18 May 2006

Moon Time

I should have known that it was PMS (see post below) when I started fantasizing about onion rings during my A Course in Miracles class on Tuesday night.

Or when I came home last night and, despite my self-imposed drinking hiatus, made a margarita (and baby, was it fabulous).

I seem to have long bouts of PMS, sometimes up to a week. It makes me feel like a hermit crab walking around without a shell, all soft and fragile and defenseless. Usually I have a hard shell between me and my emotions, but during PMS that protection is gone and I am left at the mercy of any stimulus that comes my way.

Our world just isn't set up to accommodate this. We have to keep on driving forward even if the starving toddler on the World Children's Fund billboard makes us burst into tears during PMS. No one has time to care about our hormonal issues.

Back in the early days of feminism there was some discussion about whether women could be judges because PMS might cloud their sense of fairness and balance. Feminists were outraged at the suggestion. But when I think about it, for me, there is no might about it. I feel like I could be fair most of the time, but give me a head full of raging PMS hormones and all that goes out the window. Rapist? Bang, the gavel comes down. Send him away for life. Child molester? Are you kidding me? You think you are EVER getting out? I don't CARE what the sentencing guidelines are, they can try to take away my judgeship later, but for now, buster, you are GOING AWAY.

I met a native American woman up in Ojai who was very into her "moon time." (No surprise - Ojai is the place that people are thinking about when they imagine California New Age Wackos. Naturally, I love it up there). She talked about how she decided to honor the traditions of her ancestors and sequester herself during her period.

Sure, right, whatever, I thought.

"Of course, that means I can never hold a regular job," she added. Then it hit me. Wow. This woman had made a commitment that really changed her life in a major way.

She talked about how her ancestors would usually menstruate at the same time, because they lived without artificial light, so their cycles followed the moon. They went off to a private place to be together during this special time.

What this also meant, she said, was that the men had to know how to take care of the kids, because they did it full-time at least five days a month.

I had always heard of women being sequestered during menstruation as a negative thing before. It was supposedly because they were unclean and would foul the water and the cooking pots. This was a different story. Women hanging out together, relaxing, treating each other well AND having the guys take the kids?

It may all have been her interpretation, something she made up, new age hooey. But it sure got my imagination going. What would the world look like if we still did that?

I mean, all this hormonality has to be good for something. Everything in nature has a purpose. Surely we didn't get this flood of hormones that triggers so much emotion for nothing.

I think it is a good time to stop, to evaluate a bit, to use the shell-less period to get in touch with how we really feel. Maybe our hearts truly are always broken by the hungry kids. Maybe we really are steaming mad at the fact that our partner doesn't do their fair share of housework.

It's just that most of the time we don't have our defenses stripped away like we do with PMS. That is probably good. I don't think I would want to live a life that feels so raw. But maybe with a little planning and thought, I can learn to use this time to my advantage instead of moaning over it.


Mommy off the Record said...

oh my goodness. what are the chances that not only would we be menstruating at the same time, but that we would also be BLOGGING about it at the same time? ha!

Kentucky Girl said...

Interesting theory on the going away. I'm up for it! Let's try it next time. lol But I don't get PMS so maybe I can just fake it so I can get away for a week. :)

Ojai...heh. Yeah, they're kinda kooky down there. They're what Bezerkely up here wishes they were.

Hope your hormones release themselves soon and you can get a clear head. ;)

Mrs. Chicky said...

It sounds like a lovely idea to go away during our "Moon Time" and leave our husbands and children for a 5 day hiatus, but depending on the level of PMS for each women it could get dangerous. I don't know about you but I can occasionally be a bee-otch during that time of the month.

Janet Evening said...

And we can call it Menstro-hut and franchise... We ARE American women, after all.

SUEB0B said...

I knew I would be hearing about the Menstro-hut after this post! :-)

TB said...

What a great post. I read somewhere once that women are actually at their most logical when they have their periods. I have always believed it to be true because it is the one time of the month that I do not supress my feelings.
I love the concepts you've raised here.

Crissy said...

Interesting how some of us have the same "Moon Time." I am currently sitting here watching Gilda Live and balling my eyes out. I know someone who is dying of cancer and it is heartbreaking. Doubly so during PMS.

I do feel raw and am glad my son is taking a nap so he doesn't see me crying. Today is his 1st birthday. I feel terrible because I haven't posted anything this week. I am like the worst mommy ever.

I am ok during my period, it's the PMS that I would rather hibernate from. I once suggested to my husband that if we have kids I would like to take a day or two to be by myself during PMS time so I wouldn't be unecessarily mean/crazy/irrational to anyone. Seemed a bit drastic at the time, but now it doesn't seem so crazy.

super des said...

I read another post about PMSing today.. In short it said there had been a study that said women should stay away from all these "bad" foods while menstruating (yes, even chocolate). But they said it from a distance. That was the blogger's personal touch, and it made me laugh and laugh.

I don't like crying at commercials and episodes of the Simpsons. I told my boyfriend I'm going to be an emotional mess when I'm pregnant.

I am totally for this going-away-party. Sure, we'll cry and bitch, but we'll ALL be doing it.

tracey said...

Well, it appears that we are all indeed in our moom time-how wierd is that? A virtual Red Tent if you will. (I didn't read the book but isn't that what it's about?)

Funny, my therapist used to say that if there was only one thing he could communicate to his men clients it was TO LISTEN TO A WOMAN WHO WAS PMSing. He said it's the one time of the month when we really speak our truth. Albeit a little LOUD and CRANKY but damn it, it's our truth and we can say it however we want. And then cry about it!
Great post.

And Sue, I blogged about your kind give-away...check it out.
: )

cameo said...

i am, at this exact moment, not in with the mensus crowd. i am, however, getting there i think. i'm fresh back after having a baby so it's all still wacky. i really liked what you said in this post. i would love the idea of taking off for a few days a month. what a genuine way to honor ourselves. and i think you touch on something really grand when you pondered the importance of hormonal fluctuation having greater purpose. there's a reason we are why we are. and what liberation, for men, to shift their role and assume responsibility for thing they usually ignore/disregard. i say we all go for it!

chelle said...

Ok this is weird....I posted on Mommy off the Record that I was in tune with her and now you too!??!?!

Alright let's all take off and chill out together for the rest of the week!!!

(thanks for stopping by I am so loving your blog!)

gandhi rules said...

Well put. I think this could be an important piece to self reflection.

Izzy said...

When I have PMS, I feel persecuted. It's me against the world. I really hate feeling so irrational, which I only realize that I was, after the fact...lol

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