This week is National Menstrual Cycle Week according to our news editor, Kitty Merrill, who suggested I write about it. She did this because she realizes I am somewhat of an expert on the fairer sex and she knows first hand that I truly understand women.
Most men, on the other hand, don't understand the Menstrual Cycle, which is why I am writing this handy guide.
First, the basics. Women begin experiencing menstruation at about the age of 13. The cycle runs for approximately 37 years, during which, depending on the time of the month, women can be whiney, ornery, or argumentative, depending on a number of factors.
At the end of 37 years the Menstrual Cycle ends and the years of whining and bitching are replaced with psychotic, delusional behavior, which lasts until senility or death, whichever comes first.
There are three stages woman experiences each month, which is how long the Menstrual Cycle runs (except for February). The first stage of the cycle is the Premenstrual, also known as PMS – premenstrual syndrome. This part of the cycle is marked by somewhat odd behavior oftentimes. The medical journal says there are, "a group of symptoms linked to the menstrual cycle that can affect menstruating women of any age." On rare occasions women are known to be a bit unreasonable during this time, which typically lasts about 24 days. Then comes the actual period, which is often preceded by a comma (and sometimes followed by a parenthetical phrase). This lasts about four to six days.
On the last day of the cycle women are completely normal and happy. Most men have learned this is the day to really take advantage of their wives' giving nature and desire to please. In other words, this is the day to plan a round of golf with the guys.
On this day, and this day alone, women are able to give a simple straightforward answer, unlike the other 29 or 30 days depending on the month, when the physical changes that make women women, force them to say a lot of words when a few would suffice. Men are just the opposite — men typically answer questions with one-word answers.
"Ya want another beer?"
"Do you want to go to the antique show?"
"Do you want me to drive?"
Try any of these simple questions on a woman when she is PMSing. She will not answer, but will in rapid fire manner ask numerous questions instead.
"Want a beer?"
"Oh! Is that supposed to be funny? Oh, so our children will be able to tell the guidance teacher that they have two parents who drink in the afternoon? Am I the only person in this household that realizes sacrifices have to be made and that one of us has to do the important stuff that needs doing around here like um, putting the nail polish on?"
The husband will pause but not answer, but he will be rejoicing inside, because there were only two beers left in the fridge and he didn't want to share, but was willing to because he loves so fully.
When women are in the midst of "that time of month" time itself is hard to gauge. They will often say stuff like "I have wasted the entire day cleaning your damn underwear!" You will have to refrain from pointing out it's only 8:30 in the morning.
Here are some remedies when experiencing a really rough Menstrual Cycle:
Medication: proper medication can sooth some of the more painful effects. In other words, men should consider taking Valium before coming home from work.
Diversion: A new puppy will give women something to focus on during these trying days of menstruation — in other words, something else to yell at.
Gourmet Food: There is no medicine like a gourmet meal to soothe the soul. So buy some TV dinners for the Missus, tell her you're working late, and go to that great Italian restaurant you've been eying up. WAIT! This is selfish and crude behavior on your part. She expects more from the man she fell in love with. Go to the sports bar and have wings and watch the game — you'll feel good you're doing your part.
Epilogue: Merrill told me this was National Menstrual Cycle week Friday. As regular readers know, I spend a great deal of time crafting this column. So after laboring over it all weekend – yes, I missed all the football games – I decided to fact check, because that's what editors do (I think . . . or at least I heard someone say that once).
It turns out next week is National Farm Animals Week. This week is "National Suicide Prevention Week" which means if you are a suicidal farm animal you face a conundrum.