An Open Letter To My Period On The Occasion Of Its Return After A Curiously Long Absence

Dear Period,

Thank. GOD. Where have you been? I have been waiting for the longest time to see you again, and I don’t know what you were doing or where you were at, but I am so so very glad you’re back.

Two months. Is there any good reason you were gone for two months? Your return has been sheepish; I sense that you were away for a good reason, but alas, your elusive nature guarantees that I’l never know why. I’m not sure what I did to make you leave for so long, but let me tell you, I am so relieved — and happy! — to see you again.

When you were a no-show that first month, naturally, I began to worry. Stress abounded. After a flurry of doctor’s visits and pregnancy tests indicated that I was not with child, I relaxed a little. “Surely Period while show up again,” I told my friends, sisters, anyone who would listen. “It’s weird, but these things happen.”

When you finally showed up, I was elated. I welcomed your arrival as a sign that things were on their way to normal. The best thing about you is that you are a potent, reliable reminder of my body’s normalcy, a dedicated sign that assures me that everything is working as it should. There is no other time when I am as acutely aware of my body and its functions as when you’re around, and for that I am truly grateful.  I welcome your monthly visit as I would an old friend, and you provide convenient explanations for so many things: when I find myself standing in front of my fridge in my underwear, eating cookies and rummaging for snacks; snapping at a co-worker or breaking down in tears over a particularly touching Gmail commercial; falling asleep on the couch at 8 p.m. on  a Tuesday. These aberrations of normal behavior are all part of a natural biological function, and the existence of such lends structure and clarity to my everyday.

Your visit gives me an excuse to stay in and watch four hours of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” while eating Oreos dipped in peanut butter. Your presence assuages any guilt I’d have about staying in on a Friday night, or retreating to the couch on a sunny day. Don’t misunderstand me, Period — it’s not that I couldn’t run a marathon or go out all night when you’re in town. Instead, your presence gives me the excuse I need to opt out.

The best thing about you, Period, is something that I will begrudgingly admit — your regularly scheduled visit is a gentle but insistent reminder that I am still capable of having children. While I am not in the space mentally, emotionally or financially right now, it’s nice to have a monthly nod to what I am capable of.

All told, you’re not nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be. I count your visits as a blessing, not a curse.

With love, respect and great fondness,