Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Flashbacks and WAY too much information

There's a little one person, unisex restroom right outside my office that I use all the time. Today I finally figured out why I twitch a little when I have to go in there.

I got my first period when I was only 9 years old. 4th Grade. At the time, we were living in this tiny little rural town, Drayton Plains, in Michigan. I went to one of those rambling ranch style elementary schools that looks like a glorified house with a gymnasium/cafeteria in the center and three short wings on each side.

Each of the classrooms was small. It was such a small school that many classes were multiple grade levels, and since I was a pretty quick little girl, this meant that I was usually around older students. I went to 2nd grade in a 2nd/3rd grade split class (where I met my first boyfriend, Lyle McCoon - a saavy 3rd grader on the safety patrol), 4th grade in a 4th/5th grade split class (where Mr. Kachadorian let me decorate the bulletin boards and taught me algebra), and 5th grade in a 5th/6th split class (where Mrs. Rouse befriended me and took me to Toronto with her granddaughter).

So back to the periods. Because each classroom had a single bathroom at the front of the class, with no facilities for sanitary disposal of feminine products, to save me the embarrassment of having to throw my products away in the regular classroom trash - in front of my significantly less-developed classmates - I was allowed to use the teacher's bathroom.

Now I had a bit of a bathroom-phobia to begin with. As a young girl on long trips I used to just "hold-it" for hours instead of using the gross, black toilets at rest-stops. My parents were always after me to go and I was always insistent that I could wait.

So needless to say, I was a bit traumatized by having to walk all the way to the other side of the school and use the women's room reserved for teachers next to the scariest place in the school - the teacher's lounge. I always imagined that everyone knew exactly what was going on, a sort of Scarlet Letter. ... heh, heh... scarlet letter...

Certainly I survived, and by 6th grade there were a few of us that had to use the teacher's bathroom: Angie Mountain, Kristy Haggerty and I. The tall girls with breasts. Funny, no one would call me that now!

Well, so that's why I twitch going into the bathroom here at the College. Just so you know.

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