Menstruation At Snake Lake


Don’t ever ask me to come “out to the woods” again. I don’t want any guy pitching a tent for me. I don’t want to “rough it” in “the great outdoors” or use any phrase that requires “quotation marks.” Why? Because every time I go camping I get my period. It’s a rule- a guarantee. I even got it twice during two separate camping trips in May of ‘09. Thank you God for the double-yolked egg.

Is this a coincidence? A practical joke? My body must sense when I’m in the mountains because next thing I know I’m a river of blood. (Did you see those elevators in “The Shining”?) Camping is bad enough anyway… straining coffee through the French press, bugs in my hair and say goodbye to open-toed shoes. Plus the sun is murder on my skin… I won’t go out without three coats of SPF 90. But when my period starts it’s the perfect storm.

I’m in the bushes, squatting to pee or make turtles, and my boyfriend usually finds this a good time to pretend to “hunt” me with his finger gun. It’s hard to fake-laugh with poison sumac up your ass. Last time he asked me if I was laying eggs and I seriously considered shooting him with the rifle and calling it a hunting accident. And then comes the bleeding. Some girls have a really light flow but I’m like the Hoover Dam on a Tuesday morning. Ever use a pine cone as a tampon? It’s a great way to start a hike.

And the cramping? Big. Frigg. Imagine someone pummeling your pelvic region wearing brass knuckles and oven mitts. And not to be too grody but my nipples feel like they’ve been driving nails through drywall all day. I usually get my headache just before my boyfriend pulls out his acoustic guitar for some “campfire singalongs.” I spend the time calculating the temperature at which his skull would melt. And my body just feels…Blecchghh. It’s not poetry but there it is.

The last camping trip I brought along a pair of steel-toed boots so I had the option of crushing my boyfriend’s testicles if he decided to get funny again. I went through a whole roll of TP just spotting and he had to wipe with pages from his car manual! I admit it- I get a little cranky when I’m on the rag but he has this way of telling stories without a beginning, middle or end. He asked if I wanted s’mores and I slapped him so hard it brought tears to his eyes. He managed to swallow the marshmallows without me.

I agreed to go camping this weekend- one last time- but it’s only because my period isn’t due for another two weeks. We’re going with two other couples and there’s some talk of a hoe-down and/or square dance. They’re obviously kidding, right? We are gonna play some volleyball which is awesome because I kick- hold on a second. There’s something dripping down my leg… oh no… oh God… it can’t be…

Big frigg.

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