Monday, August 11, 2008

Becoming a Woman. Period.

The other day my friend and I were discussing maturation and embarrassing moments of tweens' & teens' lives. It reminded me of one of mine. I laughed so hard that I cried as I told him about it. I told him I was going to blog about it. His response? "Wow. Maybe you oughtta just keep that one to yourself." Nah! What's the fun in that???

In 6th grade, I entered Heritage Middle School, feeling so grown up to be leaving Elementary School behind. I remember the awkward maturation "discussion" that was held one afternoon as all of the boys piled into the science labs, and all of the girls were ushered into the math rooms.

The girls' "lecturers" were the school nurse, a secretary from the front office, and a math teacher. They were going to collectively teach us what Becoming a Woman was all about. During their lecture, the Nurse indicated that we will all mature at different stages - and that if any of us were to ever "mature" during the school day that she has some "supplies" down in the nurse's station. The Secretary pipes in and says that we can also come down to the office and explain that we "need a dime" and that she will understand it is for the "vending machine" of tampons and maxi pads in the restrooms. She states that she will provide such said dime with "no questions asked". I make a mental note.

Being the overachiever that I am, I started my period that year, though luckily it was a Sunday morning. Cramps were so bad, I thought I was going to die. But the rule in our home was you didn't miss church unless you were throwing up or had a fever. So, off I went with the family to Sunday worship services. I spent almost the entire church experience in the fetal position on the sofa in the foyer. My mother checked on me periodically, no pun intended.

After about 4 days, it seemed Aunt Flo had packed her bags and went home. Whew, I thought. I'm glad that is over. Guess again. Apparently, Aunt Flo was just taking a quick break. For, as soon as I got to homeroom that Thursday morning, she had returned. I panicked. I was unprepared. I quickly approach BaldTeacher and explain to him that I need the restroom pass. "Negative," he replies. "You know the rules. This is first period -" how appropriate, I thought. "and I don't give out bathroom passes during first period Homeroom." I tell him it is urgent. Request denied.

I return to my seat, and quickly whisper to BFF-Stef what is happening. She affirms that BaldTeacher is a Jerk (well - she had a better name for him). She comforts me by giving me her jacket to wear around my waist and reminds me that I just need to go down to the office after class and "ask for the dime".

The bell rings and I am off to the office. Lo and behold, CuteBoy1 & CuteBoy2 are sitting there waiting to see the principle about the fight they had just been in. A different secretary is working that day. I give her the code, whispering to her that I need a dime. Secretary2 is clueless. In her loud grating voice, she asks, "For what? What do you need a dime for???" I again, trying to keep my voice down, whisper I need "the dime" and added a little head nod, as if to say "it's the code!"

Secretary2 remains oblivious as she continues to question my motives in her abrasive nasally tone. At this point the nurse happens to walk into the office. I practically grab her as she walks past and plead, "I need a dime". Secretary2 looks at nurse inquisitively as if to say, "do you know what she is talking about?" The light bulb comes on, and the Nurse says, "Ohhh! A Dime! Come with me!"

The nurse escorts me back to her little corner office and offers me an array of feminine hygiene products. She also asks if I need to call my mom for a change of clothes. "Yes please," I reply practically in tears. I make the call, and NurseMom is on the way. CuteBoys are still in the front office awaiting their trial & sentencing. Soon I hear my mother enter the office.

"I brought a change of clothes for my daughter," she announces in this booming voice that just seems to echo through the corridors of time. "Geesh," I think to myself. "Could she be any more embarrassing?" The answer to that was, Yes. The secretary shows her the way to the nurses' station, wherein she produces a HUGE Brown Paper Grocery sack containing the change of clothes. Real discreet. At this point I am mortified at what CuteBoys must be thinking.

I use the restroom in the nurse's office, make the quick change and hand NurseMom the soiled clothes back in the grocer's bag. I guess I should just be grateful it was a brown paper sack and not a see-thru gallon size "freezer" bag.

I am sure my face was stained as scarlet as my clothes as I was paraded back through the office in front of CuteBoys. I could hear their whispers but did the best I could to avoid their stares. I shared my last class of the day with CuteBoy1 & CuteBoy2, and sat right in front of both of them. Totally humiliating. I always wondered what they thought about that day.

Moral of the story??? There are a few actually.

1) Be more prepared in life - as depending on others, such as BaldTeacher and Secretary2 will often just lead to disappointment.

2) I should have simply told BaldTeacher the truth. "I'm having my period and need to go to the restroom." Chances are at hearing the word "period", I would have been permitted to go anywhere I desired, so long as I stopped talking about it.

3) Remember this incident, and try not to embarrass my own daughter, should one day she need to call home. I mean, seriously, NurseMom - what were you thinking???

Oh - and By the way - my friend told me that the only thing he really remembers about his maturation "class" was that afterwards he asked one of the girls if she would trade "pamphlets" with him. Ha Ha Ha. Smart move. Probably could have profited from it - charging the other boys for a "glimpse". Too bad she said No.


Ruthykins said...

that is hilarious! i love the part about mom not being discreet! can't wait 'til derek reads this one!

ann said...

I love it!!! The first period was always the worst for any young girl.

I also started on a Sunday! I had to tell mom because I didn't know where she keep the supplies! I was so worried! maybe she did not have any thing! (it was Sunday after all. could we really go to church?)

Mel and Byde said...

Okay, even though I have heard you tell this before, it never fails to crack me up. Just make sure you never do that to Kienna. Seriously, you could write a book:)

okeydokeyifine said...

(sheepishly....) Sorry.

trashalou said...

Hey!Thanks for visiting up on the hill today. Sadly the place you saw on the post belongs to my friend & painting teacher but she is sweet eough to share.

I hated 'maturing'. I only hope my daughter has an easier time

greenolive said...

Maybe this is why I don't have daughters. hmmm

pinkelephant said...

Oh, this is soooo funny! I bet everyone has some kind of story about their 'first day'. Mine was that I didn't know what it really was and thought I was dying. So I spend half a day crying in my room! When I finally told it to my mom, she said "Let's celebrate!". That really confused me.

Laura said...

NICE! holy cow, that's awesome. I'm glad I started when there wasn't any school. I was terrified to go talk to my mom though cuz she makes me feel sooo embarrassed, so like all my little friends new before her. But she talked with me and told me embarrassing stories about the other girls in my family... no celebrations there. -.-

Oh. If Keenan EVER reads what I just wrote, I give you permission to kill him,ok?