13. ‘Have you tried putting one foot on the toilet?’
“My first period came when my mother was away so it was just my father and little brother in the house. I remember my father handling it with aplomb, he beetled off to the chemist and came back with about four boxes of tampons in various sizes. We have had our ups and downs over the years, but I will never forget that Saturday morning. Me, mystified, on one side of the bathroom door, him on the other, shouting instructions from the leaflet:
‘Have you tried putting one foot on the toilet?’”
14. Vivid red staining in my knickers!
“The year was 1981. I was 11. I lived with my dad. Had a tummy ache and thought it was due to the three Wagon Wheels and two Penguin biscuits consumed in quick succession. Went to the loo. Vivid red staining in my knickers! At that moment the electricity meter ran out. Plunged into darkness – as was my mood. Worried I had snagged my nether regions on the fence I’d climbed over earlier. Decided this was not the case and I must be dying. Quick call to my mother who sobbed down the phone that her baby had grown up and she wasn’t there – not a clue what she was waffling on about. Five minutes on phone to my older sister who was furious that I’d had the nerve to bleed before her and convinced I was lying – still had no clue. Confused. Eventually informed that I had a period – still no clue. Dad came home: ‘Dad, I’ve had a period.’ Dad coughs a lot, leaves and comes back with every form of sanitary protection available. He asked if I knew what to do? ‘Pfft, course I do!’ Went to school the next day with a still-wrapped tampon in my knickers and a piece of string tied around my waist. It was a very uncomfortable day.”
15. I look at my chair, and it has blood on it.
“I was in sixth grade, first year in middle school it was good. But one day we had some special speaker giving out awards for something I forgot what it was, but my name was called. I walked up on stage (I was wearing a white skirt, and a really pretty top) and anyways I remember everyone laughing at me. And I didn’t know why. And the teacher comes up to me and says…you started your period, honey. And I look at my best friend and she is like :0 and then I look at my chair that was beside her, and it has blood on it. I go to the bathroom && my skirt had blood on it, it was disgusting.”