|Excerpts - Out of the Closet and Nothing to Wear|
from PMS: Please Menstruate Soon!
Of all the joys of lesbian life, which are much too numerous to mention, there is one I would just as soon live without: the pleasure of two women living together, loving each other, and being PMS at the same time. It is not a pretty picture, believe me. Luckily I no longer have to worry about this Less-Than-Fabulous situation, because my beloved Flash has tapped into her ancient female wisdom and figured out how to never have her period again. Yes, Flash is the envy of all our Baby Boomer and Generation X friends: she has worked hard and achieved menopause. And it's a good thing, too, as I have enough Pre-menstrual TENSION for both of us. And this is the beauty of being a lesbian: my lover has been through it all before. Only someone who has walked a mile in my mules (in swollen feet, no less) could possibly understand and put up with the monster I become for seven days out of every month.
Sunday (Day One):
It is 3:00 a.m. Flash stumbles into the bathroom to find me squatting in the tub, stark naked, scrubbing the hem of the shower curtain with a brillo pad. "Why are you doing that now?" Flash asks, genuinely curious. "Because I can't stand the shmutz in this house for one more minute," I say, applying all the elbow grease I can muster.
"Why don't you come to bed?" Flash holds out her hand." The dirt will still be there in the morning." "Over my dead body," I say, doubling my efforts. "Somebody's PMS," Flash sing-songs. "I am not PMS!" I shriek, throwing the brillo pad at Flash's head. She ducks and goes back to bed, hoping she can get some sleep. She'll need her strength: the fun has just begun.
Monday (Day Two):
I am standing at the oven, poking freshly-baked oat bran muffins with a toothpick to see if they're done. Now that the house is cleaner than when my parents came to visit, my nesting instincts have shifted into the realm of nourishment. Flash and I have terrible eating habits and I am determined to change them. These muffins are a good way to start; supposedly they have more fiber than our socks. I set the table with soy butter, organic jam, the muffins and coffee. Flash comes into the kitchen, slumps into a chair and sips her morning caffeine. "Have a muffin, Dear," I say in my best Donna Reed voice. "No thanks," Flash says. "But breakfast is the most important meal of the day," I remind her. "I haven't eaten breakfast since 1969," Flash reminds me, as if I haven't noticed that for the past six years the only thing Flash has ingested before noon is coffee and an occasional Flintstone vitamin. "But I made them for you," I wail, tears gushing from my eyes. "I'll take one to work and have it for lunch," Flash promises. "But I want you to eat it NOW!" I shriek, suddenly enraged. I snatch a muffin and hurl it across the room. Flash grabs her car keys, ducks out the door and calls, "Have a nice day."
Tuesday (Day Three):
Flash comes out of the shower and finds me sitting in my bathrobe on the edge of the bed, the picture of despair. "What's the matter?" she asks cautiously. "I have nothing to wear." I say. "Oh, is that all?" Flash is hardly concerned, as she hears this from me at least once a day. "C'mon, I'll help you pick something out." She opens my closet door and does a doubletake. Hangers, hangers everywhere, as far as the eye can see. With nothing on them. "Honey," Flash says slowly, "what happened to your clothes?" "They're gone," I say miser- ably. "Gone where?" Flash asks. "To the salvation army," I answer." I got sick of them." Flash stares at me in amazement." All of them?" she asks. "Yes, all of them. Oh, except this." I walk over to my dresser and pull out a skin-tight, black velvet catsuit I bought on a whim and have never dared wear in public. Flash makes me put it on and
drives us to the salvation army. I buy back my entire wardrobe, which much to my delight is participating in a two-for-one, half-price special. "Look at all these fabulous clothes," I exclaim, "and they're going for a song."
©1997 Lesléa Newman