Warning: Post contains Too Much Information. I mean it. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.. Oh well. More’s the pity for you.
I remember one time in the sixth grade when the girls in my class were talking about their periods.
Apparently, it was around the age of 12–our age at the time–that girls get their first red day. The discussion had the kind of brusque innocence that young Filipino girls usually regaled group daldalan (talking) with, and this particular topic was no exception: they went so far as to collect the names of the girls in the class who have already had their periods and write them down on the chalkboard, like they were keeping score on some nasty game. It was grotesque, to say the least, but it was also perfectly natural at the same time. I mean, how else could they have kept track, right? Give them a break, they’re 12.
After standing in front of the half-empty classroom during lunch calling out the girls and asking them if they’ve had theirs, their intensive research found that, out of the 15 or so girls in the class, there were 2 who haven’t been visited by the red fairy of puberty just yet. One of those girls, they assumed, was me.
They didn’t really check, since they don’t really talk to me (they often talked about me, though) even if only for such a friendly team-building activity as the one at hand. They had this subtle sneer fixed on their faces when they found that they had reached the last girl, because I was the last girl (I was always the last girl). You could even hear the sneer in their voice when they said my name out loud, and they wrote it on the board in slightly uglier handwriting than all the rest of the names. It was those little things that made you wonder, at 12 years old, just how much worth you had as a person.
I made no effort to correct them, though. I remember that very clearly, and it still puzzles me. I understand that 12-year-old me had hated those bitches as fervently as she had hated her vegetables, but I also know that even back then, she would have jumped at any opportunity to be chummy and participant with them, if only to get on their good side. The golden opportunity to “belong” had presented itself, and if I had any credible idea of who I was, I ought to know that I would have leaped at that opportunity like a cat on a piece of food fallen from the table.
I didn’t, though. I sat there at the back row (because that was the place for me), keeping my lunch things in my bag and trying to be as unobtrusive as possible. I remember having felt my face burning somewhat. I think I was ashamed of them knowing that I was already having my period at the time–hell, mine had begun well before all of theirs. I don’t know why I had been ashamed, though.
cut into two posts because the damn thing is long-winded as fuck. here’s part two, if you give a shit.