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Expecting the Unexpected

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“I was prepared, except my period came when I was not at home.”

“I knew I’d get my first period when I was 12.5 because Cosmopolitan magazine said so. I was prepared. I kept one individually-wrapped maxi pad hidden in my bedroom closet. At 12.5 I started bolting to the bathroom at every light bit of crotch-sweat and discharge. Ella’s bat mitzvah was exactly 20 days after my half birthday. I was very good at bat mitzvah party games and didn’t want to miss the limbo or hula-hooping contest, but my bladder, full of soda, eventually required the bathroom. There it was. In my underwear. Unmistakably red. Luckily it was winter in Chicagoland and I’d worn dark tights and a skirt. I stuffed a solid wad of toilet paper into my undies, checked myself in the mirror, and went back out in time for the Electric Slide. “

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