Tag Archives: Washington

The “Period” Card

17 May

As you may know, I usually write fictional stories to go along with my cards. I use the stories to help you understand how or when you might play the card at hand. Some times my stories are extremely relatable, at other times I make them a bit over the top. Either way, I hope to bring you entertainment.

Well today I am giving you a little treat (or making you very uncomfortable). I’m sharing the story of when I was dealt The “Period” Card. With no embellishment, no exaggerating… Just a complete recount of the first time this card was placed in my unprepared hand. If menstruation grosses you out and you do not enjoy period humour, I suggest you read a different card. Like the “I’m in Love” Card. That’s a good, safe one.

Excitement was bubbling out of me. I had been anticipating this day for weeks! My sister, Dad and I were packing for a youth retreat to Stehekin, WA. All of my best friends would be coming, and my crush would be there too! (A guy 4 years older than me and totally out of my league of course) We were going to be carpooling from Omak, Washington to the small town of Chelan, taking a 3 hour ferry ride across Lake Chelan to Stehekin, and hiking a few miles to our campsite.

I had worked up this trip to be the highlight of my summer! And boy was it… But not because I had the best time of my life. Not because my crush forgot about our age difference, confessed his love for me and kissed me under the blanket of stars. No, definitely NOT what happened. *sigh* I ended up avoiding him the whole time…

The initial leg of the youth retreat went amazingly. The ferry was fun, the hike was challenging for me but a couple of the guys took turns carrying my pack. We arrived a couple of hours later and set up camp. We started exploring and having fun like teenagers do in the woods. All of the chaperones were trying their hardest to keep track of us and keep everyone entertained and happy. That night we had a campfire and enjoyed the must-have camping treat, s’mores! Everyone went to bed. I was tenting with my bff and we stayed up giggling and drifted off excited for the next day.

The next day was super fun as well. We went on hiking excursions, played games, had a small bible study in the evening as well as my first snipe hunting excursion, enjoyed a bonfire and more s’mores, as well as singing around the fire. It was great! It was becoming all that I had hoped for. Sleep came to me quickly and peacefully.

When I woke up in the morning, something was wrong. My stomach was in knots and I felt so sweaty. I was wet all over. I could have sworn I had come down with some sort of forest disease. I unzip my sleeping bag to find that it wasn’t sweat all over me, it was (yep!) blood. *Freak out*

After I had thoroughly freaked out with my bff I realized what had begun during the night. Aunt Flow wanted to come camping too. Rude. Besides the utter panic I was feeling, I was so angry! I had been toting around a “just in case” army of feminine hygiene products for months. I knew it could happen soon and I wanted to be prepared. In all of the excitement to go on this trip, I had totally forgotten about my front-line tampons and reinforcement pads. Why oh why, dear God!?!

I needed my Mom but my sister would have to do. The bff brought Leah back to the tent and then got lost because I was looking all sorts of scary, like right out of Carrie. It was everywhere. EVERYWHERE.

Leah was more than helpful and thoughtful. Although this was one of my most horrifying embarrassing memories, it’s also one of my best memories to when it comes to Leah being the sister I needed. Leah went into Tampon and Pad scavenger mode. She was knocking on every tent with a girl in it and pleading for a donation.

2 girls and 1 chaperone had a stash. Out of which I was given 3 pads and a light days O.B. First off, seriously? SERIOUSLY? We have 2 1/2 more days here and I get a days worth of protection. My very close, nearly best,  friend had the biggest hoard of pads. A whole caboodle full, not exaggerating! She gave me 2. Really? For shame. I am half tempted to write her real name so I can get a freaking public apology! …. (Contemplating. Weighing Pros, Cons? Yep, doing it.) BETHANY! 13 years have passed since that dreaded day but I still remember. I love you always Beff. But I still remember…

Leah brought me back what she had scrounged up along with a wet soapy wash cloth. She took all my blood drenched clothes and sleeping bag as I attempted to clean myself in the frigid cold of the early morning. I emerged from the tent to see my sister washing my clothes and sleeping bag in the river. I went to join her and luckily we finished before people started waking up.

We decided my dad needed to know. I was going to run out of bleeding vagina supplies rather quickly at the rate I was going, and the nearest store was a 5 mile hike away. Leah goes over to my dad and discreetly leans in and with a hushed voice says, “Dad, I need to take Lacey to the store.” Now this is funny because when Leah received her period card, my mom said the same thing to my dad.

FLASHBACK 6 years:
My mom to my dad “Larry, I need to take Leah to the store. We’ll be right back.” My dad who was wrapped up in my sister being grounded at the time, was adamant my sister COULD NOT go to the store with my mom. “She is grounded, she’s not going anywhere!” Our mom, who was trying to save my sister from unneeded embarrassment as we had several family members and friends over, kept repeating, “No Larry, I need to take LEAH to the STORE!” As if that was code. A code he obviously wasn’t catching on to. I believe all the women in the room understood and started urging my dad to let her go. Finally, because of his denseness, it was blurted out by our Papa, “She got her period, Larry!” My dad was so confused. Leah was 10!

FLASH FORWARD, or FLASHBACK again? Umm…That’s confusing.

Dad: Why on earth would you need to go to a store? It’s 5 miles away…” (He starts walking towards the group of chaperones)

Leah: Umm Dad, no, I NEED to take LACEY to the STORE. (Giving him a look that says, HELLO REMEMBER, “THE STORE”)

Dad: Leah, I can’t think of a single reason Lacey would need to go to the store. I’m pretty sure it can wait or she can ask around. (Annoyed)

Leah: DAD, Lacey needs to go to the Store. THE STORE, Dad… (Leah’s face is screaming PERIOD! EMERGENCY! THINK!)

Dad: *Light bulb* Oh….. OH! (He walks over to me)
He gives me an awkward hug and steps back before talking to me. He looks at me, realizing his little girl is now a woman. That’s right, I am. A freaking horrified woman. I am wondering why I had been anticipating this day for months? I am wishing so hard that I wasn’t a woman.

He asks if any of the girls had anything, we go over the Kotex Scandal. (talking about you, Bethany) He seems a bit shocked no one wanted to come to my rescue and says we’ll head into town if need be. I go about the day, trying to have fun despite the horrendous cramps and my frustration with a particular friend. (Bethany, that’s you again)
I run out of pads and it’s nearing time for bed. Leah walks me to the outhouse, I take the flashlight in with me. I’m in the dimly lit outhouse, which smells bad enough to start working my gag reflex, unwrapping an O.B.

Me: Slightly panicked but mostly confused, “How do I work this thing?!”

Leah: “Grab hold of it, and with your longest finger push it up inside you.”

Me: “Ew, I have to touch inside?”

Leah: “Duh.”

Me: “…..oops.”

Leah:”What oops?”

Me: “Nothing….” (I had dropped it on the floor of the outhouse. I inspect it with the flash light while straddling the toilet. Blowing on it to get all the funkies off.)

Me: “Oh balls!”

Leah: “You OK in there?”

Me: “Yeah, fine.” (No, not at all)

Leah: “Do you want me to do it for you?” (she was serious)

Me: “What!? Weirdo. No way. You can’t be serious….”

Leah: “Push it up really far.”

Me: “Have you seen my fingers?”

Leah: “I’ll do it for you. I have long fingers.”

Me: “No assistance needed, please. Really. (moments pass)

Me: “It feels weird.” (I walk out wiggling, like its going to improve vaginal comfort)

Leah: “Um, what?” (Leah is looking at me wiggle…)

 

I come outside, completely flustered and a bit bothered. I feel she was a bit too eager to help. I shrug. We start walking. I’m walking weird and it’s obvious.

Leah: “What’s wrong with you?”

Me: “I think it’s coming out, I can feel it.”

We head back to the outhouse. Leah gives me words of encouragement, I hold my breath. I try again, this time a woman chaperone is coaching me as well. Still not up enough but it will have to do. (O.B.’s suck and to this day I can’t use them. Apparently I still have short fingers and honestly, it’s nasty.)We make our way back.

My dad is tying our food up in a tree to keep it away from bears as we approach the site.

Me: “Dad, there aren’t bears around here, are there?”

Dad: “Yeah. They have been getting into the trash around the campground so we’re all suppose to tie up our food.”

Leah: “Bears can smell blood from miles away.”  (Thanks Leah)

The following morning a repeat Carrie scene happens. Wash, rinse, repeat. My friend J lends me jeans as I’ve ruined all my pants. Thanks J, I know YOU had my back. (Bethany? 😛 )

So it was our final full day and I had run out of clogging material. Toilet paper was my last-ditch effort to save myself from embarrassment and J’s pants. But, I’m a bleeder everyone and that just wasn’t going to suffice. Apparently my body was set on making me anemic. My dad and I set off to the store, 5 miles away. Which meant everyone was asking why we were leaving. And everyone found out about my period card. I was so embarrassed.

It started to rain 5 minutes into the walk. SERIOUSLY? I have a wad of toilet paper shoved in my underwear, barely doing the job, and now it’s going to rain. Wait for it… I mean freaking pour. My dad put a poncho over me and my backpack. Not a normal one though, one he made from a trash bag. Thanks dad…

An hour had passed and we came upon a small diner in the middle of no where. I was grateful for the restroom. Maybe they would have one of those machines with tampons and pads! No, they didn’t. We took a little break, I shove more toilet paper up my cooter and we prepare to start walking again. My dad though, being a thinker, decides to ask for a ride to town and offers a couple of people gas money. They all say no. My dad asks one more person who had just got into their truck. An older guy in a pickup with a teenage boy in the front with him. (A TEENAGE BOY? A CUTE ONE! Oh no…please no.) The man was hesitant but my dad was desperate. I see him lean in and overhear, “My daughter got her first period while camping with our youth group. We’ve been hiking for over an hour and I really need to get her to a store. Please.” The guys look back out the window at me. I’m looking obviously distraught, drenched from the rain, with a face as red as cherries from embarrassment. He agrees. We hop into the back of his pickup, and get to the store rather quickly. What a godsend!

After paying an outrageous sum for the tampons and pads, we discovered public showers and I washed the Carrie remnants off me completely!  I felt so much better. We got a campsite in town for the night and waited around the next day for the rest of the youth group to make their way in.

And that, my readers, is the story of when I added The “Period” Card to my womanly hand.

Usage Guidelines: Use to excuse moody behaviour, weight gain/puffiness, laziness, missing work/school/prior commitments, and skipping gym class. Honestly, if you’re on your period and you don’t want to do something this card is the ticket! No one argues with you about its legitimacy, especially men. In fact, the mere mention of your period can make people stay away from you. SCORE! It’s good for something after all.

Expiration: When you are no longer on your period. However, 2 weeks before you can play The “Period” Card you are eligible to use The “PMS” Card. Which excuses irrational behaviour, weight gain and general bitchiness. When The “Period” Card is discarded, you become eligible for The “Menopause” Card. Congratulations Old Ladies.

Question PERIOD: Did you have a horrifying experience upon being dealt your period card? Do you take full advantage of this card or do you keep it hidden and tough it out? Or perhaps you use The “I’m sick but not really sick” Card instead? Share with me! I like to know how my ladies play their cards!

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Rainbows

31 Aug

I sat in our family’s van crying in protest. “Please don’t make me go, please Momma. I can’t make friends again. We’ll move soon anyways, please Momma. I can’t do this.”  My mom took my hand softly, trying to calm me. “We won’t be moving honey and you have to go to school. You have to try. We don’t have any other options Lace. It’s the first day for everyone and you won’t be the only new person, that should be comforting.” Comforting? Really mom? No, not feeling that emotion now. I sat in the van trying to dry my tears, prolonging the inevitable long walk to the office where I would get my class schedule and map of the campus. I didn’t want to start over. I didn’t even know if my body could handle going to school, it couldn’t 2 years ago…

It was drizzling misty rain as I walked ever-so-slowly to the main office. I gave the woman my name and she handed me my class schedule and the map. “Welcome to Lake Stevens High School, Lacey. Please let us know if you need anything today, we’re here to help!” Ugh, she was so chipper. I thanked her without making eye contact as I stared at my classes, walking toward door.

First up, Physical Education. GYM!? No, this wasn’t right. Oh great! I should have turned and told the plump, chipper lady that I can’t take gym but I didn’t think she’d believe me. No teen wants to take P.E. and I looked totally “normal”. I didn’t want to cause a stir while the office was full of other new students and bustling staff. The last thing I wanted was to draw attention to myself. So I left the office and headed to gym class. Lucky for me it was only the course orientation and nothing was expected from me physically that day. I was removed from P.E. the following week when they found a place for me elsewhere; the attendance office with the plump chipper lady.

The first day went by fine, lonely and long but fine nonetheless. It wasn’t until a week later that a girl in my English class noticed my last name and told me it sounded really familiar to her. I don’t know why it did, I’d never seen her before in my life until I came to this class. The next day she came to English class armed with a wealth of history, history her and I shared…and a picture of the two of us in adorable Rainbow outfits (kind of like girl scouts but in miniature form). As soon as I saw this picture I fully remembered who she was to me. Our families had attended the same church when we were little girls and their family happened to be the neighbors of my grandparents’ life-long friends. We had spent countless childhood hours together. I remembered playing dolls with her, being at rainbows together, eating popsicles on her Grandma’s porch…she was my first friend. Wow, miniscule word much!?

Upon catching up with her, she invited me to join her at lunch and meet some of her friends. I was excited! I really hoped I could reconnect with my first friend and make friends with these other girls. And I did.

It wasn’t long before I was accepted as one of the girls, there were 12 of us give or take a few. We were an awesome group, self-named “The Lake Posse”. Every girl was attractive, all of us had a unique quality to contribute and held a level of popularity around the school. Even I had gained some popularity at school soon after joining the group of girls, and it felt nice to be liked.

I know what you are thinking. Something along the lines of the female characters from that movie “Mean Girls”. No, we weren’t “plastic”, we weren’t mean or overly conceited. Well maybe 1 or 2 of them, but nothing cruel. We were fun girls, some of us a little more crazy than others but we were all nice girls; accepting of all types of people. Sure we had our “mean girl” moments when a fellow friend needed some backing-up, but that’s just friendship if you ask me.

I even got my first real boyfriend that year. He was an instant crush since the first day of school and the day he became my boyfriend, I thought I had one the life lottery. Oh how I loved him! I had never felt that way about a guy before, I truly did love him. Well, as much as a 14-year-old knows about love and what it is, I felt all that.

Everyone in my life was understanding of my muscle issues. No one ever questioned the validity of my illness, although they made it quite clear that they missed me when I’d be absent from school and I should “work on that”. Haha, they were wonderful. I did my best to manage my disorder but high school was very demanding on my body. I think the key reason I passed the 9th grade was because of my awesome group of girlfriends and that special guy. Knowing I had these people to meetup with really drove me to push on and find a way to operate through the pain. And I did more often than not.

I have countless memories from my freshman year, it was my favorite year of high school. In fact, it’s one of the favorite years of my life. When I think back I don’t remember pain or other physical struggles, although they were ever-present. All I can think of is how much I loved my life in Lake Stevens. I loved the family I had nearby (grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins). I loved the friendships I made. I loved the rain and the smell it would leave in the air long after it had stopped. I loved Seattle and the diversity of people the city drew in. I loved the beauty of Washington, all the nature that surrounded me was breathtaking. Sure my family struggled financially but money is irrelevant to me when love is so abundant. I didn’t care that we were living in the projects, I would have been extremely happy living in Washington for the rest of my life. Washington is home to me, it always had been and it always will be. I truly hoped we would stay there. Of course, that wasn’t the case.

My dad took a job in Meridian, Idaho two weeks before I was to start the 10th grade. I was heartbroken. My girlfriends wanted to send me off in a happy way, so they threw me a surprise going away party. The boy my heart would always belong to as well as every friend I loved showed up. Each one of them gave me a special gift that represented a memory we had shared together. They even made me a scrapbook full of all the fun memories we had shared as a group. They truly were amazing friends…how would I ever replace them? I gave them all tearful hugs, hating that this would be the last one we’d share for a while. I lingered in the embrace of the guy who was no longer my boyfriend but that I would love for years to come…and said goodbye. I didn’t know when I would be back again, but I was determined to not let these relationships disappear.

We packed up everything once again and relocated our lives back to Idaho. This time I was not welcoming or understanding of the move. I was angry and more sad than I ever had been. I left my heart in Lake Stevens with everyone I loved. I was completely set against making friends or setting up a new life. I hated it. Idaho sucked, the people were weird and seemed to all look the same, and I didn’t like the smell. It smelled like dust and occasionally cow poop when the wind would blow in the wrong direction. Did it ever rain here? Come to find out it did rain once in a while, but that only made the air smell like dirt, not dust. I longed for home.

 

Whether I wanted to or not, there I was starting the 10th grade a week late. Apparently I walked into school looking like a freak to all those around me (or at least that’s how everyone stared at me). Idaho was a bit behind on the latest trends when it came to fashion, and I was basically wearing a bright neon sign that said “New in town, make fun of me.” And they did…