This certain coach was the one to drive the three of us down to Provo and back. Since it's not exactly a short drive, some of these life talks obviously came up. The one he had chosen for this specific trip was about marriage. At the time, I wanted to hear nothing of the sort and tried to disregard everything he said. He did, however, tell me I'd probably marry a good-looking jock who would later turn into a fat, lazy man that wore overalls. I guess that says a lot about me, huh? But looks like I changed my ways and I'm actually not marrying stinky overall man. I'm marrying a man in a business suit and he is absolutely not lazy. And not a jock either. Thank goodness I got over high school. Coach said a lot of other nonsense involving marriage too, which I don't much remember. However, one thing he said stuck with me. And not because at the time, I thought it was some way profound bit of information. It most likely stuck with me because at the time, I thought it was absolutely disgusting. This is what he said. . .
"Girls, you want to know what love is? I'll tell you what love really is. Love is when your wife wakes up in the middle of the night sick and pukes all over you. And instead of being grossed out and angry, you know what you do? You get out of bed, even though you're tired and covered in puke, and you put her in the bathtub and change the sheets. Now that is when you know it's love."
* * * *
I trudge down the steep hill, back to my apartment. A cool summer breeze finds its way through my short hair and kisses the nape of my neck. It is now the first bit of summer vacation. Brian and I are still dating. Both of us stayed in Logan for the summer. Not only that, but we ended up being next door neighbors. And when I say next door neighbors, I mean we can yell through the wall at each other. We both have full-time jobs. We work a lot and when we're not working, we play a lot. Usually together. In the mornings, before I go to work, I usually knock on his bedroom window and climb through it so I can say good morning before I leave for the day. I like climbing through the window since I feel like that is much more exciting than walking through the backdoor. It's the best kind of summer I could ever imagine.
However, this day has not been the greatest kind of day. I love my summer job, but today it was hard. My job is fun but not always the easiest. Not only was work rough today, but my cousins are in town. And when I say my cousins are in town, that's code for I'm on my period. The period is not a nice thing to me. If you don't believe me, read this little post. When I reach my apartment, I unlock the door and collapse on the couch. After having a couple hours of alone time, Brian calls me announcing he wants to cheer me up. Just hearing that seems to cheer my high estrogen leveled spirits right up. Of course, he makes me dinner, which is something he often does. It is, as always, delicious. After the lovely dinner, he tells me like an excited little boy that he has a surprise for me.
"Go put on some warm clothes. I'm taking you in the mountains to go star gazing."
I jump up and down with joy. Stars are one of my very favorite things of summer. Stars, fireworks, jumping in water, and rodeos. Whenever I need time just to think, I like going outside and sitting under the stars. I could sit under those sweet twinkling things for hours. That's my favorite place to talk to God. I like the feeling of talking to Him while I stare into the sky He created rather than being bent over my bed. But either way is fine, really. But Brian knows how I feel about the stars. And that's what I really adore about Brian. The way he notices the small things for what they really are; important things.
I do as I'm told and change into warm clothes. Running tights, sweats, long socks, long sleeved shirt, hoody, hat. . .how is that for warm? I change my tampon and also put on a pad, just for good measure, and we set off for the mountains in little Danger Ranger (Brian's truck who is no longer with us). Finally, we reach the spot that Brian had in mind and it is beautiful. It overlooks all of Cache Valley and I realize what a quaint and precious, little valley it really is.
Brian has formed a comfy mound of blankets in the bed of his truck. We settle in and my heart feels content. Blankets covering me, Brian's arms around me, Cache Valley below me, and stars above me. Now that is a recipe for happiness. I feel so overwhelmed by the happiness that it must exhaust me, causing me to drift off into a pleasant sleep.
* * * *
I pull myself awake and take a minute to remember where I am. Brian must have faded off too, but I have caused him to wake up with my sudden movements. Something really doesn't feel right. I quickly realize what that something is. My tampon has leaked through. My vicious period has really attacked me while I was sleeping. I slowly reach my hand to the bum of my sweats where I can feel a rather large damp spot. Oh no.
I've created a mess. Brian looks around with a puzzled look on his face, probably because of the alarm on my face. "Kelsey, is everything alright? We fell asleep."
"How long has it been," I spit the words out rather quickly.
"Oh, not too long. Maybe twenty minutes."
"We have to go! Right now!"
Brian reaches for me and tries to calm me down, "Kels, don't worry. I'm sorry we fell asleep but nothing happened. ."
"No. Brian, it's not that."
I realize I will soon have to break the humiliating news to him. That I'm not a cute girl, but a big bloody mess. I wonder how he'll take it. I wonder if he'll be disgusted. I even wonder if this will push him to break up with me. And that's when I feel it. The burning sensation in my throat. The anger building up inside of me. The tears that begin to swell in my eyes. I am going to cry. It is way too late to choke it back.
"My period--" yep, the tears suddenly come pouring down my face.
Brian is confused as to why I'm crying and I can tell he wants to help me in some way. So I stand up and turn around, so he can see what is now basically impossible for me to spit out. Between sniffles I say, "I'm sorry, Brian. I don't think I got it on any of the blankets. I'm so sorry. I am so embarrassed." I don't know how Brian will react, but he does by pulling me into a comforting hug and tells me to try to sit comfortably while he folds the blankets. It is almost impossible to sit comfortably with the mess I'm in, but I try. I hate periods. I hate being a girl sometimes. And I hate being emotional.
* * * *
We get back to my apartment and luckily none of my roommates are around. The less people to see what a wreck I am, the better. I tell Brian to go home.
"I'm not going to leave you like this. You're obviously upset," he pauses, "I just want to help you."
I burst out in tears once again, "You do? You want to help me? You don't think I'm disgusting?"
Brian gently runs his hand through my disheveled hair, "No, I do not. I feel really sad for you, Kelsey, that you're feeling so bad."
I look up into his understanding eyes, "So you aren't going to dump me then?"
Brian actually starts laughing. Once he can control his laughter he says, "No! Why would you ask me that?"
"I am really embarrassed. I thought you'd dump me because I bled everywhere."
Brian lets out another laugh, softer this time, "Kelsey, you're a girl. Girls have periods. And I respect you all so much for having them every month because I could never do that."
Where did I find this guy? Seriously?
"I am not going to dump you over something that is a part of nature. I'm not some immature guy that is going to pretend that periods don't really happen."
"So. . .you won't dump me?"
"No," Brian says with a smile.
"Um, will you go get pads with me then after I shower?"
"Yes. I will drive you there, my dear."
I turn and walk into the bathroom. I get in the shower and let the water wash my body clean. The whole time, I moan and cry because, well, I'm an emotional person right now and because I have such a nice and understanding boyfriend.
* * * *
We go to Wal-Mart, since it's the only place still opened, and Brian leads me to the womanly supply section, since I don't know my way around Wal-Mart. I have finally stopped my crying and now I'm just being irrational. So irrational that I walk straight toward a shelf full of depends and take a pack of them into my arms. "I'm buying these to wear to bed. That way, I will never leak through."
Brian pulls the depends away from me and sets them back on the shelf. "Kelsey, I will not let you wear adult diapers."
Instead, Brian finds a pack of nighttime pads, and after trying to fight him on the depends, I finally give in and purchase the nighttime pads. Brian also purchases a pack of swiss cake rolls from the bakery. He eats one. I eat all the rest of them. Brian even encourages it.
* * * *
When I finally nestle myself in bed that night, squeaky clean and exhausted from all the crying, I realize once again just how great Brian is. I think back on the events that have just happened and how Brian responded to them. I guess I just gave Brian the ultimate boyfriend test, and he passed in flying colors. I guess he even gets bonus points for stopping me from buying adult diapers. What a low moment in my life.
Randomly, I think back on the talk that Coach gave us nearly two years prior. The time he taught us about barf and love. I thought he was just being gross at the time. But now I realize, what he said was, maybe gross, yet true. Life is not always good hair days, sunshine, and a box of chocolates. On occasion, it's getting sick, getting in arguments, disappointments, and menstrual cycles. And love is being able to get through all those bumps in the road together. . .and still liking each other afterwards. Because all the wonderful and happy things, it's easy to love someone through all of that.
As my eyes begin to flutter and sleep is upon me, I realize this and maybe wonder if Brian loves me. Because I think I love him. I wouldn't mind at all going through both the happy and the hard things together.