Monday, January 23, 2012

I Got It

I've just spent the last forty-two minutes looking for a video made in the 1980s.  In this video, a girl gets an invitation to a slumber party and screams, "I got it!"  Then, she goes to the slumber party and (gasp!) gets her first period!  There is more screaming of "I got it!" after the mom explains what's happening and makes the girls pancakes shaped like reproductive organs.  There is some hugging and maybe even some high-fiving.

Sadly, I couldn't find it.  But, I saw this video in the fourth grade.  All of us girls sat in a room and watched it with our mouths hanging open.  After, there was an informational session led by the school nurse.  We yelled, "I got it!" at her as she asked us questions like, "What is the female reproductive part called?" to which I yelled out, "Penis!"  After that day, I was teased about penises until Junior High.  I also didn't eat pancakes for months.

You'd think with such proper preparation, I would've have been ready for my own "I got it" moment.  I wasn't.  It was a sunny Fall afternoon.  Sixth grade.  I was wearing white pants and a pink and white top.  As I stood up to get off the bus, the girl behind me pointed to my pants and gasped.  I couldn't see anything so I asked my friend, who confirmed that there was something red back there.  As I exited the bus, I did this sort of slouchy shuffle, trying to get my backpack to hang low enough to cover it.  But, kids were pointing and laughing.

We walked home quickly.  It was warm so I didn't have a jacket or anything to tie around my waist.  My best friend said she'd come in with me.  (She lived next door.)  I was so upset that I sent her home and let myself in with my key.  I went to the closest bathroom, saw the blood and cried until my mom got home.  I knew what was happening but instead of screaming, "I got it," I thought there was a good chance I might be dying and my emotional eleven-year old brain welcomed it.  When the cramps started, I was sure my life was over.  Something was really really wrong.  I didn't want to hug anyone.

There were no pancakes.  But, there began a fun fun time of my life.  Most girls in Sixth grade didn't have to cram maxi pads in their purses next to their glitter pens and Bonne Bell lipgloss.  Most girls didn't have take their purses to the bathroom with them in the middle of History class.  I had one really awesome day where my friend Lamont took the pad out of my purse and ran around music class waving it over his head saying, "Kendra, ooooooooh, I got your little pillow!"

Good times.

And, the good times never stopped.  Yesterday, as I lay curled up on the couch, I would have gladly murdered the creator of the "I Got It," video.  I also fantasized about strangling Rodgers & Hammerstein for "I Enjoy Being A Girl."  A woman would've never written that song.  My husband said he'd take the dog out for me so I cried a little, out of gratitude.  (I don't even cry at weddings or funerals.)  I missed a football party and instead stayed on the coach, moaning and half-watching a stupid movie while I fantasized about chocolate covered donuts.  I was a stereotype.  I was a cliche'.   I will never understand why I get like that once a month.  I will never fully recover from the pancake video.  I will never be okay with this being a girl bullshit.

I got it.  But, I still don't get it.

*awesome photo of me, age 11, looking really cool and stuff.