I Can’t. George is Visiting Me
There are only a couple of things that are great about being 55…..Thinking…Thinking….Ok, there is one great thing about being 55.
I don’t have a period anymore.
Ok, guys, some of you are going to quit reading now. And that’s ok. But, if you have daughters, you should keep reading. Because you are going to hear her speaking in a language you don’t understand. You are going to think that she is doing something she is not supposed to, because she is talking in code. But, the lingo is geared to not let dad’s, brothers, or boys to understand what is going on. It’s “Period speak.”
Ok, yeah, maybe I made up that phrase, but it is alive and well. “Period Speak” has been around since, well, women have been having periods. It shouldn’t be a secret, but we think our code is just for those in the female persuasion.
Now, the whole reason I am writing this post is because I heard a teen-age girl on her cell phone yesterday. She was standing beside some dork who I assumed was her boyfriend, because I heard the code.
“No, I don’t feel like doing anything. I’m just going to go home and lie on the couch….Yeah…. my friend is visiting. Giggle.”
I had to chuckle. She heard me chuckle. She could have flipped me off for eavesdropping, but she smiled at me and then looked at her boyfriend. He was clueless. Maybe he thought he was the friend and was going to go home and lie on the couch with her. He would have been fine with that.
Most girls use the “my friend is visiting” scenario when talking about their period. So, you are probably wondering, “Why the hell can’t you just call it your period and be done with it?” Well, because we can’t. It’s against the laws of puberty. Or something like that.
When I started my period for the first time, I remember to this very day, going straight to my mom, scared to death. She was sitting in the kitchen. My dad was in the family room, and I did NOT want him to hear what I had to say.
“Mom, George is visiting.” She just stared at me. So, I said it again, this time out of the corner of my mouth. “George. is. visiting.”
“Vickie, what is wrong with you. Gen and George are not here.”
Ok, we had a friend named George. A real person. Not a period. Obviously, my mother had never had a period.
Shit. My older friends who had their periods told us on the bus to say, “I can’t. George is visiting.” Every one of them used “George” as their code phrase for their period. I was just doing what they told me to do. Hell, I didn’t know. It’s scary to go to the bathroom and see that you are bleeding to death. My mom never explained a damn thing to me. Still pisses me off.
So, I tried the other code phrase. “Mom……It’s that time of the month.”
It took her a few seconds and then she got it. She told me to grab my sweater and we would go to the store and get some napkins.
WTF? Napkins? My friends all wore pads. Back in the late sixties, we had to wear a white belt-like apparatus around our hips. A sanitary “napkin” belt. There was a metal thingy in the front and one in the back to weave our pad ends through them. I am terrible at explaining this. Regardless, she had to take me to the store. Why the hell didn’t we have any in the house? It just made a better case that my mom must have never had a period.
“Elwood, Vickie and I are driving to the drug store. She started her period.”
I stopped in my path. You didn’t just say that……to my father!! Oh my God, Mom. I will never be able to look him in the eyes ever again. I will have to go live with my bff Ramaine or something. I almost started crying. I thought that we were supposed to talk in code so males would not know that we are on our period. We were never to use the word “period” in front of them. I was beside myself. I was bleeding to death and mortified. Plus, the stupid loon of a mother could have easily told me to put some kleenex in my underpants until she got home. But, hell, no, I had to go with her. Hello, Mom…Um, period….flow…..needs…to…..stop. Shit. This just sucked.
Well, time went by and I finally learned that you don’t need to change your pad every ten minutes. My mom was pissed when we had to go back to the drug store the next day. Well, shit, Mom. It sort of would have been nice if someone explained to me that we had to sit in that disgusting pool of George.
I began to use my code phrases around the male family members and boys in school. I used the “I can’t. George is visiting.” Or I would say, “I can’t. My friend is here.” I think those are the only code phrases I used. I was not imaginative. Oh, if I would have heard someone else say another phrase, I would have surely used it. The girls in Weirton, West Virginia, used “George” for the most part.
So, it made me wonder what other girls would say. I have a feeling that the girls today just say it without embarrassment. “I can’t go. I’m on my period.” Boys get it. They probably got it back then, but we had to hide it. That’s just how it was back in the day.
So, I went looking on the internet and found some interesting code phrases for having a period. I found these on a yahoo forum from three years ago. Here are some of them:
“I had a roommate that would always tell me her unwelcome friend came for a visit. Sometimes I refer to it as Aunt Flo. And I’ll never forget the movie “Clueless” where they refer to it at “surfing the crimson wave.”
“Ha! When I was in 7th grade my girlfriends and I use to call it “Our Cat”. I forgot how we developed such a title-but there was some reasoning behind it. I just call it my period now. I guess I’m too old to use pet names.”
“I don’t remember how this came about. but me and my friend say were going to china. we hang around guys alot and they have no idea what were talking about … its hilarious when they ask and were like uuuhhh …. nothing inside joke.”
“Me and my friends have this thing we say “our leg hurts” and if we need to ask someone for a pad/tampon we say we “need ice for our leg” i don’t no how we came up with this though:)”
“dont remember where this came from but me and my friends refer to it as George, i feel bad for any guy with that name now though.” Ah, that girl must be from Weirton.
“….The volcano erupted….My redheaded cousin is in town…..I got my car…”
Here’s a creative one.. “China time (Asian flag has a red circle and I taught my daughter to refer to that part of her body as her “China”) But,um, isn’t that the Japanese flag?
It sort of matters.And here is what the flag of China looks like.
I bet that woman knew my mom. Unless you are quite talented, I don’t see how your period would form five points…and be yellow, unless you are tremendously jaundiced. Just sayin. Let’s continue.
“When I was in school my friends and I called it TOM…..TimeOfMonth.”
“It’s red week…or Aunt Flo is here visiting.”
- “I say I’ve been cycling. No one realizes I don’t currently own a bike.” That’s a good one.
- There are other phrases, such as “My curse,” the easy lie, “I can’t. I’m sick,” and for those who never did care who knew, “On the rag.” I always felt that those were the girls who would grow up to be sluts. How could you look a boy in the face and tell him you can go swimming because you are on the rag? I would shudder at the thought.
- No, it would be better to obey the rules and never let them know when you are on your period.