as well so seeing blood wasn’t a problem. My embarrassment was that everyone sitting behind me in the pew saw what eyes shouldn’t see.
    Before tampons and sanitary pads got popular and easily accessible, ladies used white towels and TP. I later learned that TP was not hygienic even though I didn’t experience any infection using it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a rough one! You’re definitely a blood sister now, I can’t believe there are 5 of us already! It’s now officially the largest club I’ve ever been in! Welcome! And thanks for sharing 😁

      Like

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s