Many moons ago, my mother managed to convince me that getting my period was a beautiful thing. A sacred rite of passage into womanhood. She had the experience so hyped up, that I was actually looking forward to that magical moment.
Feh. Yeah, that false sense of euphoria lasted about a day into my first cycle. It was like finding out there was no Santa. I felt so betrayed and ill prepared to deal with the mess, cramping, mood swings, etc. And why on EARTH she got me the starter kit from Kotex with the old school belt contraption, I'll never know.
It was college before a kind room mate introduced me to tampons and convinced me that "No, using a tampon did NOT rob you of your virginity," as my mother so often told me. Of course, virginity was no longer an issue for me by the time I hit college. (Shh! Don't tell my Mom!) But I didn't want my roomie thinking I was some kind of Slutty McSlut or something. Ya know.
Do any of the ladies out there remember the shame of having to carry feminine products in your purse at school? You had to be like Maxwell Smart...or, er, 99 and be in stealth mode lest one of the other girls see that pretty pink or aqua plastic packet and reveal your shame to the planet. "Becky's on the rag!" I remember trying to slyly slip the contraband from my purse into my pocket so that I could leave my purse behind at my desk.
It was like a neon sign if you had to take your purse to the girl's room! Naturally, you had to leave it behind lest everyone KNOW there was a reason you HAD to bring it with you. The shame of it still burns on my face. Ack, the horrors of junior high. I'm so glad the girls in my high school were more mature about these things. I still remained in stealth mode, just in case. As far as anyone else knew, I only had my period once the entire 4 years of high school.
That was the day I forgot to put supplies in my purse and Aunt Flo caught me by surprise in the middle of the school day. Lord knows how long I walked around with the blood stain showing on the back of my uniform skirt before some kindly girl took pity on me. Then I had to borrow the *gasp* spare skirt from the vice principal. It was three sizes too big and plaid. Plaid! That was the OLD uniform. They had changed to this awful teal polyester the year I started.
Have I ever mentioned before how much I loathed standing out in a crowd? It's hard to blend into the background when you are the only gray and maroon plaid skirt in a sea of teal. In some ways I am relieved that we don't have a baby girl. This is one less thing I need to prepare her for.