PMS: The Innocent Bystanders Survival Guide

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Mother Nature has a weird sense of humor. This year, my kids are getting a visit from the Easter Bunny, while I got a visit from HER…actually, she’s been hanging around, slowly increasing her presence for what seems like an awfully long time now. That’s kind of how it seems to be working for me, now, as I’ve gotten older. I don’t always get a hormone surge capable of launching me into psychosis, but when I do…it’s EPIC. So, like once every three or four months, rather than the average little grouchy mood and perhaps an annoying twinge in my abdomen signalling (*WARNING* I am about to discuss my PERIOD. If you are a man, or my mother, look away) the arrival of the nightmare in my southern hemisphere, I get a full scale metamorphosis- we’re talking Jekyll and Hyde, here- like an all out battle between good and evil, taking place throughout my body.

My boobs hurt so bad I am afraid to remove my bra because gravity is ACTUALLY PAINFUL. My body begins sucking calories out of the food other people are eating, and I bloat up like someone has been inflating me with a bicycle pump while I sleep. In reaction to this, I begin aggressively eating things I would not touch with a ten foot pole at any other time of my life. I have eaten McDonald’s twice in the past twenty four hours, not to mention all the candy I could pilfer from my toddlers Easter egg hunt winnings yesterday. And some ice cream. And perhaps some candy I found on the floor of my car. It would behoove you, however, not to mention this to me, as I am prone to violent, and totally unpredictable outbursts that may or may not escalate into physical altercations. I know, it surprises me as much as anyone. Still. And I have been going through this shit for YEARS. Here is an example of a hypothetical conversation between myself and my toddler that could have occurred, say, yesterday, for example:

Her: “Mommy, what are you doing.”

Me: “I’m watching this show.”

Her: “You really like this show, huh, mommy?”

Me: “Yeah, that’s why I’m watching it.”

Her: “Is it your favorite show?”

Me: “I don’t know…”

Her: “What…what…what’s this show about?”

Me: “I HAVE NO IDEA, YOU WON’T STOP TALKING LONG ENOUGH FOR ME TO WATCH THE FRIGGING THING!!”

Silence.

Me: Sigh. “I’m sorry, honey, I’m not mad at you.”

Her: “Are you a good monster, or a bad monster?”

Oh, if only I knew. My best tip to everyone is to not make eye contact with me, or say anything that may be considered “inflammatory”. unfortunately for you, nothing falls into that category, including utter silence. Yes, I can even turn that into an argument.

In my defense, and in the defense of all of the women in the universe who have ever suffered from this very same hormonal disadvantage…it is not our fault. There is literally some chemical madness going on in our bodies that even we don’t totally understand. There is always that one annoying chick out there who “doesn’t get PMS”, and to her I say: Suck it. The rest of us hate you.

This morning I woke up in a state of seething annoyance, hating everything about my house. I predict that this will progress, by mid-day, into utter self loathing, reaching a peek around two o’clock when i try to fit into a pair of jeans I know FOR A FACT will button, but not zip, at which time I will dramatically collapse onto the floor, sobbing, and dream about smashing everything in the house. Tomorrow, my period will arrive, and I will just feel silly about the whole thing. I mean, what the heck was THAT all about? Yep, this is the routine, for me. I just feel lucky it doesn’t happen every time.

Oh, and as for surviving it as an innocent bystander? You kind of can’t. If you are a man, just resign yourself to saying the wrong thing, no matter what you say, and perhaps threats of divorce or imminent relocation. If you can, maybe just plan to be off fishing, or at a religious retreat or something. If you are a child, pretend you are trying to get in the Guinness World book of Records for hide and seek, and HIDE. Speak when spoken to. Tell your mother she is pretty, and if she asks if you mean it. for Gods sake, do NOT snicker when you say yes. This is all I can arm you with. Good luck.

Happy Easter.

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6 thoughts on “PMS: The Innocent Bystanders Survival Guide

  1. I’ve always found it amazing that a woman’s body is able to grow a human life inside it and birth it into the world, but that ability doesn’t come easy. The flush of hormones and bodily changes that a woman has to go through in order to keep the baby-making apparatus functioning is a pain in the ass, and I don’t think anyone should begrudge a woman being grumpy or irritable when going through it. I hope today isn’t too bad for you! ((((HUGS))))

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