Once a month
Jessica Semaan

I am now old and “over it forever,” albeit childless in the end. I am glad for one thing — I will never again hear from whatever man I was with at the time that I should just go away and live somewhere else for a week or so until I stop “stinking up the house and whining about pain and acting so crazy.” I will never again have to hear a boss complain that I must be on my period, because I wasn’t as “perky” (read compliant) as usual. I realize now that those men really hated women for everything except the one thing they deemed us useful for in their lives. What bullshit. When quite young, I tried to avoid a date rape once by sharing that I was bleeding, thinking that would stop him — it didn’t — he just committed angry violent sodomy — HE was MAD at ME!

On the other hand, as a young woman, my mother told me that she was a virgin when she and my father married, after dating through the Depression for a few YEARS without having sexual relations. Finally, they gave up waiting for the Depression to end, and eloped (her parents didn’t approve of the match). She got her period on the Greyhound bus on the way to the next town where the little white church waited for them, and she told me that she told my father he didn’t have to marry her right then, if he didn’t want to. He replied that he had waiting this long for sex, and could wait until she was ready. He was a real gentleman, and they stayed married for almost 50 years until he died.

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