I don’t believe in the Super Bowl, but I do believe in Super Bowl parties. Especially when they extract me from a PMS bed-ridden crying spell and get me to put on concealer and mascara. (I was very honest with my friend about why I couldn’t make his party and he promised me that Aleve would be waiting for me along with margaritas and Pringles.)
I used to think that PMS was, yet, another myth intended discredit women’s thoughts and feelings. I no longer feel that way. PMS. Is. Real. However, rather than making women “crazy,” I do believe that all of PMS’s Kill Bill– feelings are actually the result of an unhealthy level of sanity and clarity. PMS shines fluorescent lights on a reality we’re not really prepared to see that clearly. Rather than pathologize it, PMS is my new best friend. The kind that tells you that your boyfriend is a cheater. PMS makes you accept the crappiness of life, feel the sadness so you can move on, and fully supports your trip to Yogurtland.
[WARNING: THE FOLLOWING PARAGRAPH CONTAINS GRAPHIC REFERENCE TO THE FEMALE MENSTRUAL CYLE] I have gotten squeamish about body stuff, but that is about to change. Last month I co-produced a comedy benefit show to raise money for the Alexandria House. We asked the organization what items they would like us to donate and they responded with “tampons, pads, diapers and cleaning supplies.” “Tampons?!” I thought. You mean, Target and Walmart don’t just give them away? WHY DO HOMELESS WOMEN HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT TAMPONS?
It made me realize how much money women spend to keep our personal worlds from looking like elevator scene from The Shining. Not only that, but tampons are taxed. The streets and roads that we drive on are PAVED WITH THE BLOOD OF OUR UTERI (and I had to look to up the plural of uterus to figure out that it was “uteri”…because that’s how far behind me are as women). Seeing that, at this age, I have probably fully funded the construction of at least one traffic light, I think I have the right to discuss the physical reality and discomfort of working, living and walking while in fear of when Carrie’s prom will take over my jeans. *you were warned*
In an ideal world, when femininity is respected, the female orgasm is celebrated, and young women can go to the doctor without getting assaulted, we will have reams of books and videos about how to handle the depth of feeling during PMS. For now, when the sky falls, I eat bacon, cookie dough, really, anything with salt and sugar, cry and read my favorite inspirational book, “A Course In Miracles.” Although I have been reading it for 15 years, I don’t talk about it too much because I worry that my reverence for a 600 page tome of channelled material in the voice of Jesus Christ could really be misunderstood. At it’s most accessible, The Course In Miracles is a metaphor for a better state of living and healing. At it’s weirdo-ist, it’s the voice of Jesus Christ being channelled to a Harvard psychiatrist named Helen Schucman containing a dearth of male pronouns.
I spent Saturday with a Man Friend who also reads “A Course In Miracles” and we got into a debate about the meaning of a “Holy Relationship.” My interpretation of a “Holy Relationship” is basically a crappy relationship that, through the grace of a “miracle” has been transformed into a loving one. One of my favorite quotes from the book is, “The holiest of all the spots on earth is where an ancient hatred has become a present love.” Like when you see your enemy from improv class at an audition, and suddenly, you’re like, “Life sucks for both of us and now I like you. I GET IT.”
My Man Friend, however, follows the interpretation of a guy named Ken Wapnick, who helped edit the text. He disagreed with me and believes that a Holy Relationship is any one in which you are primarily connected to God. We kind of got into an argument about the nature of a “Holy Relationship” and he told me that since Ken Wapnick edited the original book, he would trust his interpretation over mine. Then I told him that Ken Wapnick could suck a dick.
But I really do recommend reading “A Course In Miracles” during PMS.