Digging in My Heels


I am a bloated, anxious, pre-menstrual mess right now, and as luck would have it, I have a date tonight.

So what’s a girl to do?

After three outfit changes, I found something that’s cute, in a flattering colour, that doesn’t make me feel like a street vendor sausage ready to burst out of it’s casing. It’s fairly shapeless, and has a plunging neckline, so I can at least work my swollen boobs in my favour.

This does nothing to change the fact that I will spend a good chunk of the evening feeling like Jabba the Hut.

Do men get to experience anything like this? I don’t think I know a single guy who once a month looks in the mirror and wants to cry. Actually, it’s not just looking in the mirror that’s inspiring tears today. It’s songs on the radio, subway ads, notes from friends. The wind.

I’m starving too. Like no amount of food can fill me up. I know in these moments to try to avoid sugar, because then I really spiral out of control. I get hyper, and babble like crazy. Then I crash in a heap, and need to be in bed, stat. This happened after brunch today. I couldn’t stay awake on the subway, and then I slept for two hours with my cat on my head when I got home.

The plan is to have three top choices for dinner. All I can think about is a GIANT bowl of spaghetti with meatballs as big as my aforementioned swollen boobs. There is a PERFECT place on the way to the movie theatre too, but I know eating that many carbs will make me very sorry indeed.

Moments like this make me miss those blissful, domestic moments where I don’t care about being seen in track pants, and I can just lay on the couch watching movies with someone, with the dog sprawled out unconscious. There are likely peanut M&Ms in this utopia too.

I have half an hour to figure out how NOT to appear like a total spazz this evening.

What I usually do in these scenarios is meditate on the ancient, pagan power of menses. (No, I’m not joking) I think of tribal women with flowing hair performing magical fertility rites by the light of the full moon. I think of Amazonian warriors, and how a little bloating and insanity would be welcome and celebrated with a roaring bonfire and the strapping young lads from the next island over. I try to find the power in something that has become so powerless and embarrassing in our culture, and I try to be grateful and easier on myself.

Oh, and I usually have a BIG glass of red wine.

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