WARNING: Squeamish men, don’t read. It’s mostly metaphor, but still… only read if you are interested in what women go through.
Aunt Flo has changed her ways. She has been visiting me very regularly since I was fourteen. She didn’t come by when I was pregnant; she must be averse to pregnancies. But other than those two times, nine months each, she has been very consistent.
You know how when company comes, you get energetic and want to clean house and make a good impression? Well, this is the exact opposite. I grow slovenly a few days before each visit, barely able to drag my ass out of bed. Weepy and hungry, I pray for her arrival, because, even though she is a veritable bitch, I somehow get some relief. Once she gets in and unpacks her bags to stay about five days, I know it will all be okay. Before her visit, though, life is dismal.
The last few years, though, Aunt Flo has been unpredictable. Never one to worry where I am at the time of her visit, she regularly visits every twenty-eight days, no matter whether I welcome her or not! But she showed up while I was traveling in South America, twice each month. I don’t know why! Did she not trust me? Did she want to make me feel uncomfortable when I was already out of sorts and sort of lost?
Sometimes she is mean. The opposite of a caring sweet aunt, she kicks me in the stomach –slightly lower, actually—and doesn’t apologize. She causes discomfort and inconvenience; she drags me down emotionally and makes me feel fat and unattractive. I can’t wait for her to leave!
But even so, her gradual disappearance has been disconcerting. She threatens to show up for weeks before she finally comes, and then she barely unpacks and she leaves quickly. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I miss her, but I feel so used to our routine, tortuous as it was, and I don’t know what to do anymore.
“Are you coming back?” I ask desperately as she makes her way out (where does she go? The airport? The bus station?) She looks over her shoulder with a wicked grin and shrugs. Who knows?
Truthfully, I will be glad when she’s gone for good. But her gradual fading, like an on-again, off-again relationship, is annoying as hell…………….