"PMS" or Pre Menstrual Syndrome, has long been the standard excuse for female bad behavior from slight bitchiness to outright murder. It has a long and varied history among medical investigators. This history dates back to the time of Hippocrates, and the first reference in a scientific journal was by Franc in 1931. In 1964, Dr. Katherina Dalton brought attention to this condition with her first book on PMS, which promoted the theory that this condition was caused by either a progesterone deficiency or an imbalance in the estrogen-progesterone ratio. Later, she also extensively promoted the use of progesterone therapy for its treatment.
PMS has been locked in with various political and legal perspectives. For example, murder convictions and felony charges have been reduced to manslaughter and misdemeanors, respectively, because of the argument that the accused woman suffered from PMS. Feminists have voiced concern about this trend indicating that the use of PMS as a defense in criminal or civil matters could result in a negative impact on women’s push toward equalization with men. Feminists plead that generalizations about women should not be made when assessing the legal or political aspects of this condition. Another point of view suggests that this condition has held back many women over the years.
I'll admit that whenever even the possibility of a female president for our great nation is voiced, and it takes about a New York Minute for some guy to say something like: "Yeah, but keep her away from the nuke codes during That Time of the Month" I get really pissed. I mean, since when do men have the market cornered on 100% even-tempered, perfect judgement? I usually counter it with something about how I might be mentally unstable for a few days before I start to bleed but at least I always think with my Big Brain--the one inside my skull and not the one inside my pants. So there, mass generalizing male asshole.
But really, now that I'm on the "other side" of the 40 mark (not by much mind you) I have a pretty good handle on my cycle. Nothing sneaks up on me. I could set a clock by it so I always know when the slightest angry glance or mild criticism or even spilled coffee will send me into an emotional spiral of tears that will only be calmed by an entire bag of Lay's potato chips and two liters of Real Coke. I have actually had the thought (and voiced it) during that week of delight that I have to have a Wendy's cheeseburger or I will kill the person nearest me, whether they are my own flesh and blood or a complete stranger. I'm not fun this week, as many can attest. But I refuse to use it as an excuse. It's a natural part of me--of all women. Yes, we bleed for 7 (not 5 you idiot) days every month and survive. Deal with that. In order to do this, hormones begin to slip and slide around to allow our bodies to prepare every single month for the possibility of (heaven forbid) fertilization and embryo implantation. One can't expect this drastic shift of mood-altering chemicals to occur without the body and mind taking some notice.
It's a predictable thing: two weeks to the hour before the blood starts a-flowing I get a sharp double-me-over cramp in my side. This, I have learned, is Ovulation. Once I stand up, the Mister takes one look at me and reaches for the Wheaties box 'cause Mama is gonna need some attention--it's biology you know. The next week, with the Mister crouched in the corner begging me to lay off already, I get lazy, cranky, irrationally hungry all day long, I can't regulate my body temperature so I want to run out in the snow in shorts because the house is so damn hot. It's advisable for me to stop at 2 drinks because I'm sure to spin out of control after a 3rd, picking fights where none needed picking (and This Wench is NO lightweight so this is saying something-- I am an expensive date). The merest utterings of my beloved Wenchlings make we want to call an adoption agency and they threaten that they have child protective services on speed dial (oh, wait, that's just a Teenager in the House thing, never mind). I don't want to exercise, which I love to do, which could actually help me ironically--screw it pass the Oreos. I will cry at the slightest perceived wrongdoing-- or when I realize we are out of whatever it is my poor body is craving at that moment. I feel like I'm wrapped in a blanket somehow, my senses are muted and all I want to do is sleep. One sideways glance from the Mister and I want to punch him, hard, then retreat to the couch and take a nap, curled up with my Doritos bag, growling like an angry mama racoon. He knows to lie low.
Instead of worrying about too much though, I just give in to it. I know it won't last, just like I know within days I'll be doubled over when "de blood it come, Mary".
So fuck off and give me that chip bag or else.
Wench (for real)