Thursday, July 28, 2011

What This Blog Is Actually About (this time, for real)

            I think it noteworthy to mention that today is my twenty-second birthday. Noteworthy, at least to those of you who want to write "Happy Birthday, Rose!!! : P" on my facebook wall and, in so doing, contribute some positive data to the chart by which I gauge my sense of self worth. I’m sure I could’ve taken the day off  from the “the old blog,” as the people around town affectionately call it. This would certainly disappoint my strong contingency of follower (Sarah Walsh), but I’m sure "she’d" get on okay without me. I could have spent the day  relaxing among family and family without the burden of quipping egocentrically about my reproductive system in a writing style that is at once hip, casual, and undisciplined, a writing style that really presents me as the fashionable and easily-distracted young sprite, gallivanting about town, that has been endearing herself to homeless men masturbating on street corners for years. (Seriously friends, these guys just love me!) 
            To get back to the point of taking a day off from my busy blogging schedule to kick back and enjoy my birthday, I will say this: Despite the fun, there would be consequences. Not the least of which is that all my cool new friends from the COED lunch table (they haven't called yet, but they will if I continue leaving messages on their home phones) would never know what a special day it was for me, and in this event, they wouldn’t be able to invite me out to the roller skating rink tonight to have a few Sunny Ds and rip on how shoddy the new Bruce Lee figurines are that they're making these days.  I know those crazy coeds would be disappointed to miss out on all that fun, so I had to write today.  Furthermore, I haven’t even explained the real premise for this thing yet or even impressed my friends with my strong verbs and minimal usage of passive voice.* So I'm writing today in hopes of accomplishing these things.
               At any rate, I greeted this first day of my twenty-second year the same way I greet just about every twenty-first day in a string of twenty-eight, lying in bed wondering for how long the tedium of life will continue for me. If I were to die today then I would never again have to endure the cold sweat that inevitably saturates my pours anytime I consider adding a friend on facebook or getting the number for a classmate with whom I have to create a group project. By day, I would never again have the public humiliation of having to pronounce the word edit in the past tense, or by night, the private humiliation of catching myself in the mirror (yet again) as I try to open a particularly stubborn candy-bar wrapper with my teeth. If you have ever seen yourself involved in this process, then you know the utter feeling of emptiness that ensues from perceiving yourself in this light. The ravenous determination and animalistic vengeance poured out on the unfortunate Heath Bar wrapper in question are eclipsed only by the sad and almost vulnerable eagerness that inspired this act of mastication in the first place. Is it you that has aggressively dominated the wrapper, or is it the thing inside the wrapper that has aggressively dominated you?
               On the one hand, if I died, all of these anxieties and humiliations would disappear forever. On the other hand, I'd be dead. And I don't really want to be dead yet. But I thought about it this morning when I woke up, and I often do on the twenty-first day in a string of twenty-eight. I'm kidding (sort of) but the point is, I woke up feeling a little irritated but mostly just bummed and kind of lonely, and more than anything, I was keenly aware of (and we're talking in approximations here) around three thousand extra pounds of flesh hanging from my hips that hadn’t been there last week. In addition to the physical weight hanging on me, there was some emotional baggage as well. As I rolled over in bed, there were at least thirty offenses I had committed the night before that were now attacking my guilty conscience with two cannons, three swords, and a sickle that was engraved with the Ten Commandments. Despite the fact that about twenty-nine out of the thirty guilty offenses did not in any way conflict with the dictates of the Ten Commandments, this detail still bothered me.  (The one that did? Using the word “vajeen” on the internet where everyone could read it. I’m not sure which of the commandments I broke in doing this, but I obviously broke one of them.) In this state I dragged myself to the closet in my parent’s bedroom—no matter that they were naked and changing with the door open when I walked in—and plopped my pockmarked, unhappy, scaly, hooved, gangrene self on the scale inside. 
              At the time, I hadn't yet remembered that it was my birthday, but had I remembered this fact and realized that the number glaring back at me was the weight with which I was going to greet this new year in my life, I probably would have just gone back to my bedroom, stripped naked, eaten a can of Chef Boyardee ravioli from the can and spent the next hour cutting out pictures of movie stars’ heads and glueing their faces over mine in the family photos in my room. Occasionally I would have taken breaks to take a few swigs of O'Douls and sing “Seventeen” by Janis Ian through tears while pretending to be drunk. Mostly, though, I'd just keep cutting and pasting.
               I will say that midway through breakfast, I convinced myself into a swell of gratitude, because after all, it is an incredibly sacred thing  to just be alive. To be alive and surrounded by a string of gorgeous nieces and nephews who were excited to go out to breakfast with me for my birthday, well that was a sacred thing of unimaginable proportions. In the end, everything turned out okay, but the relevancy here is that I’m pretty sure we’re all familiar with mornings like this, whether we’ve had them our selves or witnessed them in others. Some people who have trouble maintaining good mental health (maybe myself included) may wake up every morning feeling a little down and kind of lonely, but if you’re a woman, even if you cultivate really good emotional wellness, you still probably experience something kind of like this every twenty-first day in a string of twenty-eight.
               This is the side of the female experience that most of us are already familiar with, the side of it that gets a lot of air time in real life and on television (AKA really real life). Maybe we hear a lot about it because it gives self-indulgent, irrational women named Kimberly an excuse to not take tables at Sunset Bay Bar and Grill on a Saturday night, or maybe because it gives self-indulgent men named Charlie Donnely an excuse not to listen to both rational and irrational women who are either not taking tables at Sunset Bay Bar and Grill on a Saturday night, or who are acting like the imperfect human beings they are, or who are simply being demanding. The moral is, we all know about premenstrual irritability, blues, etc. but we know very little about the rest of the reproductive experience of women. An experience that takes place twenty-four hours aday, thirty to thirty-one days a month (unless you want to include those little troublemakers that call themselves February), and twelve months a year. The reproductive experience is in action always and everywhere, whether you are actually reproducing or not, although the only times we tend to think of it is during menstruation.
               For example did you know that women enjoy more acute senses of taste and smell when they are fertile? That’s one of the highlights of ovulation. Really weird discharge that sneaks up on you and makes you feel like you urinated in your pants on one of the rare occasions that you didn’t is one of the low lights. There are so many little things like this about women’s bodies, but still our cycles remain largely a mystery to us. Anyway, that’s what  I’m kind of trying to deal with in this blog, not that I’m any great expert. I’m just a woman, but that should really be enough for me to figure out when I’m ovulating or at least when I’m bleeding from my vagina. That’s what this blog is for. To help you figure out when you are bleeding from your vagina.
               I’m looking forward to figuring that out with you. And also, Fiscal Year.

*I actually use passive voice allllll the time. I don’t even see a problem with using it. Now you know just how much of a rebel I really am.

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