Puberty Is Horrible, But These Stories Are Funny … Now

Puberty sucked on so many levels. Even if your mom (let’s face it, moms were usually on puberty duty for their daughters) prepared you with every book and lecture possible, you, no doubt, have at least one puberty horror story, too. It took a long time to get over the embarrassment of sprouting breasts, periods, zits, and awkwardness, but we’re finally at a place where we can laugh at ourselves. And we invite you to have a chuckle, too, by sharing your stories in the comments.PERIODS

“I got my period for the first time when I was at my grandparents’ house for dinner. When I told my mom, she slapped me. (It’s a Jewish tradition). Everyone, including my grandparents knew what had just happened in the bathroom. Mortifying.”

“When I got my period at 12, my dad — a total hippie, for the record — brought me home a heart-shaped crystal as a present on my big first day as a woman. I wanted to kill myself because he knew such things were happening with my vagina.”

“When I first got my period, I didn’t expect it — and I was suppose to go to a water park that day with my best friend … Since the bleeding was sporadic, the first stain had dried a bit in my undies before I discovered it. I had no clue what it was. I knew what a period was, but I didn’t put two and two together. The color of my undies made the stain look brownish, so I thought I had crap in my pants without knowing it. So I just immediately took them off, and just threw them out — freaking that I didn’t even know I crapped in my own pants and hoping if I just got rid of the evidence, it never actually happened … then I changed my undies and it happened again–as in when I went to the bathroom later, I saw a dark stain … it took me a while to figure it out after that, and when I did, it was kind of exciting … but it made me cancel on my friend’s birthday visit to the water park, as I just couldn’t help envisioning a trail of blood following behind me as I went down the water slide … but no matter, I was also super happy to know I wasn’t just crapping in my pants without knowing it.”

“Let’s see … I got my first period when I was 12 and when I told my mom, she brought me to the local grocery store to buy ‘supplies’ and I gave the death stare to every man who crossed my path because I was so angry that I had to bleed from the vagina and they didn’t.”

“We got a black lab puppy when I was in eighth grade and Pepper loved nothing more than to tear through wastepaper baskets. One time when I had my period, my family came home together and saw that Pepper had gotten into the bathroom trash can and ripped my pads to shreds. Bloodied pads were all over the upstairs hallway in a million tiny pieces. My dad, because he is a sweetheart, started picking them up, but that only made me more mortified because I didn’t want my FATHER touching my dirty period blood. Stupid dog.”

“For some reason, I didn’t realize the brown stain in my underwear was blood. I thought that I hadn’t wiped myself properly when I crapped. I was too embarrassed to tell my mom that this kept happening, so I hid my undies. I finally made the connection and told her. She then took me to the supermarket to buy pads. I got hooked on Carefree Panty Liners (she didn’t think I needed the heavy-duty stuff yet) because they had pretty pink packaging.”

“I had to learn how to use a tampon in, like, an hour because I had a swim meet to compete in the afternoon I got my period.”

“I was too embarrassed to go to the bathroom to change my pad in eighth grade because my class was so small that everyone would notice when someone asked to go to the restroom. And it wasn’t exactly easy to conceal those huge maxi pads in the ’90s. So more than once, I just sat for hours letting my pad overflow onto my clothes. Good thing oversize clothes were in style then because I always had a huge sweater to cover the stain.”

BREASTS

“I wore a 32A for a full year of time when I was actually a 32C because I was too embarrassed to go bra shopping again, perhaps because I called bras “undershirts” until I was maybe 18 and still call my period ‘lady times.’ I blame Catholic school … “

“I had DD boobs by the time I was in 6th grade and wore 2 sports bras at once thinking they were minimizing them, but they just gave me this uni-boob tire around the chest kind of thing, which was super unflattering. It took me another three years to discover real bras and get my sh*t together.”

“I don’t know why they didn’t just ASK me first, but my mom and older sister sneak-attacked me with bra shopping. They asked if I wanted to go to the mall, which I did, but when we got there, they dragged me to some kind of old lady bra fitting place at Macy’s or something and let some strange woman measure my boobies. The fact they thought they had to trick me was more embarrassing than needing a bra in the first place.”

“I was so excited when I left the doctor at age 9 or 10 because he told me that I was growing breast tissue. I couldn’t wait to tell my cousins, but they teased me mercilessly, asking me to bring my Kleenexes whenever they needed a tissue.”

“I was the first one in my group of friends to develop in the chest department. You’d think that would have made me happy and feel ahead of the game, but all my friends were dancers and gymnasts, and boobs weren’t really something we dreamed about. So I refused to wear a bra for longer than I probably should have.”

ZITS

“I had the trifecta of ugliness starting at age 13: braces, glasses, and acne. I was super seriously hideous. I used to carry around a CoverGirl powder compact and would spend hours of class time just staring at my skin. I eventually went on tetracycline for the acne, which gave me heartburn for a solid year. It was a tragic time.”

“When I was in high school, there was a six-month period in which I’d get a huge zit on my nose and as soon as it went away another one would pop up. My mom thought that telling me about the time my father “grew another nose” would help me, but it didn’t. It just reinforced that bad acne was in my genes. She bought me concealer and took me to a slew of dermatologists, hoping to find a cure. While we dealt with it at home, I tried to pretend there wasn’t anything wrong when I was at school. Luckily, I went to an all-girls school, so there weren’t any boys to impress. My friends pretty much ignored the zits too, but a few acquaintance felt the need to point them out, as if I hadn’t looked in the mirror.”

GENERAL AWKWARDNESS

“When I was 14 I got braces — clear ones. The day after they were put on by the orthodontist, I went out for Indian curry with my parents and my braces turned BRIGHT YELLOW and remained that way for the entire two years I wore them. They faded slightly, but not much.”

“I went with the clear braces when I was 12, and then when food got stuck in them, it just kind of looked like food was floating in grossness. Oh and my eyebrows were really unfortunate too. Sooo glad I’m grown now!”

“I was wearing a sleeveless top in my sixth grade English class when I saw the other kids at my table were looking at me and cracking up. Of course I felt super paranoid! I asked the girl sitting beside me why they were laughing at me and she said it was because I had hairy armpits. I looked under my armpits — which made everyone freak out even more — and saw for the first time that I had hair growing in there. Honest to God, I had never noticed it before!”

“I had mats in my hair in sixth grade from letting tangles get out of control. My sister had to cut them out with scissors! I went through a major tomboy phase — I liked Kristy from “The Baby-sitters Club” — where I thought anything girly related to primping, like wearing makeup or brushing your hair, was prissy. To be prissy was the worst thing in the world! So I just stopped brushing my hair entirely. That turned out not to be such a smart idea because I had wavy hair when I was a kid and it just got tangled up in knots. I can remember being in music class and having the kids in the row behind me mock me because of the mats in my hair. The teachers must have thought I was raised my bums or something …”

“I had this really cute white, asymmetrical shoulder bathing suit my stylish grandmother bought me. I loved that suit because it had fringe and sequins. I probably liked it a little too much because I wore it for two or three summers in a row. The problem? I had developed small breasts. One day at camp I emerged from the pool and several boys started laughing at me. I didn’t get it and just ignored them. Then my female counselor told me that you should never wear a white bathing suit. You see, once my suit got wet, it became transparent and every saw my budding boobs, which were pretty much all nipple.”

“When I was in high school — maybe 10th grade? — I got my first yeast infection. Absolutely terrifying! I went to the drug store and bought some kind of Monistat cream that came in a tampon applicator. The thing is, I had never used a tampon before, so I honestly didn’t know where the hole in my vagina was located. I put a mirror on the floor and  just kept stabbing and stabbing and hoping to find it, to no avail! My mom is a major WASP who I can’t talk about personal stuff with, and older sisters had moved out of the house by then, so I was totally alone trying to deal with this. Finally I called up my best friend, who tried to talk me through it, but it still wasn’t successful so she put HER mom on the phone. Mrs. F tried to help guide me over the phone, but eventually she started cracking up, which was embarrassing. UGH. Awful times.”

“I looked like a gap-toothed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle — ’nuff said.”

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