16 November 2010
Day 234: Are You There God, It's Me Margaret
First off, tiny picture is tiny because it's the only one I could find of this cover. Apparently it was unpopular, or an alternate cover, because the only images I found were practically thumbnail size. It'll have to do. Also, for the whiners, I'm not going to bother linking a review to this one, because I think everyone born in the last 30 years knows what this book is about.
I very much remember being Margaret's age. Obviously there were things that were very different given the time this was written, but for the most part I would say it accurately depicts that very troublesome period of growing up. I don't remember wanting to be the first one who got her period or worrying if I would be the last one. This probably had something to do with the fact that most of the people I was close to were actually closer to menopause than their first menstruation. I had just moved from California to Oklahoma, and it was just easier to make friends with the teacher than with kids my own age. They all pretty much knew each other from kindergarten, and having some new kid show up five years later did not make them particularly eager to be friends, especially as I was somewhere between 4'8"-5'2". In other words, I was freakishly tall and they probably associated that with authority on some level, and this is the start of the age where authority is not to be trusted.
I definitely was one of the first kids in my age group to get my period. Although, I don't think it was really until 8th or 9th grade where I really "needed" to wear a bra, and I'll be honest, I went without most days in undergrad because A) hippy school and B) bras are expensive so they didn't wear out as quickly and C) when you're an A cup, hardly anyone notices anyway. But there wasn't really any special feeling attached with it. My mother didn't make a big deal out of me getting my period. I didn't make a big deal out of it, although I kind of wanted someone else to. A fancy dinner or something would have been nice. I was pretty young when it happened, I remember it was in October when I was 10 because it was the first year I went as a grim reaper (I wore the costume 2 more times).
A lot of girls and women complain about their period. Personally, I have never really found it to be that big of a deal, even when I was 14 and my flow was particularly heavy (this was the time I became a vegetarian and the whole borderline anemia thing REALLY helped me out there). It was inconvenient, but it's not like it didn't go away, and the light days are practically unnoticeable. I will say, as I've gotten older the cramping has gotten worse, and it's really annoying. Also I sometimes have the urge to eat everything in sight (more so than usual even). But I have to tell you, I actually breathe a sigh of relief every time I get my period.
A lot of this has to do with being sexually active, but some of it also has to do with my body telling me that I'm "normal." I like knowing that my body is regulating itself in such a way that I am producing this function that happens once every 28 days, and when it doesn't do so that there is something wrong with my body, or something has changed enough to affect my regularly scheduled program. Call me weird, but I think women have a big leg up in that area over men. Their first sign that something is wrong with that area of their body is peeing blood. Which would you rather have: no blood when you're expecting it, or blood when you've never had it there?
I guess I just never really got why that was one of the "negatives" of being a woman. It doesn't prevent me from taking certain jobs or voting or getting an education or body specific healthcare. I mean, the worst thing about being a woman is that men still treat us like women first instead of people.