:: Warning!!! This post involves graphic, possibly offensive material regarding menstruation. If you do not own a Vagoo, enter at your own risk. This entry of Girls Gone Child may not be suitable for children ::
I was what one might call a "late bloomer." The boys at school called me "flat-as-a-board-Becca" all through middle school. They held up their school books and whispered, "Look, it's your chest." (see above photo. I am the tall one on the left.) When my friends were starting their periods and shopping for bras with their moms, I was stuffing my shirt and posing sideways in front of the mirror, you know, just to see what I would look like.
At summer camp all of us girls devised a plan to shave our body hair as sort of a fraternal bonding experience between bunk-mates. I had barely even sprouted pubes but I shaved what I had with the rest of my friends and we started a secret pube-free club that ended up getting us practically thrown out of camp for being deviants. It was the beginning of sex and sexuality and hooking up with boys and "girl talk." It was the summer of skinny dipping and borrowing clothes and rounding second base.
Because I was the last of my friends to have a period, I decided to lie and say I had already started mine. During lunch when a friend had to go change her tampon I was so totally there.
"Omigod. I have such bad cramps right now. It sucks. Do you have a tampon I can borrow?"
Years passed and nothing. I figured that making out with boys on the beach would at least warrant me some "growth," perhaps maybe a B cup or, shit, some kind of cup! I was the training-bra chick in the locker room who knew how to change the "secret way." No bra or lack of boobage exposed.
By the time I started my period I was relieved. I was also what I thought to be a "pro" at this point. I had faked my womanhood for years now and had total confidence that I knew what I was doing and needed no help from anyone. Hell, I didn't even need to read the directions on the Tampax box. Psh. I so totally had it under control.
I had heard from my friends that pads were disgusting and tampons felt like "nothing" and were so much better. I trusted my friends. They were cool. They knew shit like I did and that was why we were friends. We knew friggin everything. We were so totally smart.
I went straight for the tampons and never looked back. Unfortunatley for me, the whole tampon thing was a little more uncomfortable than my associates had promised. I thought maybe it was a first-time thing and hobbled to soccer practice, excited to bitch and moan about having a period and "does anyone have any Midol? My cramps are so totally sucking right now, like, serious."
I Arrived at soccer practice white as a ghost and in terrible pain. I was trembling from what felt like squatting on a blender. It was totally contrary to my plan.
"Are you okay, Becca?"
"Yeah. You know. My period. It just sucks. I'm in a lot of pain. I have a migraine. Does anyone need a tampon?"
Luckily for me, our soccer practice was pretty mild ever since our coach walked, er stomped out on us during a game and never came back. Our team had somehow accidentally been placed in a competitive league and we were quite literally unable to perform. Our German former soccer-pro dude with the pony-tail bailed after I accidentally scored a goal against our own team (my only goal scored my entire soccer career) and my one of my BFs, Jamie, accidentally caught the soccer ball in her hands and started running away from the linebackeresque chick with the blue hair. Later she explained to us that she was scared the girl might have killed her. We all understood.
Needless to say we were left to coach ourselves which meant braiding each others hair during warm-up and writing our names in lipstick on the soccer balls we then kicked at the fence for 45 minutes, gushing over Luke Perry and Jonathon Brandis all the while.
I barely made practice that day, crying in secret from the pain. I was sorry I had waited all these years to be tortured so. What a waste of life.
I had all but given up two days later when I was scrounging the house for maxi pads. Cool or not cool, tampons were the devil. It was a simple choice of wearing a diaper or shooting myself. I flipped a coin.
I don't remember how it happened, the impetus behind my sitting down for five minutes with the tampax pamphlet to actually read the directions. I had known-it-all most of my life and at that moment, bored of praying to a God I didn't really believe in anyway, I thought, "what the hell? Maybe the whole throbbing pain thing was because I did something wrong. It was almost possible.
And there it was, folded up in tampax origami fashion- diagram and all, proof I had indeed inserted the thing totally wrong. And there I sat, feeling like such a royal idiot I started to cry. To my utter shock, one was not supposed to insert the whole thing in their vagoo, cardboard applicator and all. That's right, the applicator that was scraping me to death was trash. Hell, I could even flush it down the toilet!I had been throwing away the wrapper and the rest, well... up we go! No wonder I was in agony for a week!
When the next month rolled around, shit was easy peasy. Periods were cool. Painless. No problem at all. And it's even possible I might have learned something out of the whole debacle: Following directions once in a while might be something to try more often.
I never told any of my friends what happened. I never told anyone that I started my period at fourteen, well after I had rounded third base. I never told anyone that all those borrowed tampons went straight in the garbage bin and the Midol too. And as the years passed and I went from flat-as-a-board Becca to DDDcup-then-two-breast -reductions Becca and I mastered the art of being "on the rag" and then not being on the rag (ah, sweet pregnancy) I have finally come to a point where the most hellishly embarrassing moments of my adolescence are kind of worth sharing.
Because one of the greatest parts about getting older is inching away from the embarrassing stories of youth and finally being able to laugh at ones own expense.
Without further ado: Hahahahahahahahooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooey! Aha Aha Ahahhaha. Ha. Hee. Hoo. Heh. Sniff.