I should have known that it was PMS (see post below) when I started fantasizing about onion rings during my A Course in Miracles class on Tuesday night.
Or when I came home last night and, despite my self-imposed drinking hiatus, made a margarita (and baby, was it fabulous).
I seem to have long bouts of PMS, sometimes up to a week. It makes me feel like a hermit crab walking around without a shell, all soft and fragile and defenseless. Usually I have a hard shell between me and my emotions, but during PMS that protection is gone and I am left at the mercy of any stimulus that comes my way.
Our world just isn't set up to accommodate this. We have to keep on driving forward even if the starving toddler on the World Children's Fund billboard makes us burst into tears during PMS. No one has time to care about our hormonal issues.
Back in the early days of feminism there was some discussion about whether women could be judges because PMS might cloud their sense of fairness and balance. Feminists were outraged at the suggestion. But when I think about it, for me, there is no might about it. I feel like I could be fair most of the time, but give me a head full of raging PMS hormones and all that goes out the window. Rapist? Bang, the gavel comes down. Send him away for life. Child molester? Are you kidding me? You think you are EVER getting out? I don't CARE what the sentencing guidelines are, they can try to take away my judgeship later, but for now, buster, you are GOING AWAY.
I met a native American woman up in Ojai who was very into her "moon time." (No surprise - Ojai is the place that people are thinking about when they imagine California New Age Wackos. Naturally, I love it up there). She talked about how she decided to honor the traditions of her ancestors and sequester herself during her period.
Sure, right, whatever, I thought.
"Of course, that means I can never hold a regular job," she added. Then it hit me. Wow. This woman had made a commitment that really changed her life in a major way.
She talked about how her ancestors would usually menstruate at the same time, because they lived without artificial light, so their cycles followed the moon. They went off to a private place to be together during this special time.
What this also meant, she said, was that the men had to know how to take care of the kids, because they did it full-time at least five days a month.
I had always heard of women being sequestered during menstruation as a negative thing before. It was supposedly because they were unclean and would foul the water and the cooking pots. This was a different story. Women hanging out together, relaxing, treating each other well AND having the guys take the kids?
It may all have been her interpretation, something she made up, new age hooey. But it sure got my imagination going. What would the world look like if we still did that?
I mean, all this hormonality has to be good for something. Everything in nature has a purpose. Surely we didn't get this flood of hormones that triggers so much emotion for nothing.
I think it is a good time to stop, to evaluate a bit, to use the shell-less period to get in touch with how we really feel. Maybe our hearts truly are always broken by the hungry kids. Maybe we really are steaming mad at the fact that our partner doesn't do their fair share of housework.
It's just that most of the time we don't have our defenses stripped away like we do with PMS. That is probably good. I don't think I would want to live a life that feels so raw. But maybe with a little planning and thought, I can learn to use this time to my advantage instead of moaning over it.