From Chapter 3: “Diaphragm Blues.”
I’ll never forget when I got my period …. oh hell on earth! I say this with a combination of horror, delight, and just a little bit more horror thrown in for good measure. Why do I say horror? Simply because when you are a thirteen year-old girl, having your period for the first time, even if your prepared for it, is a horrible experience. To be honest, the first time I noticed hair under my arms, it was enough to send me to my bedroom for three months.
I really did not want to grow up, as I had no interest in becoming a woman. I enjoyed being a child, and I enjoyed being a tomboy even more, so these signs of womanhood were offensive and threatening. When I got my period for the first time, my Mother was overjoyed. She sent Lee-Dad to the market for menstrual pads, because she only used tampons and she didn’t think I would like to use a tampon on my first time. However, a family friend was present and she tried to teach me how to use a tampon in the bathroom. Oh my God. Let me just say that again … Oh my God! Talk about an epic failure, not only was it a tampon, but it was one of those tampons without an applicator. Again … hell for a thirteen year old.
My Dad soon came home from the store with the pads, beaming, announcing to the world, it seemed, that I was now a woman. Did he tell the guy at 7-Eleven? I am rather sure he did. I see the scene very clearly in my mind’s eye:
Dad: Good day sir, I would like to buy these menstrual pads.
Dad: No indeed not, but I hear they make good odor-eaters for your shoes.
Both: (the two men laugh again).
Dad: No, they’re for my daughter – she is a woman today.
Store Clerk: Well congratulations. I guess you’re going to be locking her up from now on, right? (Both men chuckle.)
Dad: Yep! The next stop is the local armoury. I’m buying her the best chastity belt money can buy!
Store Clerk: Good luck with that!
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