In this particular case, having to deal with random long brown hairs lying in my house. I feel like I am one clump short of a mohair sweater or a Chewbacca costume. These long hairs belong to our houseguest Kate, who is staying with us for a month.
Sometimes it irks me when I am lying on the couch and I find a strand of hair sticking to my face. It burns me up. I think dark thoughts about her, this good friend of mine, soon to be not-so-good friend if this keeps up.
I feel a twinge of guilt about this because it's not like she can help that her hair falls out. I can't help myself wishing horrible things would happen to her, like a plague of split ends, so she has to cut her hair off. I look for signs of anorexia because I hear it makes your hair fall out. To prevent this, I pour out her two-liter bottle of Diet Coke and fill it with regular Coke.
But I love her dearly, which is why Brian and I let her stay with us for a whole month. We were in agreement in this. And when I say 'agreement', I mean that I used emotional blackmail on him. I would've threatened to withhold sex instead, except that after being together nearly five years, we only have sex about six times a month, if we're lucky. If somebody forgets to wash the dishes, that dwindles down to two. So I am hesitant to use that sort of power. I reserve it for one of those really rare and special occasions, like when the cat has diarrhea.
If I had more experience, I suppose these things wouldn't surprise me.
One day, as I was brushing my teeth in the bathroom, I happened to notice that there was something in the trashcan that looked odd. It was something wrapped in tissue paper, one edge looking damp and red.
At first I thought, it was the leftover steak I grilled last night. I thought, why would Brian throw that out? There was enough to make a perfectly nice steak sandwich garnished with roasted peppers, arugula, and a little garlic-mayo spread on ciabatta bread. If I were a different person, I would've fished it out. It was wrapped in tissue.
Of course it was a tampon. You can't make that into a sandwich. Unless you were a vampire.
This made me think about how blood is such a part of women's lives. I get queasy at the little blood that comes out when I pop a zit. But women bleed, man. This stuff pours out of them every month. If I popped a zit everyday for the rest of my life, it wouldn't even come close to how much blood comes out of a woman in a month. To be a woman, it's like...murder--but with nice handbags. No wonder they're cranky. I think if I were a woman, I would have a lot of nice handbags.
We men will never understand this, or why women use chocolate ice cream as medication for their ails.
I tip my hat to you straight men. Women are almost a different species. You take the differences between the sexes and you make. it. work. Tim Gunn would be proud. Some of you even take it to the next level. You take a woman's period and you make something beautiful with it. I think you call it a "rusty nail"?
It's been three weeks, and I think I have learned a lot. I think I am becoming more attuned to Kate. I have learned a lot about women--some important lessons in life--like the double-edged sword of beauty, learning to live with pain, how to properly use an eyelash curler. I also learned the wiles of how to get a man to pay for dinner: by dating only rich men.
A few more days, she will be on her way. Just as our spiritual menstrual cycles were getting in synch, she'll be leaving. I wondered about what that would've been like, whether it would've taken our friendship to the next level, brought us closer together as friends, and whether I would've needed to start stocking tampons too.
Check out some of my other friends:
Things That Might Drive Joe to Crazyville - Or, let's get to know Joe by reading his rants.
Hardly Knew You - Doug went out for lunch... and never came back.