After an awesome workout at the gym, we enjoyed a leisurely lunch on the patio at Big City Bread. The sun was shining, the air was warm, and I really could have just sat there with my Mattie and my sandwich and salad forever. It was the kind of picturesque happy-people-eating-in-the-sun scene that you find on postcards and come visit Athens! tour books. But seriously. Come visit Athens. Sometimes it really is fabulous here.
Also, sometimes it's really, really weird.
I'm still a member of a very exclusive (haha, not really, but it is 'secret', and upon being invited to join the group by a current member, I was asked several questions before being permitted to join!) local parenting Facebook group. Most of the parent and adoption groups I joined while waiting for Ellison I've since left or hidden from my newsfeed, but this one is particularly interesting. It's made up of local folks and everyone is very chatty and active on the page. Most of the posts and questions are parenting related, but a good many of them are more general information, questions or thoughts about stuff going on around town, and other topics that interest me. Many of the most active members in the group are quite different in their philosophies and perspectives, so discussions are usually lively (but civil). Anyway. Yesterday some of the more...hippie? earthy?...something...mothers brought up a most interesting (that is to say, disturbing) topic.
They were discussing what kinds of rituals, ceremonies, and traditions they used to help their daughters celebrate the onset of 'menarch.'
And that's what they all called it. Over and over again. Menarche.
And then there were the ways they CELEBRATE it! And the weird ceremonies they'll have with their poor ten-year-old daughters! And like...oh my gosh, is this a THING now???
Can't we just call it 'starting your period' and can't we just observe it by like...throwing a box of pads and a copy of Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret their way and call it a day? That's how we did it back in the 90s...and if my mom had suggested we have a ceremony with red tents and all the older women in the neighborhood gathering around a fire to celebrate my womanhood...
Well, I would have died. I wouldn't be here today, sharing this horrifying bit of information with you. Because the embarrassment would have killed me dead.
Anyway. Now I'm scarred for life knowing that there are otherwise normal-looking people running around my town planning scary menarch parties for their unsuspecting pre-teens. I want to stage some sort of intervention for the poor kids.
(If you happen to be a big fan of the menarch ceremony and/or are planning one for your own daughter, please don't hate me. I'm just uninitiated and confused. And scared.)
(But seriously, I want to send my mom a big thank you card for being chill about the whole thing twenty years ago. If I ever get the opportunity, I plan to keep that family tradition alive with my own daughters.)
Speaking of awkward and terrible situations, today I have a dentist appointment. It'll be my first one in two years, so...basically I am a gross human being. In my defense...at my dentist, they schedule your next appointment (for six months in the future) during your appointment. So the last time I went, in approximately February of 2012, I picked a random day in August for my next appointment. Well as it turned out, that random day in August ended up being the day (or day after, or something) I had surgery that kept me down and out for a few weeks. Oh and also used up all the money and paid time off I cared to spend on doctors for that month (slash lifetime). So I cancelled that appointment but didn't reschedule because I didn't feel like missing more work, spending more money, etc. And then....and then they called a time or two, but I'd decline the call...because really, I don't love going to the dentist. And then they quit calling. And then it was like two years later and I'm like HOLY CRAP I HAVEN'T BEEN TO THE DENTIST IN TWO YEARS I AM A DISGUSTING HUMAN BEING. So here we are. St. Patrick's Day and I'm gonna be kicked back in a lounge chair to receive my past-due lecture about flossing. Yippee.
But I have a new mental strategy to help get me through the sure-to-be-terrible thirty minutes. Whenever I start getting uncomfortable or frustrated (by the lady asking questions that I CANNOT ANSWER BECAUSE YOUR HANDS ARE IN MY MOUTH), I'll think about how extremely preferable that situation is to being forced to endure a menarche ceremony. Not that 'going to the dentist' and 'having a menarche ceremony' are at all related to one another, but they're both terrible things currently on my mind...only one is WAY LESS TERRIBLE than the other. So. I'll sit there and be thankful that the worst thing happening to me is a pointy stick scraping against my molars. Amen and amen.