Facts of Life
Interpretation by Anna Ostendorf
My Mother told me the facts of life when I was 10. It wasn’t a random, sit-down-I-have-something-to-tell-you moment. I asked, so she told. She figured that if I was old enough to form the question then I was old enough to hear the answer.
She was so wrong.
I was totally grossed out by the graphics forming in my 10-year-old head and my already well-honed distaste for boys turned into absolute disgust. And like lots of other kids I remember thinking, why would anyone DO those things?
During that mind-boggling human anatomy lecture she also mentioned the monthly unexpected and uninvited guest that would someday enter my life and visit me for the next 40-ish years. The entrance of that guest would enable me to bear children through the previously mentioned graphic processes. There were no birds and bees metaphors. My mom was straight up honest and… Did I understand? Did she want me to go through it all one more time?
Yes! I mean, NO! I mean…which question am I answering?
Ten turned into 11, 12, and 13 and as D-day approached I clutched a copy of, Are you There God? It’s Me, Margaret, read it in one sitting and while my classmates waited for “it”, or got “it” and celebrated by actually talking out loud about “it”, I felt no excitement whatsoever about the onset of pads and stomachaches. If getting “it” would make me part of the “in crowd” I was more than willing to guard the sacred space I already held in the “out crowd.”
But I got “it.” And yes, it was at a wedding reception. And yes, I did wrap my undies in TP and yes my mom did remind me that I could now have children. And while I never talked or bragged about “it” out loud, and I don’t have a cousin Stacy or a cat named Max, I did suddenly find that when I looked at a certain boy named R.J., my previously held feelings of boy disgust turned into butterfly belly lust.
I was growing up.
It was painful, erratic, scary, exciting, adventurous, and possibly dangerous. And isn’t THAT a metaphor for life in a nutshell?
I wasn’t really ready. But biology waits for no one. Biology says, grab some TP and figure it out, kid.
I’m now moving into menopause and as I wave goodbye to my longtime uninvited guest I find myself feeling those same emotions. Youth is walking away. My mom is no longer here to guide me into the next phase. It’s painful, erratic, etc. Sigh…
I’m not really ready. But biology waits for no one. Biology says, you’ve only got so many Macarena’s left to dance, lady.
Yes, that’s a fact. So if you’ll excuse me I’ve got some booty to shake.