Listen & Learn:
Hi. Welcome to the Crimson Wave. You're a bit low energy today.
There we go. Here it comes.
That was my Mariah Carey impression. Did you like it?
That was Mariah Carey? Nice.
Crimson Wave. Is that enough for you?
Take it easy. Welcome to the Crimson Wave, listeners. Another episode another week. I'm Jess Beaulieu.
I'm Natalie Norman.
We are your lovely smoking hot hosts.
I know. Okay.
All right. All right. Our guest today, oh my god.
Oh my lord.
Should I say our best friend forever?
You should. BFF?
Anne T. Donahue. Holy shit.
You know what, famous on the internet, Anne, I will say.
I don't think that's true.
I think it's true. It's very true. We say so, so it's true.
Okay. You know what, this is your house, these are your rules like Miley Cyrus says. I'm going to let it slide instead of fighting about it for 45 minutes.
Anne is a writer for the most part I'd say, Anne, a hilarious writer at that and a Tweeter. What is a Tweeter? What is the-
I surf the web.
You surf the web.
She's an internet user.
I log on and I just surf, and I hope for the best. That's my day. I just do that. That's what I do.
We're so excited to have you here.
I'm fanning out right now, because I'm so excited to be here, and I'm obsessed with both of you, and I'm obsessed with this podcast. My mom was excited when I told her about this. She's like, "What podcast are you recording today?" I'm like, "I'm going to record on the Crimson Wave. We're going to talk about our periods." She was like, "I am so proud of you. Good." Then, she's like, "You have to tell them about..." I'm like, "I'll tell them about..."
I want to know now.
We'll get into it. We'll get into it. I'm excited we're friends and I'm going to rope you guys into a lifelong friendship.
I love it. I love it. When your birthday?
Vergo. I don't know much about the vergo.
I have a lot of vergo friends. I have a lot of vergo men crushes.
What are the characteristics of the vergo? I don't actually know.
They're known for writing.
They're known for writing. That's their biggest thing.
We love typing because we love a good clickety-clack and just hoping for the best.
A good clickety-clack.
That's how I'll describe my job from now on.
Just clickety-clack all day, you know what I'm saying?
Also, why we're obsessed with Anne, Anne's a huge fucking feminist.
We love feminism.
Probably equal to us.
If not, more so.
That's how Amanda described you guys, because I was like, "What should I expect on this?" She's like, "You'll love it. You guys are equal amounts." I'm like, "Fuck and emoji hand prayers." Lift my hands up, and then I was like Pennsatucky from Orange is the New Black minus the racism.
We love having feminists on here. We mostly have feminists.
I feel like most of them are.
I think they all are.
I don't think we've had anyone who's like-
Not. Not, not a-
I think we've had some people who wouldn't necessarily say it out loud, but I think in the heart of hearts, they're feminists.
But, you're loud and proud.
First, before we get into the period stuff, I want to talk about your Yes All Women.
Anne had this amazing tweet, which I can't remember what it is word for word, but she sent it to me right away.
I bet you I could. I bet you I could.
You do it.
Let's see. I don't know if the hashtag was first or last, but let's see. It was something like, "I get nervous calling out sexist jokes and remarks, because it'll burn bridges with my colleagues."
Yeah. It's about burning bridges professionally. I don't even know it off, but I imagine it did. I'm like, "Actually, the hashtag was first. Second of all..." I don't know. It was something like, "I'm afraid to call out sexism when I see it or hear it online, because I'm afraid it'll burn bridges professionally."
She sent it to me right away, and we both were like, "Oh my gosh, soul mates. Soul mates," because we as two very outspoken feminists, we been through some doozy sometime.
We have burned some bridges.
Many bridges have been burnt.
I have as well. You know, fuck those bridges then.
Yeah. They're not worth it.
Then, good. Burn to the fucking ground, motherfuckers.
Yeah, yeah. Yeah, yeah.
The tweet was-
Was in Time Magazine.
Was in Time Magazine.
List of best tweets.
I got at a baseball game. I'm with my friend and I'm like, "Oh my god." She's like, "What? What happened?" I'm like, "You know what, that's gross to be like, 'I got on this list,' and so I was like, 'I don't know. I think I just saw something in the third base area.'" Then, I just went on the internet and was like, "I'll just deal with that every time."
It was so cool. I think there was so many good ones. There were so many. Every one I read I was like, "Holy shit."
I read the list, they were all amazing.
But, I think for us that one relates to us so much.
Because, you didn't just mention something about jokes too, right?
I think in some capacity. I think I've mentioned that, written about that in some way before, because that sucks. Then, all of a sudden, you're not funny anymore like, "We're just joking," and all that bullshit.
We can have a whole episode on this whole-
I'll come back for that.
Periods, discussion periods publicly. People feel ashamed.
People are like, "That's so ew. Why do you have to talk about that?" I'm like, "Why can you fucking talk about your dick all the time and I can't talk about my period? I've have it for 17 years. I think I've had over 200 periods and 1000 days of period-ness. I'm allowed to talk about it."
It's like it dictates your life for at least three to five days if not more sometimes, maybe less, but your life revolves around that while it's happening. There shouldn't be any shame or blame on that, and if people can't handle it, you tell them they need to grow the fuck up and stop being a baby bitch.
I feel this is more.
We're in a coven now so we're going to time out from the podcast and produce some spells.
Witches, it would be my dream.
If you feel like you've been cursed, it's probably us and we hate you. Good bye.
Especially, between the two of us just laugh.
I know, I feel really at home right now. I'm like, "This is a great feeling we've got going on."
It's a good vibe.
We literally just cackled like witches. We both looked at each other, tilted our heads back and went, "Hahaha!".
Definitely witches. Okay, Anne. Let's get talking about the menstruating, since I just want to hear-
Wait, I didn't agree to that. No, I'm kidding.
We're very big on concent.
Are you on your period right now?
Okay. This is amazing timing because first of all, it's a full moon on Friday the 13th.
Oh my god, it's Friday the 13th.
That's why you can't stay. Sorry.
Girlfriend's boobs are sore, meaning that period is coming. Normally, actually I have synced with the moon.
What? We love when that happens to people?
I get it every full moon.
No. That's amazing.
It's a pretty wonderful experience, except for the rage I feel, because PMS turns me into the [inaudible 00:07:50] commercial for Saturday Night Live, but the rage one with the axe. I have no rationality. Normally, I'm a very short fuse as it is, but I can take a step back and be like, "Do not lose it on this person. Just calm down." This is nothing. Today on the way here, it was like finger at the other drivers and being like, "Get the fuck going!" Even trying to find parking, I was yelling at a biker. Horrible things. I turn into a dragon lady, so that's where we're at on this the day. I'm assuming Sunday I'll be getting ye old menses.
Sunday, Sunday. I feel like Sunday.
You get rage, do you get anything else?
My boobs hurt a lot. I'm not on the pill, because actually when I was... Oh god, there's so many layers. Where should we go?
Please, spill it.
Do it. Do it all.
Just follow your heart.
I don't want to bore you guys with any of this.
Nothing is boring. Nothing is boring.
This is great.
It's all important.
You're right it is. These are our uteri, some people don't get to keep theirs like my mom.
There you go, wow.
When I was around six or seven, I finally kind of wrapped my head around what a period was because my mom had super bad endometriosis and would get her period-
We haven't spoken about that yet.
No, no. Haven't come up.
She'd get her period for three weeks out of the month and I remember her not even being able to move because of the cramps. Then, by the end, by the time I was seven turning eight, she would have gone through a super absorbent bad and a super absorbent tampon within about 20 minutes. Every 20 minutes, she had to change it. They took out her uterus when I was seven, and then what sucks is that 10 years later because of the way they did it in the '90s, she had to have basically internal vaginal reconstruction surgery because all of your organs start to drop out of your body. She has to have that done every 10 years now, so she's due for another round.
I grew up very, very aware of periods. My dad was very open, because it was such a big part of everyone's life. When I got mine, I was 15. No, I was not. That's a lie. I was 12. 15 was when I went on the pill. 12 and I was so eager because everyone had it but me, and then I remember having the flu, which I now probably think was probably cramps and PMS when you're little, and being so excited that I got it, because everyone else had had it. My nana, because she was aware of everything, dropped off a wooden rose, like a hand carved rose and 12 dollars, because I was 12, and then chocolate, and was like, "You're a woman now." I was like, "This is the greatest day." I remember going-
A wooden rose?
What does that symbolize?
Just she loved roses. Actually, to this day, she's passed away but every time I see a rose, I'm always like, "Sup, nana." I channel the grandmas that I'm like, "Help me out here."
Rose actually symbolizes in a lot of literature vaginas.
You know what, my nana was a feminist. She was an immigrant so that's even really cooler.
My grandmother was a feminist too.
Yes. She supported her whole family. She made sure everyone was educated, reading was super important to her. She's not alive either, but she grew up in Poland and it's so bizarre. She had a full education. She went to [inaudible 00:11:14]. She went to university in Russia. Really educated woman.
That's fantastic. Oh god, that's inspiring. I love that. I love fucking grandma stories. My god, they're so powerful.
Wait, hold on, back to you. Sorry. Back to your story.
Basically, I grew up with all of that, very aware, and now retrospect, my poor mom trying to raise... Imagine her raise a seven year old and my dad was trying his best, but he didn't understand. She couldn't move half the time. But, then when I was 15, I started getting bad cramps and my mom was like, "Oh no." We went to the doctor and he's like, "We're going to try you on..." I think he tried me on a ALESSE and I didn't know that when you can start a pill and it's not strong enough, you'll get your period for a little longer, and in my case, it was 35 days.
Oh my god.
Oh my god.
I'm sorry. Not 15, 16. Not that anyone's really listening to that part, but they're like, "Excuse me. From the story you already told us, I think it might be..."
There's a photo on Instagram that I put up for Christina Walkinshaw and Amanda Brooke Perrin because the photo I look like I've been through the war. It's a beautiful summer photo and everyone's tanned and smiling, and I'm in the back and I'm like, "Just wait," and dark circles under my eyes, and half smiling. I looked like I survived and everyone's like, "We're having fun." 35 days, and you're at the age where you can't talk about it. It's a weird circle where everything comes full circle, where you get embarrassed for five years. I was very embarrassed and I didn't tell anyone, and everyone's like, "Why don't you want to come swimming today? I thought you already had your period." I was like, "Oh, I just can't [inaudible 00:13:03]" It was heavy. It was my period for 35 days.
Sometimes I get really sick during my period, horny. Did you feel like all these emotions for those 35 days? Because, I couldn't even imagine that.
Now, here's the weird part. I got diagnosed with a mood disorder a couple years ago, so everything between say teenage hood when you start to turn into the person you're going to be and that, I don't know. I don't know if it was the mood stuff, and I don't know if it was PMS, because it overlaps so much sometimes. I do know that I was very tired and it was the summer that my grandma was dying.
Oh my god.
Oh my god.
I know. I told you it was going to get dark.
No, this is good. No, talk about it.
No one's crying. I promise there're no tears.
Yeah. No, no.
Tear away if you want to.
I don't cry that easy, only in movies when I'm by myself and I'm like, [inaudible 00:13:59] and it's like X-Men. I'm like, "Mystique is all right. Yay!"
Crazy. Then, the birth control must have affected your mood then as well.
Now, this is the whole other story. I actually can't be on it. I lasted on ALESSE for two years and then I went off. I don't know why. I think I was just lazy. Then, when I was 18 I started to break out, so I'm like, "I need to get something for my skin." My doctor's like, "We'll try Diane 35.
That's a scary one.
Four months of nausea to the point of doubting my whole life later. I got to get off this. This is insane. I went off that, and then I went on Yaz when I was 22. That was insane. My boobs were so sore, I couldn't even lie on my side. They were so sore, I felt so sick. Oh my god, I was crazy. I know it was more pill crazy than me crazy, because it was just like it was nuts. I was a crazy person. I had cramps the whole time without getting my period.
Interesting. That's so bizarre.
I had a headache that wouldn't quit and I was just like, "You know what? I don't think I can be on this." My mom was like, "To be honest, I've never been able to be on it." Then, since then I've had this miraculous cycle where I can literally be like, "Okay. This is the day. Okay, cool. I know when it's coming and I know my symptoms, and I know that this is when it will last versus when it will not last." But, there's still variables that took years to work out. It's not all the same. There're some months where I'm like, "Oh, this will be the month were I watch you throw up for five days. Cool." I never feel well, like how some people are more like their sex drive goes up. I don't have that. I feel sick mostly. Some people are like, "I had sex on my period." I'm like, "I want everyone to leave me alone so I can live the woods." I turn into Nell. I'm just Nell. I'm Jodie Foster and Nell.
Oh my god, what a reference. Nell. Do you know that movie? Oh god.
She's raised in the woods alone. She doesn't know how to talk and she's a lady of-
What move is this?
Nell, I haven't thought of that movie in 15 years.
What's the movie called?
It's called Nell.
Nell. It's called Nell.
It's called Nell?
Nell in the movie Nell.
This is so '90s, right?
What was it? Like, 1991?
I've never seen that movie.
It was in '94.
Or, even heard of it.
Liam Neeson teaches her how to talk. He's like, "Water."
You know what? I had such a distinct memory of going to Blockbusters when I was a teenager and always seeing Nell and being like, "Should I? Shouldn't I?"
Right? Did you?
I did once. I did once rent it. I can barely remember what it's about, because it was literally 15 years ago.
Natasha Richardson is in it.
Yes! That's right. I remember that.
Yeah. Natasha Richardson
Hide your kids. Hide your Natasha Richardsons. It's a quote from [inaudible 00:16:50]. I feel like a woman who needs to live in a pond and just be like, "Don't ever talk to me."
Yeah. Holy crap.
Yeah. I have so many questions.
Okay. Go, go.
Okay. Tell me if this is too heavy enough. I'm [crosstalk 00:17:03]
No. Like I said, everything is usually on the table.
I don't know a lot about, and I'm not even going to say the word right.
Yeah. I don't have it.
Okay. Is it something that could develop later in life?
You can, I think, because it's caused from what I understand scar tissue in and around your area or whatever. But, with my mom's case, normally people have it and they don't even know it, or they have it and their symptoms only flare-up once a month, but my mom had such an extreme case that she was bleeding outside of your uterus too. It was just hemorrhaging, and then when she got her surgery and they made the vaginal floor, they went to take out the packing from the day after the surgery, and realized that within the surgery something hadn't been bound properly, so she started hemorrhaging full on in her room. I didn't know this. I was 17 and selfish and I was like, "I'm going to McDonald's. Fuck everyone." My dad was at work, and the doctors were like, "We just need your permission to take your wife into surgery." He was like, "Oh, yeah. Sure. You can just take her in." Then, three hours later he's like, "What happened to you?" No one knew what had happened, but she almost bled out and she's like, "I will never forget them repacking me as I was awake and had no freezing, where I had just been cut open and shoving packing."
My mom's a strong fucking lady.
I know. She's like, "You got to the hospital room, why is there a vein sticking out of your forehead?" I was such a bitch. Honestly, I was a nightmare teenager.
We all go through those phases.
I'm glad that she survived so that wasn't the last thing I said to her. That would've been a bit of a buzz kill, but instead I get to just tell the story and she can listen.
You've been tested for it? Is it something that you can be tested for?
Maybe. I haven't been tested, but the symptoms are usually pretty-
Yeah. I only get bad cramps one day.
They're not good, and I feel nauseous and you know when you just don't feel good, that's how I feel the rest of the time. But, for one day it's very bad cramps, but they are tolerable. I'm like, "It's one day."
What do you do when you get your period? Do you have any rituals? If you feel nauseous, is there anything you take?
I'm a junkie on my period. Imagine I admitted a very strong drug problem. I'm like, "I look for the nearest needle and I just go for it."
Okay. What do I do? It depends. One time, it came on birthday and it was just a nauseous one. Every couple of months, it will be one where you're like, "Congratulations, you will want to throw up for five days." That was one.
Do you actually throw up? Sorry.
No. Actually, knock on wood.
Yeah. Rituals. Yeah.
I remember one time, I had to make my friends go get me gravel. That was a new fun ritual. They had to leave my birthday party as I was like, "You have to go for both of us." But, other than that if I know it's coming, I just make sure I have the necessary supplies, though I have a funny story about these necessary supplies.
Go for it.
Other than drugs, basically it's the holy grail, the trifecta: gravel, IMODIUM, and TYLENOL, and then I'm good. I usually just keep those going for that one day every four hours. Then, the rest of time, it's just like-
One day, every four hours. Okay. Sorry.
Then, the rest of the time, it's just tired and you're like, "Just fucking suck it up." A lot of pep talks. You're like, "Too fucking bad. You're going." That's what happens. When people are like, "I'm all affectionate with my boyfriend." I'm like, "I would kill him." If he were to be like, "Baby, do you want to?" I'd be like, "I hate you right now. I feel like my skin hurts, but hello."
But, okay. This is a very funny and embarrassing story. My mom was very open about what a tampon is, what a pad is. In grade four, we learned in school what each were, and I had an understanding. Then, when I was 16, I was like, "You know what? I'm going to try a tampon because I am a woman and all of my friends actually don't carry pads so I've been screwed a couple of times." I wish it could be a thing where I was like, "because I was having a sexy time." No, I was really screwed. No one had pads. I borrowed one from my friend, Julia, and I remember looking at the instructions and being like, "Insert it and then push up." Then, I was like, "All right." I like, "I'm just going to put that away." I'm like, "Let's do this thing."
Now, when I read "insert," I didn't understand that you had... Oh my god, did you have the same thing happen?
No. Okay. Continue, continue.
I didn't know that you had to insert whole applicator and then push up with the thing.
What did you do?
Just the tip of it, and then I basically forced the cotton in without any sort of assistance. It was sitting six inches below where it should've actually been sitting.
Was it outside of it?
No. It was in enough, but not enough.
Yeah. You felt it?
Completely. I remember being like, "Oh, they say the first time you use one will be uncomfortable. Okay." Then, I stopped. I remember that month being like, "Okay. That was enough. Give me pads back. This isn't fine." Every month, I tried and every month... It's like, "They're lying. It's a lie. They're not correct. This is not true. This is not a true story." For every month into my 20s, I was like, "This is insane." I figured everything else out. I was like, "It can't be. Tampons are a lie. They're a lie. They lied." Then, one day I was like, "That's it. I need to understand." I Googled Kotex and I went on their children's site for like, "Here's your tampon," where it's a cartoon. Then, I was like, "Oh..." Then, as my friend said, "Did you used to watch commercials of people riding a horse and be very confused?" I'm like, "Completely." Then, I finally realized how a tampon worked. It was like, "I can ride a horse."
I've never ridden one, but I can now.
I don't understand. Wait, how's the horse connected?
You know those tampon commercials where they're playing tennis in white, and they're on a horse. It's beautiful, and she's flying a plane, but with her arms, very beautiful symbolic things.
Do we each have something to say about this?
Okay. Go ahead.
I need to hear it.
First off, the story makes me feel so happy because I tell this on stage sometimes as a joke, but when I first tried wearing tampons, I had tried before but I'd never figured it out. But, one time I was 21, I was living with three girls [inaudible 00:23:53], they hand me the tampon, the box were like, "Look at the instructions, do it." Instead of inserting it, I laid it down like a pad and let my vagina lips seal around it, and I walked out and I was like, "I feel so much. Everyone says I'm not supposed to feel anything. What is going on? But, I feel like the instructions are clearly not clear enough."
They're not clear.
We're two intelligent women. There is no reason for both of us to not have gotten it.
My friend, Judith, has joked with me about this a lot where she was just like, "You probably feared nothing then after that." I'm like, "I feared nothing," because the cotton wasn't getting the proper absorbency so half of it when you're pulling it out is dry cotton.
I was like, "Everything else in life, I don't fucking care."
Okay. My story-
Yeah. We forgot to mention this off the top.
Yeah. We did, listeners, faithful listeners, who are loyal and listen every week, I started using tampons recently.
Yeah! She's done it. I'm so proud of you.
Anne read my hymen piece for She Has the City.
She's aware of my hymen situation. I've stayed away from the tampon for most of my life.
You had a terrible incident with them.
Several terrible incidents. I've had many a sex since then, and it's all wide.
We're cool in the gang.
We're cool down there, nice and loosey goosey, but I tried it.
Not too loose.
Not too loose. Okay. Don't shame me. I'm just kidding.
Don't fight in my presence. Mom. Moms, you're my moms.
Moms, yeah. Natalie and I fight a lot.
It's playful. Always playful.
It's lovely banter. Lovely banter.
Okay. I was in Chicago this part weekend and I had... This is a long story, but it all summarized I had a one night stand. Got my fucking period the morning that I was there after. Long story, the wouldn't go down on me, then I got my period after he agreed, and I was like, "Oh..." Thank you body.
Wonderful. Then, I tried tampons, but it was crazy. I actually felt like 13 years old again. I was in a fucking bathroom with a box of tampons just one after another putting it, not working, bloody hands, throwing one tampon in, trying again, throwing another one. I looked in the garbage can, there were seven tampons sitting there.
Did you get it?
I got it eventually, obviously.
Are you going to wear tampons from now on?
I'm going to try my best.
Honestly, sometimes I'm lazy, or not lazy but sometimes I'm like, "Listen, girlfriend is watching movies and feels like shit, kind of just wants to wear an enormous pad and be left to herself." Just to be with a pillow on my head.
I'd rather just wear nothing.
Yeah. Natalie does that often.
Really? What about your clothes?
It's a disaster. I actually forgot to mention this to Jess earlier in private, but I had my period I think it was a week or two ago, and bled through six pairs of panties and I was staying at my brother's house. I hope he doesn't listen to this, and I was furious. Instead of going to the backroom upstairs to was them, I took them off and put them in the kitchen sink. I was like, "I'll come back and wash them." He wasn't there. I come back and I was like, "Oh my god, they're coming back tomorrow. What the fuck am I going to do?" I put them in a plastic bag and then put them in my car. I was like, "I'll wash them at home." It's been two weeks, they're just sitting there. I have to throw that out.
They're covered in mold now.
Yeah. For sure, and I'm really upset because one of those pairs was my favorite giant... Sometimes, I like to buy giant granny panties.
Like, extra, extra, extra large that are super ugly and they're super comfortable. But, I bled through them now and now they're moldy, and now I've got to through them out.
You can find new ones.
You can find new ones.
They're from Target. I know where they are.
Just say I know a guy.
Yeah. I was walking down the street and I hadn't put it in all the way, and I could feel it slowly [crosstalk 00:28:09]
Yeah, sometimes it literally is.
Like, it pushes it out?
It's a mind fuck. It won't actually come out of you, but it's one of those things where you just feel. I feel like too you feel very aware in both scenarios. Pads, you feel it leaving your body and then the aftermath. Tampons, you feel it like it's going to and then it doesn't. It's like a stopper, basically. Then, when you pull it out, that's when it's like all fucking hell breaks loose.
Sometimes, I think my flow will get so heavy and I'm not changing my tampon frequently enough, that it is in fact it's just so saturated that it's slowly slipping out, because it's heavy.
Oh my god, I didn't know that.
I don't know if that's true.
No, I don't think it happens. But, I understand that feeling completely, and then sometimes it's a mind fuck where you think, "Jesus, I got to change it for sure," and then you don't need to. When you don't need to and you go for it, it is not a pleasant experience. That's when you're like, "Girlfriend will be using a pad for the rest of the evening."
Yeah, when it's a dry pull.
See, this is what I also... because the problem is let me tell you the story. When you have trouble getting it in, you kind of get it in, you can feel it and you have to take it out again. Ripping it out when it's not saturated-
It's very painful.
It's like sandpaper in your vag.
If you think about it this way, you get all those white bleach particles stick in the vagina.
Yeah. Literally, that's why I fear nothing now, because the worse as happened.
Then, one I used it... sorry. When I used it, I was super hammered that night. I went out, got fucking wasted, and it was 3:00 in the morning, stumbled home, fell asleep. Didn't brush my teeth, just passed.
Just went for it.
I then woke up in the middle of the night, the first time I've used tampons ever really, and I was like, "How long have I been outside?" Immediately terrified.
That's fine. It's 2014, they make them so that you won't be killed.
Totally fine, but I hadn't experienced that before. I've never slept with a tampon in.
I do it all the time.
I don't because again I'm just lazy. I'm just a lazy person, not in every capacity, but absolutely when it comes to my period. I'm like, "Let's fucking get this overnight pad rocking so I got a day in this and we can go."
I mean, you change for hygienic purposes, but there are certain days where you're like, "I'm cleaning and I have eight deadlines, and no one's home, and I'm on taking down my past for anyone." This is no one's business.
Have you ever tried the DivaCup?
That scares me, because here's a thing. I'm not grossed out my period as I am a woman and that's what happens every fucking month, but I know in my head I'll convince myself, A, that I have cancer from what's coming out of me. I'll be like, "That's all wrong. I don't know what it's supposed to look like, it's cancer," or I just can't be bothered with the... Don't you have to-
All of it's too much. It's too much. I have friends who use it, no thanks though. It's just not for me.
If you have trouble putting the tampon the first time, I hear that's a lot more difficult.
I hear there's fucking maneuvering and shit.
Yeah, you put it in and twist.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Oh my god, no. When you feel like you're about to throw up and shit your pants at the same time, that's the last thing I want to be thinking about. Now it's time to twist my DivaCup as I'm thinking and maybe perhaps shit everywhere. I don't know. We'll see. Stick some more IMODIUM and figure out how it goes.
Oh my gosh.
Periods are gross for me now. People don't talk enough about the bowel situation of periods I don't think.
We don't, we don't. That's interesting, is because... This is going to be really gross. Are you ready?
No one's grossed out here, because this is a safe place. It's our coven.
Sometimes, usually the first day on my period, I have bad gas usually. I will poo and have my period, and then look at what I've [inaudible 00:32:06]. I will call it the most beautiful ombre I've ever seen. The sunset ombre, it goes from dark to light, and it's beautiful.
I've never seen that [inaudible 00:32:18], but I think you have art maybe happening within you.
You know what we don't talk about. You know when you're in the shower and you have your period, there are just chunks of blood falling out.
Psycho style. I do feel like I'm doing it right. I'm bleeding correctly. This is the lunar fall.
Honestly. That's what I experience too. I was staring at my blood as it was falling out of me in the shower when I was in Chicago, and I was like, "We've never discussed it." It is a weird experience, because usually you don't just watch it plopping out, and you can feel it falling out of you.
Yeah, you could feel it, but it stops.
Does it? Mine doesn't all the time.
I have a pretty light period I think.
Do you have a light one?
The one day where I feel really sick is... That's the weird thing, I feel sick the whole time, but the one day where it's hell, it's not that light.
Heavy period and no cramps.
Yeah. Me too. Me too.
Because cramps, I have them on a scale of tolerable when I have TYLENOL in me, and that's tolerable. I can still feel them. But, too months ago I actually had them so bad that I felt dizzy and I had to lie down. Not even lie down and watch TV, like lie down and just look at an object and be counting until the TYLENOL starts kicking, because I took for.
Oh my god.
Oh my god.
I feel it.
Yeah. No, you go. Sorry. I keep interrupting. I'm just excited.
No. [crosstalk 00:33:42]
No, no. This is about you. We talk about ourselves all the time.
Yeah. No, but I was going to say, "I feel you girl." That's all I had to contribute.
Yeah. I've been lucky with the flow situation, but the other stuff is not. For the next three days, my boos will be sore that walking sucks.
Yeah. My last period felt like that too. They were so big that just slightly putting your shirt on or your hand beside them hurt.
You wear a bra to bed because the alternative is the worst.
I've never even thought. I just sleep on my back.
I sleep on my side or my stomach so it keeps them... I'm a chesty bitch, so-
Oh my god, Natalie's going to get that tattooed on her chest.
Yeah, chesty bitch.
Yes, chesty bitch.
They need some help to stay in place.
Wow. That is some wide breast tenderness.
Maybe, it's not being on the pill or something. I don't know.
Maybe. Yeah. I've never really had breast tenderness I don't think.
It sucks. Oh my god, it sucks so bad.
Last time it was just so bad, and it lasted, it felt like 10 days.
Yeah. I think I'm pregnant, even though I know I'm not, because it's so bad. But, it's good because you're like, "Okay. I know that I have to start wearing protective gear. I'll have it on me in about three days. This is great." I've got 72 hours of freedom, and then stock up on that TYLENOL, girl, because damn, your time is coming.
Here's a question. Did we talk about leaking yet?
Oh my god.
No, we haven't talked about leaking yet. Yeah.
Here's the worst part, all my stories about that are when it was the formative age, because when you're 12-13, you're psyched that you got it. That's when I let my pads spill in the change room when I got it, and I was like, "Oh! I need to put these back in my bag because I'll be using them because I have my period like a lady." Then, grade nine hits and it's a shame show. You are hiding. You're afraid. Do you remember those commercials where it was a girl [inaudible 00:35:55] and she was embarrassed, and so that's why they had the tiny tampons so you could hide it.
In those stupid colors.
So stupid, although I do love the Kotex thing now in the black box, because they just work.
No, and they look nice. They do look nice, but it's like, "Why would you make those so bright colors if we don't want to see them?"
Yeah. In high school, it was like, "Oh my god." Of course, that's when any embarrassing moments also happen. I remember a girl I went to school with leaked under her khakis and everyone made fun of her for so long. I remember living in mortification, just fear constantly. The only time that I had an actual incident has been actually I remember borrowing my dad's car. My dad's like, "You can drive to work today." I was like, "Yay!" Because, I was getting my G2, and I got out of the car, and I had had a situation. The voicemail he left was just so like dad where was like, "Hi, honey. I don't know if you know this, but you had a bit of an accident and it's fine, but I just thought maybe you should make sure you're okay," because he was used to my mom. He was dad-ing out, but it was also his car, and I ruined into the fabric.
What color was the fabric?
Fortunately, dark gray, but it was such a dad like, "I'm really upset about my car, but I understand."
He's a good dad. My dad's a good dad. He's a good guy.
Are you an only child?
Yeah. They actually couldn't have kids. Actually, I was a miracle kid because of my mom's endometriosis, because they got pregnant on their honeymoon, because they were catholic. She had a miscarriage, and then she got pregnant with me, and the doctor, she kept testing negative on pregnancy tests, but she's like, "I know I am. I know my body." The doctor was like, "We're going to do one more and then we're scraping out. We're going to do a scrape situation." She was like, "Please, please, please check." He did and he was like, "Oh, you were," in the turn of New Years eve. They were like, "Yay!" She had two more miscarriages just because she couldn't. Then, the longer her period lasted, she couldn't have babies anymore.
It actually worked out. It was fine. I was a disaster teen, so I think like any other children would've killed my parents. I think they would've hated me.
But, it's nice to be so supportive.
Yeah. He's a good dad. He's bought me pads before. He's gone to the store for me when I was a teen and I was embarrassed. Even now, sometimes he'll be like... He stopped asking me but I remember one time he was like, "Do you have a bitch on or something?" That's his word for PMS, and I was like, "Yeah, I do." But, he's been cool, even now if I just have cramps, he'll be like, "You doing okay?" I'm like, "I'm doing great. Thanks dad." He's like, "All right. Do you want a donut or anything?" I'm like, "Mm-hmm (affirmative)."
That's so nice.
Yeah. I lucked out. My uncle, his brother, who I'm also really close with is like that too because he has a daughter. It's funny there's these huge commanding guys, where you would look at them and be like, "I bet they vote conservative and [inaudible 00:39:11]." They're hardcore like, "Yeah, my uncle punched him in the face," but he's a feminist who votes NDP.
It was nice to grow in a household where nothing like that was taboo, where you could actually be like, "I have really bad cramps. I have to stay home," and my dad not dismissing it and being like, "Okay. I understand. If there's anything you need me or your mom can help out." That was cool. It was a really healthy way to look at periods growing up.
Before we move on to the next topic, whatever it may be, we were talking about Vagisil earlier.
Oh my god, yeah.
That's right. I forgot. Yeah.
Okay. This is what I was talking about with a friend, where it's a thing at some point most people need, because maybe when you were bikini maintaining, there's a razor burns itch. This takes care of that, or you've got the remnants of a yeast infection, a UTI, or if wear... I didn't know this until I was older, but you wear panty liner after you've had your period, you know when you're coming down from it, you still can't wear just your underwear. If you wear one all the time, that creates a not great environment. You need something to neutralize the symptoms that you have. The thing is though, no one ever talks about Vagisil. They're never like, "That's a thing that people actively just have on it."
I've never used it.
I've never used it either, which I find is very interesting because there was a period in my life, where for many months, I would wear panty liner no matter what.
Same. Just because I like my underwear nice and clean.
Because of leaking, just general leak, like bodily fluids.
Not only period, but I'm wet a lot of the time.
Most women, it's like a fucking jungle down there. It's nuts.
You don't know what's going to happen, so I figured, let's keep it clean. Also, my trick for traveling is this my trick, we never talk about it, is I was traveling in Thailand. I [inaudible 00:41:09] a lot, so what I did is I only brought 10 pairs of underwear, not even six or seven pairs of underwear. We didn't do laundry the whole time. Heck, it's probably very unhygienic. The way I kept my underwear clean was I brought a stack of panty liners.
Just change them.
Just change them, and then I had also vaginal wipes so I could freshen up>
I think that's fine. Is that fine?
I have no idea. I'm not a very hygienic person.
We're fine. It's okay. If we were in the medieval times, we'd all be royalty so there you go.
Yeah. I feel like I wish, because there are these certain taboos that come full circle. I feel like your period is absolutely one, because I remember as a teen if I had found out that if Steve knew that I was on my period, "Oh my god. Steve can't know. Don't tell him I need a pad." If a boy you know... Now, you get into this age where you're like, "Yeah, I'm on my period. Do you want to talk about it?" Guys are just like, "Yeah, because you're a woman. Fucking shut up." Any guys I know anyways.
She just made the cutest, weirdest face.
Why? What face did I make?
She went, "Well, yeah. Oh, yeah. Oh yeah."
You looked like you were like... I felt like were at a good townie bar that we were like, "Yeah..."
Yeah, yeah. When I encounter guys who aren't, I'm like, "Come on, man. This is 2014."
Get out of my life.
Also, what do you want me to have? Not my period? That means I'm either a sick person, because I remember going through crash dieting of your teens, which was great and healthy, and losing it for a couple of months, not getting my period.
Yes, that happened to me too. It totally dissipated. It was non-existent, and then when I started eating unhealthy again, because I don't balance well, it came back in a full-
Like, the fury.
Yes. I would get it every 10 days.
It was horrific, very painful. I wasn't wearing tampons at the time, and I remember being at summer camp and sailing. It was always a disaster.
Yeah, that is horrible.
We're coming close to the end here.
I wanted to ask.
Anne is again, we said internet famous earlier.
Maybe, that means that's like the SNL slit, where it's just like, "What does internet famous mean? Oh, not famous."
But, you write a lot about pop culture, about the media. Have you encountered anything recently in pop culture, in the media, on the internet, related to menstruation, that caught your eye, that interested you, that you thought was... or ever, not even recently, ever?
I feel like for some reason Broad City keeps coming into my mind. I don't know if there was a period plot in that.
Doesn't she pee out a tampon at one point?
She pees out of a condom.
She pees out of a condom.
I just feel like everyone should just watch Broad City to become better people. That's where I'm at in my life.
Wait. Yes, continue.
No, you go ahead.
How far have you gotten into Orange is the New Black?
Here we are, correct, I'm on episode five.
I haven't seen any of it.
We're not going to spoil, but it is heavily to do with vaginas, and I've noticed maybe I'm just more aware of it, but this season they make a lot more reference to menstruation.
They do. I like that. I like that it's not like, "We're not afraid to talk about the normal thing that happens every month." It's very weird, because when you're a tween, it's like, "You'll get your period. This is this and that and that." It's so in your life and then you become a teen and 20 something, and it's almost like a shameful thing. Then, you become an adult, and it's like, "No, you don't understand. This is the thing that will... Your period tells you how healthy you are." If you're skipping periods, that's a problem. If they're too heavy, that's a problem. It is your total equilibrium detector.
That's why I think it's awesome to talk, that's why I love this podcast so much.
Okay, fine. I hate it and I hate you.
Perfect. Natalie, do you have any other questions to ask?
Have you read any new interesting articles about your period, just because you probably read a bit more-
About your period. Yeah.
About my period.
Is anyone writing about your period on the internet?
I don't think I have actually.
Do you find it's not a common thing to come by?
No, I don't unless it's in a very... Actually, I feel like Refinery29 is big on this, where everything is like, "What this means for your period." Then, I click on it and as soon as I click, I'm like, "Fuck. I don't need to read this, because it's not a thing." It'll be like, "It means like [inaudible 00:45:32]." You're like, "This isn't a ..." Nothing interesting is what I'm saying.
Refinery29, I just feel in general, whenever I read a post, they're just trying to sell me something at the end of the day.
Yes. They just want me to buy nail polish.
It's like, "What this means for your period." It's like, "What? Should I be buying this nail polish? Will it give me a better period?" I don't know. I bought the nail polish I guess we'll see. I am really bloated right now if anyone likes to know with the good old PMS detector. That's a fun time.
I'm not saying, "Yeah, you're bloated," I'm just saying, "Yeah, it looks like..." No, I'm just saying-
That would be amazing. You are hot.
Are you seeing anyone important tonight? Are you tender?
No. I just like to touch my breasts for no reason.
You know what, they're nice boobs.
They're very nice.
I think we all have great racks here guys.
Mine's a bit small.
Beautiful, beautiful breasts.
Everyone has beautiful breasts.
Everybody does, and if you don't have breasts, that's also okay. That's fine too.
Absolutely. What a positive note to end it on.
Thank you so much, Anne.
Wait, your Twitter handle?
Yeah, let's do that. Anne, spill it. You're so popular, go ahead.
I still am like high school mode where I expect to leave and you guys be like, "What a fucking loser."
Never, never. That would never happen with us. We don't do that.
No, Anne, no way.
I'm so glad, because in my head I'm still that person after I leave any situation.
Absolute. I am too. I think any time I hear someone laughing I'm like, "They're making fun of me."
I'm like, "Oh god, what do they know? It's the khakis. It's all over. It's happening. They know about my dad's car." I don't know, now they do. But, okay let's see. I have twitter. I'm @annetdonahue. It's all good in the hood. That has nothing to do with that. I don't know why I said it. Just @annetdonahue. Then, at all my Tumblr, basically if you just put Anne T. Donahue in the toolbar, I think it goes Twitter, and then Tumblr, and then my podcast is almost right under that.
You have a podcast?
I do. It's called Bevs with Anne. I do 20 minutes every week. I just shoot the shit, usually about something that's annoyed me and I try to present it in a comedic way, in a comedy way.
Yeah. Thanks. I haven't been promoting it consistently, but I've started again so hopefully people can take a listen to it, and if you like it, subscribe.
What do you talk about? Is it just yourself? Do you talk to people or do you just talk?
I talk, just talking to-
You just talk, it's just you.
Yeah. I just put on the mic and then I talk about my week. Then, usually there's a story. I'm not like, "I went to the store." I talked about something this week, I think it was about I'm just too exhausted with cool people, like hip people. I don't know what that is.
I love it.
What's the name of your podcast again?
It's call Bevs with Anne, because I'm always drinking a different beverage.
They can find it on iTunes? Where is it located?
Yeah, it's on iTunes if you just like... I'm so horrible with self-promotion in certain capacities, so I think if you just Google Anne T. Donahue, or Bevs with Anne, it will come up and then you can subscribe, and then rate it if you like.
Yes. Rating is so important.
Is that a thing? See, I'm clueless. I'm a clueless person.
Yeah, rate us. Rate the Crimson Wave.
You are listening to the Crimson Wave.
Could you imagine if they didn't know. They just found out.
They thought it was like Comedy Bang! Bang!
I thought this was about sports. No.
Follow us at the Crimson Wave.
Our personal Twitter handles, @stalkingnatalie.
You can find us on iTunes. You can also find us on Facebook at Facebook.com/thecrimsonwave.
I love how you always keep the full address.
I want to make sure. Please keep on... we constantly, I don't know if Jess knows this, but people leave us messages on our Crimson Wave page.
Yes. You know what, should we make a correction. We got a message today actually. Did you see that?
A woman was talking about diving. She's a diver, and she was talking about today, she was just addressing how in the last episode, we were saying we didn't know or maybe we inferred that divers on their periods were maybe in danger of shark attacks.
Which is apparently not true, so we would like to thank Janice.
Yes. I can't find it at the moment. Can you find it? But, basically, she said that that's not the case. She is a diver herself and that's false information, not that we're fucking scientists. Please don't ever take anything that we say-
As you could tell, we didn't know how to use tampons.
Her name is Janice Logan.
You got it.
Thank you for pointing that out.
Thank you, Janice.
We also appreciate you listening.
To everyone else listening, remember to subscribe, rate us, tweet at us. We love you. Thank you. We love your comments and concerns.
I like that.
On this week's episode of The Crimson Wave hosts Jess Beaulieu and Natalie Norman welcome amazing writer and inspiring feminist Anne T. Donahue. For more information on Anne follow her at @annetdonahue
In this episode we discuss
#endometriosis #feminism #periods #menstruation #fathers #mothers #yesallwoman
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