The Not So Glamorous Act of Becoming Woman
This can’t really be it, can it? She panics.
Looking around for anything to hide the shame, finally she calls for a professional.
“Oh! It looks like you’ve become a woman today.” Great. The excitement was really unnecessary. She asks what it means, what is she supposed to do NOW.
The following eight minutes go by listening to careful instruction. A task that has been mastered over time, over trials, with failures. But she knows the truth. Destined for a life of weird, embarrassing stains and constant fear. Never again would she be able to be one hundred feet from her bathroom without having to carry a purse, hiding her secrets. It was a raw deal.
She thought, who decided on this? And why is she so proud of me for this mess? She continues to listen, but doesn’t understand. Stuck inside in the peak of summer, she curses her body and its blatant lack of disrespect. For whatever reason, Mom makes her favorite dinner that night. As if to celebrate a disaster, a scraped knee, a wasted summer day, AN EXTRA LOAD OF LAUNDRY. How embarrassed she feels, and no one else even knows why.
She goes to bed that night, knowing she is on her own with this. Over the next few years she will come to know what comes with it. Why it is worth it. Why you come to both love and hate the cramps, the bloating, the cravings, the fatigue, the weird stains, and money spent on maintenance. The ritual will be developed, practiced, and mastered – like so many others have done before her.
A Note to Your Thirteen Year Old Self
Born with quick wit and pink cheeks,
she soon found her place in the world.
Diving into puberty, forgetting the pressures of adolescence,
pretending it was all just a part of the experience,
she forged her way through high school without pause.
Soon she found herself at a state university,
continuing to make the grades while taking the shots.
Until one day, nine months after a CEO’s and Executive Ho’s themed excuse to drink bad beer
she found herself on another table, with two men in between her legs.
One giving her instruction, the other just giving her incredible back pain.
Of course the man responsible pretended to be happy,
he would say all the things he thought he was supposed to.
And so it was settled, a family, a mistake, five semesters of college loans
that would be paid for no reason at all.
And with twelve months separating each two more men came about.
A curse for certain.
What would they know of her pain, of her sacrifice, of her intelligence, and talent?
She wondered if she would have worn that pencil skirt to an interview instead of a
bad time, would she no longer have to breastfeed, and fold dirty laundry for five?
She remembers it being much easier
when it was all pretend at thirteen.
The Things Women Need
We need support,
not from our mothers and not from men,
but for our boobs.
We need a step ladder,
to reach the top cabinet,
and kill the spider ourselves.
We need room,
whether it be to or from you.
We need food,
and no judgment from you,
always – we need food.
We need opportunities,
just how much we can do.