My Period Takes Me Shopping

Last week, out of nowhere, my period arrived at my apartment and insisted we go shopping. It showed up just as I was settling in for a hard day of studying, or pretending to study but actually Googling “recent UFO sightings — real.”

“LET’S GO SHOPIIINNNGGG!!!” my period screamed.

I grumbled but ultimately agreed, because I’ve come to accept that what my period wants, my period gets. (Except for making out with pirate Johnny Depp, rolling around in the sand with pirate Johnny Depp, and discovering buried treasure with pirate Johnny Depp — to pay for grad school!)

Together we headed to the mall. My period tried to steer me into Forever 21 because it’s a valueless skank who doesn’t care that their clothing is ripped off from independent designers or that their owners secretly paste Bible verses onto their bags. It was all, “You need some clothes for going out! Except you pretty much never go out because barely anyone likes you!” I redirected us to Express, which is another good place for purchases you’ll come to regret within a week, unless you’re presently a popular sixth-grader.

My period made me grab this totally trashy, silver-sequin-covered minidress. I tried to reason with it: “I’m too old to wear sequins. I’m an adult. I practically got an A in graduate-level statistics.” It gave me a stern look and said, “Maybe if you bought anything besides plaid button-down shirts, you’d find even ONE boy who’d want to date you.” So I said, “You’re a bitch, and I hate you, and plenty of boys probably want to date me. Fine, I’ll try on the dress.”

Within 15 minutes, my period and I walked out of the store with the stretchy, sequin-y minidress and a set of heavy silver arm bangles. I never wear bracelets, but there you have it. My period told me I needed them, because it likes shiny crap. In that respect, it’s actually a lot like a raccoon. (See also: garbage-eating.)

I tried to leave the mall, but my period made me stop for a snack. I was like, “I’m not even hungry!” It sneered, “Doubtful. You’re always hungry, and you know what’s delicious? Fried, salty pretzel dough, covered in cinnamon sugar. In stick form!” I was silent. I hated my period, but all of a sudden my asshole feet (ew!) marched me right over to Auntie Anne’s.

While I inhaled my pretzel sticks, my period said, “Wouldn’t you like to use your internet phone to look up pictures of your ex-boyfriend and his pretty new girlfriend? She’s prettier than you, you know. She is actually the most beautiful girl I have ever seen IRL.” I paused, pretzel stick in mouth, and took out my phone. I hesitated. “I’ve looked at these pictures a few (dozen) times already. What good is this going to do me now?” My period looked at me like I was a giant idiot and went, “Don’t you want to see if they’ve maybe broken up?” I sighed. It was right, of course, but they weren’t broken up, they were very much together, still, despite the fact that New Girlfriend is clearly stupid and has an untrustworthy look about her.

My period suggested that I throw my phone onto the mall floor. We compromised, and I sort of flung it softly six inches to my side, onto the bench. After glaring at it for a few seconds, I picked it up to check for scratches. My period rolled its eyes at my anal-retentiveness. “NOT appealing in a mate,” it whispered, but it knew I could hear.

I finally convinced my period that we should leave the mall. We walked to my car, hooked up my iPod, and turned on a playlist specially demanded by my period — a three-song rotation: “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” by Céline Dion, “If I Were a Boy” by Beyoncé, and “Bleeding Love” by Leona Lewis. The Trifecta of Tears. Needless to say, it was going to be a pretty emotional drive. I headed home, but my period shouted, “Take the next exit! We’re going to Target.” I rolled my eyes; I should have seen this coming.

Once we were inside, my period lost its shit. “What should we get? I know! 13 Going on 30 on DVD! A tube top! A pack of Magic: The Gathering cards! Glitter!! TWENTY TUBES OF GLITTER!!!” We headed to the arts-and-crafts aisle, and I tried to be reasonable by picking up a package of black pens. My period made me throw them back, not even nicely, onto the hook. “Wouldn’t you like some wedding-themed stickers and scrapbooking paper, just in case?” it asked. I glared. “Haha JK! Come on. That was a good one. It’s funny because you’re literally never getting married.” I clutched three packs of glitter-encrusted, hand-cutout wedding-themed stickers, and started to cry. “Ohhh, clean-up on aisle 12, right?! Waterworks!!!” My period laughed. But then, apparently, it had a change of heart. “Come on, let’s go get ice cream.”

Half an hour later, we were home. I sat on the couch, eating a Skinny Cow ice cream bar. It was by far the best thing my menstrual cycle (which is its full, legal name) had ever bought me. They’re 110 calories each, which is perfect, because my period and I agreed that I could have three, if I wanted.

Katie Heaney graduate-studies, writes, and blames her shopping on everyone/everything else in Minneapolis.

Picture via Flickr