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When it’s Over. Done. Period.

I haven’t had my period since February 10, 2001.

This date is etched in my mind along with the day I gave birth, both of those “special” days involving my marriage vows, and my daughter’s first day of pre-school.

periods, menstruation, menopause, perimenopause, getting your period, tampons, midlife, midlife women

As well as less universal, but perhaps more traumatic events such as the night my boss took me to a swinger’s party (or so he thought) and the last time I wore high heels.

All moments that that reside in that “memory-hall-of-fame’ in the corner of my mind.

My friend, let’s call her Aunt Flo, for old time’s sake, hadn’t made a visit in over a year.  In fact, I was pretty sure she had gone on permanent vacation.

But there I was on the toilet in a ladies room, in a concert hall when she arrived.

“Oh, God!” I cried out, scrambling through my purse for what I knew wasn’t there.

And not only wasn’t I prepared, but the dispensers on the wall were empty.

I envisioned myself walking back to my seat with a wad of toilet paper between my legs, my butt pinched tighter than a miserly old woman.

But God must have heard my cry because within five minutes, Aunt Flo left the building.

She has rushed in like an old friend having left something important behind, with only a few minutes to spare. And then she was gone.

Perhaps in her case, it was to remind me of all the time we’d spent together and just because she was no longer in my life, it didn’t mean I was any less of a woman.

Well, I didn’t feel like any less of woman. It just reminded me of how many times I had actually forgotten to carry a tampon. Times when I really needed one.

And back then we didn’t have to remember to take many things with us. No cell phone. No iPad. No iPod. No laptop. Not even a debit card. Just a wallet and some lipstick.

So why was it so hard for me to keep that necessary item in my purse at all times?

By not being prepared, was I hoping it would end?

I don’t have the answer to that question.

In many visits to the ladies room, I’ve seen a young women’s startled expression and pleading look as she bangs on the tampon display.

But I do know that look. The one of fear and embarrassment. The one that says I have the toilet seat cover jammed between my legs.

The one that asks “What’s wrong with me? How can I be so forgetful?”

Just now you’re not alone.  And well, you’ve got a good story to share with your friends.


Read more from Janie Emaus on her website

Janie Emaus

Janie Emaus is the author of the time travel romance, Before the After, and the young adult novel, Mercury in Retro Love. She has an essay in the Best Selling humor anthology, You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth. She is a staff writer at In The Powder Room. She is proud to be named a 2013 BlogHer Voice of the Year . Janie believes that when the world is falling apart, we're just one laugh away from putting it together again. To learn more about Janie visit her blog and her website Janie Emaus. You can connect with her on Facebook and Twitter @Janie5010.

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Tuesday 18th of March 2014

Funny--gave me so much trouble for so many years--4 or 5 D&C's, knew the true meaning of open the floodgates, wore an arsenal of products and paper, friends had color-coded warnings about my moods long before the TSA was a glimmer....and I can only remember it ended in spring of 2007 but sure remember when it began 10/31/1961--I was 11 and my grandmother had died the day before

Janie Emaus

Tuesday 18th of March 2014

Wow! I never had it that bad. I'm glad you're not going through it anymore. Thanks for sharing and stopping by.

Anne Parris

Tuesday 18th of March 2014

If I had a dollar for every time I had to MacGuyver a redneck pad...

Janie Emaus

Tuesday 18th of March 2014

You've piqued my interest. Do tell more!

Kathy Bennett

Tuesday 18th of March 2014

I'm SO impressed you know the day of your last period. I will say that I ALWAYS had several tampons in my purse and often gave one away to a frantic stranger in a restroom. Now, carrying one in my cop uniform was a whole other thing!

Janie Emaus

Tuesday 18th of March 2014

I could just see that, Kathy!

Samanthe Beck

Tuesday 18th of March 2014

I'll bet every woman has at least one "horror story" around forgetting the all important tampon. Talk about a universal female experience. :}

Janie Emaus

Tuesday 18th of March 2014

I have many more stories I could tell. Another day, another faux pas.

Sarah Vance-Tompkins

Tuesday 18th of March 2014

Bravo! You made me laugh out loud and cringe with embarrassment. I keep thinking that I'm done. Period. I have so many questions about menopause. My doctor said I could ask him anything I wanted, but I don't understand his accent, so I keep my questions kind of simple and I carry a very large handbag.

Janie Emaus

Tuesday 18th of March 2014

I'm glad I could make you laugh. That's my mission in life. For answers about Menopause, you should check out Ellen Dolgen's Menopause Monday Blog. She's terrific.

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