1. Psychotic Mood Shift
2. Puffy Mid-Section
3. People Make me Sick
4. Pimples May Surface
5. Pass My Sweatpants
6. Perpetual Munching Spree
7. Pass My Shotgun
8. Pissy Mood Syndrome
9. Potential Murder Suspect
10. Pack My Shit
Pick one, any one of those. Sometimes you can pick them all. But what you absolutely cannot do (if you are a man that is) is lose track of the calendar and pick one of those at the wrong time. PMS jokes are hilarious, unless of course you are actually PMSing. Then they are legal grounds for well...if the judge is a woman just about anything.
When you are asking a long term couple the secrets to a happy marriage one of the things that rarely gets mentioned but I would bet is up near the top of the list is that the husband knows his wife's cycle and knows when to keep his mouth shut. See here is the thing men (those who haven't already figured it out) need to understand. When a woman is PMSing or MSing as the case maybe be and her emotional cycle is, let's just say a little erratic, she KNOWS it's a little erratic and doesn't need you to point it out. Because as soon as you point it out it goes from being a little to a lot. And you go from being a husband to HIM. As Brent would say..."That's rookie shit."
I have male friends who do not get this concept at all. They think it's just awful that they have to deal with the mood swings each and every month. And to them I say, back away slowly. Because I am so sorry that you have to deal with a few mood swings directed your way. Your partner? What they are dealing with? Well let's see...they have the moment of ovulation, you know when the woman's body releases the egg? Doesn't that sound nice and easy? Releases the egg. What this really entails is an egg EXPLODES out of her. Seriously, the ovaries don't have a nice little opening for the egg to just slide through when it's time, they tear through the ovary to start their journey towards the miracle of life. And yes, you can feel it happen. For some women it's a little twinge that they get in their side, for others it's exactly what you would imagine part of your body exploding would feel like.
And that, my friends, is just the start. Then you have the oh you're not pregnant, fine we will douse you with extra hormones just to double check and then to clear the place out to start again. Which means all of the breast tenderness and swelling of a pregnancy accompanied by the cramping and bleeding of a period. Oh, and I know there are men out there that don't want to talk about this. It's icky. You think it's icky? YOU THINK SO? How about us? And if you think that your middle school years were embarrassing when you had to walk with your books in front of your crotch because Sally Salazar wore that short skirt to class again you try being Sally Salazar when she doesn't have a change of clothes in her locker and she started bleeding unexpectedly. Trust me she spent the day with a jacket wrapped around her waist, if she was lucky enough to have one or a friend who could lend her one, and she went home and thought she was going to literally die of embarrassment....she is sure she heard about a girl in Portales that that had happened to.
And let's just touch on cramping here for a second. Again, it varies, some women have just a mild, "oh that's not good" feeling, some women have nothing at all and some women feel like there is a small rodent trying to gnaw it's way out of her stomach. Oh, and some women don't know from month to month what is going to happen! It's like PMS roulette! Can I plan on going out with my friends or will I only want to lay on the couch watching Bridget Jones and weeping softly? What will it be this month?
And there are supplies involved. And you are too embarrassed to buy them for your girlfriend or wife? She feels like crap and you can't man up and stop at the store on the way home for a box of pads? Oh no...not good at all. Brent's dad was very funny about this one. Never bothered him at all to stop and buy. He grew up with all boys in his family so you would think it would have been the opposite, but the way he looked at it, he was buying pads and Midol and things like that because there was a woman in his house. A woman he was having sex with. So he felt pretty darned good about it all. And for you fathers out there, if you need to buy the stuff for your daughters, know that she didn't want to have to ask you anymore than you wanted to stop and buy the stuff. But just be glad that it means you aren't a grandpa just yet and buy the damn stuff!
And then there are those, like me, who get extra symptoms. I already have insomnia issues and when I am near or on my period I can go from a bad sleeper to a non-sleeper. It adds to the difficulty curve just a touch. And I also get anemic. I've been on iron pills a few times, which make my stomach upset, so I try to make sure I get a good dose of iron in my foods when I need it. But between the no sleep, the low iron, and whatever else I get hit with that cycle it often means there is a day or even two where I do nothing but sit on the couch and read. And for those of you out there playing along at home here is what Brent's reaction to those days is...
"I'm sorry you don't feel well, honey. Can I get you anything? I brought you some chocolate."
And yes, ladies and gentlemen, we have been married for 25 1/2 years. Now you know one of the secrets to a long marriage. And if you need me, I will be on the couch.