Blood in the Boardroom*

Bad fucking ass bad day. Most of which I can’t tell you about because it’s about work. But this, this I will tell you. Because you could laugh. That is, if you can get past the gory details (Smerdy– avert your eyes!)

First, a question: Do you consider CD1 the day you spot just a little, or the day full flow descends?

So, I’m on my period. But the heaviest day is over, right? I should be safe wearing pale pale pale khaki pants, right? Besides, I haven’t had a public show of red since I was wearing white jeans in the 10th grade and thought that cold feeling was just my ass going numb, but really it was the cold wet feeling of a gigantic banner of blood blooming across my white, white jeans (and I was wearing a crop top, too) and then I proudly went sailing down the crowded hall at the end of the day, thinking I was all that in my white jeans, and my hot crop top and my side ponytail and that THAT folks, was why people were turning around to stare at me, and then when Cherie grabbed my arm and asked me if I had a sweater or something and I looked at her (in the middle of the crowded hall) with deep concern in my eyes and said, “No, honey, do you need one? I’m sure we can find one for you.” And she shoved me into the nearest restroom and then I saw IT. IT the gigantic red flag of my poor planning and the fact that I was either hemorrhaging out of my ass or profoundly not pregnant. And I spent 2 hours waiting for the school to clear and missed my bus home, because though Cherie was kind enough to get me off the hall, she wasn’t nice enough to track down any of my good friends (ie friends good enough to come to my rescue). And when I finally sidled my way down the hall to call my mom, she was just super irritated that I hadn’t just got on the bus and come home on time.

Today is not far from that.

Oh, it started out good. I wasn’t having to Martha Stewart it or anything. No, I was fine. I was prepared. And it’s not even my heaviest day. Then things at work got hectic and I, well, I forgot about it. No big deal. I have 2 layers of protection on. Everything’s cool. I decided that I needed a quick break. Yeah, I needed to eat something. I needed lunch. So I grabbed my Weight Watcher’s Smart Ones frozen entrée and headed to the kitchen. So, there I am, nuking it and one of my coworkers is asking me questions about Vera trying to decide if she would like to take Vera and when I turn back to the microwave, I feel it. A movement. A slippery, sliding, bloody kind of movement. And a spreading dampness. So I make my excuses, grab my entrée out of the microwave and walk quickly down the hall to my desk. I grab my little bag with my supplies and walk to the bathroom. And just as I turned down the hall and could see the door, I could also see it shut on someone else. Now I can feel the dampness spreading, and the slipperiness slipping. And I knew I was in trouble, because the only other bathroom is past A LOT of people. Many, many people.

I thought briefly about the conference rooms and a roll of paper towels. I thought briefly about hurling myself out of my 18th floor windows. Hey, a lot of people would see me, but the shameful blood would just blend in with the honorably-earned blood. My secret would be safe. I stood there for a moment while hot, bitter tears leaked out of my eyes. How DARE the BATHROOM be occupied! This is the forbidden bathroom. NO ONE is supposed to use that bathroom. Not even me! It’s for guests! There are no guests in the office today, therefore no one should be in that bathroom. Finally the door opened and the only other co-worker to sneak into the forbidden bathroom came out. I zipped in and turned to the mirror to see a rose demurely tucked into my crotch. Right out front, folks. Right out front. Pale Khaki pants. It’s 1990 all over again. And I have braces and bad hair and lethal awkwardness.

It just all happened so quickly. One clot. Slipping down and powering through all my defenses. There’s nothing I can do. I have no changes of pants here. I ride public transportation so I can’t get home and back in time with everything I need to do today. I don’t want to bother Kristin because I know that she’s super busy. So, I sit here, chafing and embarrassed, wearing my (long, thank God it’s long) black leather coat and telling everyone sweetly “Oh, I’m just freezing today” when they comment on it. They’ve all be kind enough not to ask why if I’m so cold I don’t turn the heater that’s sitting RIGHT NEXT TO ME on.

I think they all know. I think they’re talking about it on their side of the office. I think I feel my hair frizzing from a bad perm as we speak.

I don’t know how I’m going to handle the bus ride home. Pray for me, people. Pray that I turn invisible and/or burst into flames right here at my desk.

*can you tell me where I got this from?

Posted by Trista @ 2:48 PM

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But give Cait the credit for that, as she has provided the majority of my Ani education (although, 13 years ago today she did a concert at my college that oh, about 45 people went to, and yes, it was my birthday, and yeah, that was cool, even though nobody knew who Ani was in 1993. Oh, wait, this was about you.)

UGH! That is so miserable. I am sorry you had to endure it and the high school flashbacks. I'm very glad you had your coat.

Posted by Blogger Jen @ 3:25 PM #

Oh God Trista! that's horrible! I really know the feeling.. I had two memorable experience about that, one when I was in junior high and the uniform for first grade was pale PINK and I didn't felt a thing I knew because a Friend of mine (male) told me to go to the bathroom and cover myself, and the second one was on my brother's wedding!! I stand up and the chair which was cover with a really white fabric had a huge spot in the middle .. so I feel for you my friend, I hope the riode home is not as bad as you think...

Posted by Blogger Sublime @ 3:32 PM #


feeling for you & hope the bus is swift.

Posted by Blogger Calliope @ 3:38 PM #

Oh Trista.
This is awful. Your story of the past incident was awful. But you've told this so powerful and poetically-- it seems important to say that too.

Posted by Blogger Katie (WannaBeMom) @ 4:35 PM #

Thank you for providing that mini-time-machine transport back to the 80s for me. God I hated school; now I'm remembering why. Hope the agony is now over for you.

Posted by Blogger K. @ 5:57 PM #

God, yes, I know that feeling. Something similar happened to me in the middle of karate class once (years ago when I did that kind of thing). In the white karate uniform. Oops. :) I was the assistant instructor (which is "sempai" in Japanese) and one of the students came up to me and quietly said "um, Sempai... do you have your period?" It was a women's karate school, thank the all, so at least everyone there understood the peril of wearing white pants.

Hope you are feeling better!

(Oh, and: Blood in the boardroom, the I'm-so-bored-room. Mm-hmm.)

Posted by Blogger Anne @ 5:57 PM #

Yay! (oh no. not yay for your misfortune but) YAY because now I have that awesome early ani song in my head.

oh yes.

Posted by Blogger breather @ 6:11 PM #

How horrid. We've all gone through it in one form or another. And how terrible of your body to sneak up on you like that. Bad, bad body.

Posted by Blogger Sacha @ 6:33 PM #

Oh, my, I'm late to the party, but I LOVED that song in college. Loved it. Not that I don't now, just that I discovered it then.
I work in a school now where most of the leadership is female so I rarely feel like this, but the other day I was in a different context in my life surrounded by men who were talking down to me and I thought to myself.....oh yeah. This can suck. This can make me feel embarrassed to be, oh I don't know, a potential bearer of life. :-)

Posted by Blogger Lo @ 8:10 PM #

Oh holy hell. So sorry. So sorry also that it is such a shameful experience. It's becuase women are not valued. It has happened to me too, as a n adult. Last year in fact. Super crappy.

Posted by Blogger charlotte @ 12:26 AM #

I am so sorry, Trista! What a crap day. I haven't had that happen since middle school but A) I have my period now too and B) I am now convinced that I need to be far more watchful.

(And Jen - Ani played at MY college in 1993 to a crowd of 45, as well! My Doppelganger....)

Posted by Anonymous bri @ 6:55 AM #

Sometimes being a woman just sucks.

Posted by Blogger Spin_Doc1 @ 8:39 AM #

Anne, a woman in our karate school once let out a powerful side kick and her bloody pad shot out the leg of her gi....

(word verification: jarkdokr... how many of us see jarkdokrs on a regular basis?! :)

Posted by Blogger Jen @ 9:00 AM #

What a terribly crappy way to start off the week! Must have been something in this thin mountain air. Hope that your bus was on schedule and you safely made it home w/out any further "incidents".

Posted by Blogger Mandy @ 9:18 AM #

Oh, Trista, I'm sorry!

Hopefully you'll find these funny:

One of my friends has a huge, beautiful painting hanging over her fireplace. It's a lovely, white, victorian chaise lounge. With a huge red stain in the middle. The title of the painting is "Period Piece."

And although this isn't a period embarassing story, it's still damn embarassing. :)

In the summer of 1994, I had an internship in Washington DC. Summer afternoons in DC are notorious for sudden and dramatic thunderstorms.

On this particular day, I was wearing a white silk shell over a pretty, bright pink bra. No jacket. And 5 minutes after I left work to take the bus home, the downpour hit.

My bra stood out like a glowing pink beacon. I stood on the corner of Connecticut & M (a very busy lobbyist/law firm/commerical corner), waiting for my bus to Adams Morgan (a very busy, then-working class & intern-heavy neighborhood).

I thought about going back to work, but being seen like that by my colleagues seemed worse than being seen like that by a million strangers. And I know I amused the hell out of the entire bus.

Posted by Anonymous Liza @ 9:59 AM #

Oh honey I am so sorry! But so thankful you had that jacket!
Poor thing.

Posted by Blogger Estelle @ 10:56 AM #

Thank you, all! Liza that was hilarious. In fact all the stories y'all shared were very funny and cheery. I am much much better today. As I guess you can probably see from my post!

Posted by Blogger Trista @ 12:03 PM #

I was going to blog about this, but I will confess it here because you should be the one who gets the first laugh: I did a load of laundry yesterday, and as I was pulling things out of the washer I came across a very clean, very full, very squishy mini-pad. It had been (ahem) left behind in a pair of undies, and it survived the wash beautifully. I don't think I'll recycle it, though. What they say on the commercials about those things containing absorbent layers...it's true. I'm actually surprised the washer didn't malfunction from lack of water, that damn thing had abosrbed so much! :o)

Posted by Blogger hd @ 12:45 PM #
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