Saturday, May 14, 2011

"Happy Menstruation to You" (not to ME, by the way) WARNING: PG-11 at least

A thirteen-year-old at my loony bin today achieved a major physical milestone. I'll be crude and announce it, since she did: she had her very first menstrual period.

Maybe I'm just jealous because I'm fifteen and am not all that close to achieving that particular milestone. Still,is it customary in our society to make a public announcement of such a development? Her mother had formal announcement cards printed immediately and mailed to friends and family, much as if she'd graduated from college or had gotten married. Her mom posted one of the announcements on the bulletin in our lobby. The message on the card was printed in dark red. Whether intentional or unintentionally ironic, this, to me, made it all the more disgusting.

The girl's mom had a large sheet cake delivered to the ward. At least it was neither red velvet nor frosted in red, although I suspect that had either the girl or her mom thought of it, they would have chosen one or the other. The girl expected everyone, including male patients and staff, to congratulate her.

I'm happy for her, since I'm so far behind in that department that my endocrinologist would be majorly concerned except that my mother's physical development was identical. Still, expecting to be congratulated seems a bit much. I know we congratulate little kids when they lose their first one or two teeth, but they're little. They expect to be congratulated when they get new shoes as well, and will call a person on it if the person fails to notice the new shoes.

Maybe that's why God made it where girls don't usually begin menstruating at the tender ages of four or five. They'd announce it to the world and expect people to clap for them just as two-year-olds do when they go poo poo or pee pee in the potty. God probably believes that such things are of a more private nature. He miscalculated where this girl is concerned. If God had made her wait until she was about twenty-five before granting her the gift of menstruation (which some say is far from a gift) maybe she would have had the decorum not to make such a public production of it. Then again, her mom is a lot older than twenty-five, and she thought nothing of publicizing the big event in virtually every way short of alerting their local media. Then again, maybe her mother did alert their local media. They're from a small town with a weekly newspaper. There has to be a way to check it out. Maybe I'll take bets on it. I may as well make some money off the crassness of these people.

My uncle Scott came into our ward today because my friend Erin got the cotton part of a generic Q-tip in her ear. (Don't use generic Q-tips. You're really not supposed to put them inside your ear canal, but almost everyone does.)The honoree of the day ran up to my Uncle Scott and proudly announced her status as a new woman. I've never seen my uncle either red-faced or speechless. He declined the offer of cake. As he walked away, he muttered that the girl's mother needed to be locked up in a psych ward every bit as much as the girl did.

My dad bought KFC with side orders for all the residents tonight. The girl's mom wanted everyone to sing, "Happy Menstruation to You," to the tune of "Happy Birthday," but my mom convinced her mom that it would embarrass her daughter. I seriously doubt it would have embarrassed the girl, and I suspect my mom knew it. She was merely performing a public service.

My Aunt Jillian was laughing so hard that she started coughing and couldn't stop, and had to have a steroid injection and a breathing treatment. As much as she hates shots, she said the whole thing was so funny that it was worth it.


  1. And nobody has a clue as to what might have driven the poor child to needing psychiatric care in the first place?

    Some mothers! ;o))

  2. Jeez... I would think that's sort of private? Maybe the closest female relatives (sisters, mother, favourite cousins) but in public???
    Not that menstruations should be something shameful, but a public celebration? Wow.