My husband and I were laying in bed, talking quietly the other night. My body had finally gotten back on its usual schedule after having my son, meaning Aunt Flo had finally shown up (sorry if that's TMI). This is how our conversation went.
"You know....I had completely forgot that you even had a period. It's been so long, I think I just blocked it out," my husband said. (Which, as a side note, I have a hard time believing. I've made it my mission to educate my husband on anything and everything to do with my uterus for years. Frankly, if I have to spit a kid out of it he can at least know how it works and the repercussions of its activities. I don't think it's too much to ask. As a result we've had conversations over the years that have ended with him leaving the room or saying things like "STOP saying mucus lining!" or "keep your mysterious lady-parts a mystery, please" or "this is female propaganda" when I showed him a copy of "Are You There God, It's Me, Margaret" at the bookstore.) Anyway:
"You blocked it out? Jeeze, it's not like my PMS was that bad. I mean, aside from some crying, binge eating fried food, and a little irritability you got off EASY," I replied. This is about the time that my husband took on the hallow-eyed expression of a man who had seen too much and could only recount his traumatic experience in hushed tones and with the aid of a stiff drink.
"You don't know. You just don't know how hard it is for me." Then he shuddered. HE ACTUALLY SHUDDERED.
"Uhm....say what? Hard for you?!? I am the one who bloats up to Liza Minnelli-like proportions. I am the one who gets the backaches, headaches, and cramps. I am the one who cries during ASPCA commercials, damn that Sarah McLachlan and her sad puppies. Not to mention the overwhelming and all encompassing fatigue. Please, please tell me how all of this is hard for you."
"Well. I have to deal....with you. I love you, by the way."
"Uh-huh. Right. Well, I didn't realize I was in the presence of a living saint. You've just been canonized St. Nathan, patron saint of downtrodden husbands and the menstrually abused. Your feast day is tomorrow, so don't come home without fried pie....and whatever you want."
So, there you have it ladies. Spread the word about St. Nathan and his martyrdom to menstruation. When in times of need your husbands and boyfriends can hold fast to the idea that they are not alone, and they can whisper a prayer to St. Nathan. Perhaps they'll be answered with a miracle and a bottle of Midol, a box of chocolate, and a copy of "Love Actually" will appear. I'm working on an idea for a prayer card. Any suggestions?