I was lying on the couch earlier and a thought struck me with such force I had to sit up and take a deep breath. The thought was, I NEED A CHIMICHANGA. OR MAYBE A PIZZA. I’m not ashamed to admit that a blush inducing dirty thought may have also flashed through my mind at the same time, prompting a quick mental calculation. Yes, my monthly gift was fast approaching and therefore, all will power, rational emotion and reasoning would soon be exiting my general existence.
I know plenty of women who are not destroyed monthly, who do not turn into rabid maniacal bitches and who definitely do not need to consume 3,000 calories every six hours to keep the ladywolf away. I am not one of those women.
My lady troubles started early, and one of my earliest memories of this trouble was on a Young Women’s trip to the temple. We had moved to the midwest and were now a good six hours away from any temple, so the YW trip made for a very long day that inevitably began at 4am. On this particular trip, I woke up at 3:30am feeling nasty and mean. I remember sitting in the van trying to focus, trying to feel the spirit, but all I felt was pissed off and exhausted. And that led to extreme worry over WHY I wasn’t able to muster up some “spirit” and fear that maybe I wasn’t worthy enough to be going to the temple to do baptisms for the dead. I was only 13, trust me, I wouldn’t become “unworthy” for at least two more years…
About four hours into the trip I decide that I’m sick. My stomach is killing me, and I have a brutal headache. I don’t know my body well enough yet to know when my “gift” arrives, so I decide it must be the flu. The van is packed and I can’t lie down anywhere so I clamp my eyes shut and try to rest. It’s 8am and we have two hours to go.
10am: We arrive at the temple and descend upon it in all our youthful glory. I can’t wait to baptize some dead folks! We are brought to the changing rooms and it is here that the terrible discovery is made and the point at which everything goes wrong. You see, when I made the discovery I did something so unthinkable, so heinous that I was suprised I didn’t burst into flames immediately, or get hit by lighting inside the temple.
I SWORE IN THE TEMPLE.
It all happened so fast. When I saw the mark of the beast on my white cotton panties a surge of fury ripped through me and before I could stop myself I blurted out “DAMNIT!!”
When I realized what I’d said, I panicked so badly that I started crying. And because I was 13 and smacked with my period after six hours in a van and a complete hormonal AND emotional wreck, I didn’t just start crying, I started SOBBING. I couldn’t get control of myself and I ran to find the Young Women’s leader for some comfort. And a maxi pad.
You’ll never guess what she told me! I wasn’t allowed to do baptisms for the dead while having my period. I could get all dressed up in the gown and sit by the baptismal font, but I couldn’t go in. Anyone who has ever been a 13 year old girl can vouch for the fact that very few things compare to the grand theatrics and drama of being a physical stand in for a dead person. Being baptized for a dead person is awesome when you are young and your imagination soars with every name read. So I was completely devastated when I was told I would be deprived of performing in todays show. DAMNIT!
So I sat and watched shamefully from the back row. I noticed a few looks and some whispers- turns out I wasn’t the only one who didn’t know that you couldn’t go in the baptismal font during your period. As I sat watching all the other girls do their baptisms for the dead I cried and cried. I was so pissed, tired and crampy and I couldn’t believe I had traveled all that way to be denied at the gate! When one of the girls asked me why I was crying I looked up through my tear filled eyes and told her that I was just so… so…. MOVED BY THE SPIRIT. I spent the rest of the time thinking about what a good actress I was and how I totally made that girl think I was moved by the spirit. All was not lost, turns out I performed in the show after all…