Girl Stuff

I was spending the night at my friend Dawn’s house when it happened.  Finally, when it happened.

Like I’ve said before, no one in my house was talking to me about my body changing, and as 11 blended into 12 and as 12 blended towards 13, I was really beginning to wonder when it would all kick in.

My friend Dawn got her period at age ten.  The boobs followed shortly thereafter.  And she was prepared for it.  Her parents were the kind that used the real terms for every body part right off the bat, so much so that apparently when she was four or five and saw a pregnant lady, she asked her when the baby would be coming out of her “bagina”.

No one was talking to me, though, so I’d ride my bike the three or four miles to the public library across town to spend hours in the Health and Lifestyle section figuring out what exactly was going to happen to me and when.    I coerced my mother to buy me some training bras;  I think she actually sent my older sister to do the deed with me.

I read magazines at the library too, going through Seventeen magazine trying to decide if I was going to use pads or tampons.  There was a new kind of tampon that was being advertised that was perfect for young girls (aka “virgins”).  I knew my sister never used them, but I was sold on tampons.  As a very insecure person to start with, I couldn’t imagine the horrible embarassment that could possibly come from having dribbles and leaks off of your pad.  Plus, everything I read talked about Odor.  What if I smelled like blood when I had my period?  The many avenues to mortification all seemed related to the blood escaping my body.  Tampons seemed like they just made sense.

So, I was ready.  Friend after friend started menstruating, but I seemed hopelessly behind.  I knew that it could happen as late as fifteen, but as my 13th birthday approached, I was starting to worry.  I laid in my supply of Light Tampax, pads (for the night, since Toxic Shock Syndrome was in the news then) and waited.

I was at Dawn’s house when it finally happened.  I woke up before her and was waiting for her to wake up before going to use the bathroom.  It always felt weird to be up in someone else’s house before them or their parents, even though everyone knew I was an early riser.  As I waited, I realized that it felt a little wet “down there”.  I worried that perhaps I’d had an accident.  I lifted the blanket, looked down and realized.

It Had Started.

I woke my friend, who was all congratulatory glee.

Looking back on it, it was a good thing that it started then.  Dawn talked me through the tampon explicitly and without shame, unlike anyone in my own home would have been able to do.  I was a woman.  Finally.  Just in time for the start of 8th grade.

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2 Responses

  1. Its amazing that you can write so succintly as if it happened yesterday, Did these happenings actually happen on these dates or are you are coming forward chronologically but not date wise?
    An amazing catharsis of truth……which will release you!

    • I’m coming forward chronologically, but not date wise. I’m trying to get all of the life shaping events down, as much as I can. Thank you for the compliment…sometimes it feels very fuzzy, going back this far, but I’m glad I’m doing this. 🙂

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