Saturday, February 25, 2006

Only Women Bleed

She's on her own here people! Jade

Coming to terms with the Bleeding would probably be fine except it hits you at such a vulnerable age…

In the Top Class at primary school (10 yr olds) everybody knew if there was a girl who had Started. In secondary school by the end of the second year (13 yr olds) there were whispers about who hadn’t. (Much the same as the ones about who had Done It really, more of that later).

Tampons were a great idea for us active types, but they do have a habit of leaping about. I went to stay with Crystal in Longbenton for the night and one made a bid for freedom from my schoolbag. Her 6 year old brother was onto it immediately.
“What’s that?” he asked very nicely.
“It’s mine!” I growled snatching it back.
There’s nothing quite like waking up to the sound of a cat worrying one around your bedroom. Then they brought out ‘discreet’ tampon holders in bright pink or turquoise plastic, decorated with flowers. Try sneaking one of them into your pocket when you suddenly realise you need to leave the classroom.

At home we always had Supplies in the toilet, and my aunts did the same, so imagine my surprise when I went to stay in a house where there were none - and I was an irregular type. It was Marianne’s birthday party on a Saturday night and about 6 of us were staying over. It had taken me long enough to sort out my outfit (not spoilt for choice, just worried it was totally untrendy), never mind plan for all eventualities. So on Sunday morning I woke up in bleedin’ agony. Went to the bathroom – no supplies, no nothing. I asked Marianne, but she didn’t have any, nor did any of the others (embarrassment rating of telling All Your Friends: aaarrgh). Well Marianne’s mam, like mine, was a nurse, so I plucked up the courage and asked her.

That’s how I came to be walking a mile to (compulsory) church and back with nothing between me and terminal embarrassment but a tiny facecloth. Moral of the story: always keep spares around the house.

All I can say is it gets worse. When you’re a teacher of A Certain Age there can be times when a nightime pad and a superplus lilet will not cope with a 1 hr lesson. You stand up and just know that there is a bloodbath waiting to be dealt with. Though on a school trip to Barcelona I did manage to wash my knickers and use them to wash me in a restaurant toilet (no handy machine though). Fortified with almost a whole loo roll down my trousers, I got to a shop. Lucky the trousers were big and brown. Ugh.


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