No woman ever truly becomes a pro at hosting Aunt Flo. Whether it’s scheduling conflicts, Red Wedding-esque stains cropping up the same day you ran out of bleach, or a display of aggression that your barista truly didn’t deserve, being a pleasant, rational dame during your menstrual cycle never gets any easier. With that in mind, you’ve probably had at least one of these thoughts during your last rendezvous with your monthly visitor.
1. “Where’s the string???”
Losing a tampon to the great beyond is a fear factor for even the most level-headed woman, and nothing incites panic in the bathroom like frantically searching for that string like a skydiver struggling to find the ripcord for her parachute.
2. “That’s a new shade.”
Without crossing over into TMI territory, most of us have a – for lack of a better term – Menstrual Rainbow to which we’ve grown accustomed. Every so often, our uterus gets artistic and decides to worry us with a color we’ve never seen before, without the consideration of showing us a swatch first.
3. “How did that get there?”
Periods are impervious to physics. Spots could show up in your pockets, on your bra strap, even at the bottom of your purse. There is no science to how a period makes its mark.
4. “I think I’m dying.”
Reserved for the most dramatic days when it feels like a hurricane of hot lava is making its way through your fallopian tubes. Is death imminent? You don’t know, but you’re eating ice cream like there’s no tomorrow just in case.
5. “Maybe pregnancy isn’t so bad.”
This is a serious cry for help that calls for complex carbohydrates, a heating pad, and a heartwarming movie about a dog sure to inspire the ugliest of ugly cries.
6. “I guess I’ll make an origami maxi pad.”
Ah, yes. The origami maxi pad: for those periods that arrive four days before the intended grocery trip when you planned on refilling your stockpile of feminine products. You are not skilled in the art of origami, and toilet paper is not skilled in the art of absorbing anything on the first day of your period.
7. “Thank goodness this decrepit pair of panties survived another wash cycle.”
The exposed elastic in the waistband and the growing crotch hole make them about as effective as underwear as Tarzan’s loin cloth, but you’re glad you decided to spare them for one more week, because now they can bravely be of service for at least one more period before being retired.
8. “Did I remember to flush?”
Whether your roommate is a friend from college, a parent, your significant other, or a brazen 3-year-old, when it looks like you performed a ritual slaughter in the toilet or left behind a crimson torpedo, you can’t help but wonder if you remembered to send the evidence to its watery grave.
9. “I’m never forgetting a tampon again.”
This is the thought you most often have after wandering around like Oliver Twist asking purse-bearing women if they have a tampon or sanitary napkin they can spare. As if asking for a handout isn’t humbling enough, you most often receive feminine products from the bottom of a woman’s purse, covered in lint and stale Cheerios, possibly dating back to the early ’90s. It’s in these moments you vow to be more prepared next time.
10. “It’s over!”
Stop right there. Never in the history of menses has a woman ever been correct about when her cycle is ending. You might think you know. Perhaps it’s been a slow day; maybe you even took the risk of not wearing any protection. But you cannot forecast a period, and many a fine pair of unmentionables has been forfeited to this fatal oversight.