Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Menstrual Empathy

I think the best and most sincere kind of empathy is when you have gone through the painful, tumultuous experience yourself. Therefore, I could never fully empathize with girls and their menstrual cramps. I've never experienced it so whenever Star goes "Fuck! I feel like someone is grazing my pussy and stomach with a razor blade inside!", all I would do (and can do) is massage her neck and say, "Relax...relax..."

"Why are you massaging my neck, get off me! I am having menstrual cramps not neck stiffness!" she would always reply, annoyed.

"Ungrateful cunt," I would silently say.

What is even more weird is that Star usually has a high threshold for pain. Once she fell down in the middle of Orchard Road and bruised her elbow rather badly and she didn't even wince. Not even once. She attributes her high threshold for pain because of all the mammograms and pap smears that she has gone through over the years. But when it comes to menstrual cramps, Star loses it completely.

Yesterday was no exception.

I accompanied her after she finished work to have dinner and she wanted to buy a pair of shoes afterwards. I had no plans in the evening so I said okay. She was trying on a pair of slingbacks at On Pedder when she squeezed my arms. Very, very hard.

"It's coming," she whispered, closing her eyes.

"What? Who?" I nervously replied, eyes scanning the room for incoming ex boyfriends.

"Cramps," she replied, eyes still closed.

"You look like one of those mediums who is contacting the dead," I joked.

"I will hit you so hard, don't make me!" Star said, raising her voice slightly.

"So what do you want me to do?" I rolled my eyes.

Silence. It is true, there is nothing I could do to soothe her menstrual cramps. What, touch her stomach and say a few prayers?

"I need to sit," Star said softly.

"Sit then," I replied annoyingly.

"Fuck you, I hope you get menstrual cramps in your next life," Star glared at me.

I stared at her blankly.

Star sat down, clutching her stomach, a pained expression on her face. She took off the shoes and started to massage her temples with one hand, the other hand still clutching her stomach. She started growling softly, "Oww..." She crouched forward, looked down on her feet and continued to growl for a full thirty seconds.

I feel like I'm in the zoo.

"Are you just going to stand there like an idiot?!" Star finally shouted, exasperated.

"Just because you are having menstrual cramps doesn't mean you can be a total asshole. I will kick you in the gut if I have to," I replied coldly.

Just then a sales assistant came to her and asked, "Ma'am are you done with the shoes?"

Star turned to her and raised her voice, "Can't you see I am in pain?! I'm having menstrual cramps for fucks sake who gives a shit about your shoes?!"

Everyone in the store looked at her.

I laughed softly at the side. Star picked up a shoe and threw it at me.

"Star! You wil pay for that if it breaks! And people are looking!"

"I don't care. I want to go home now!" she cried.

"Get up then," I said.

"Carry me home! Please!" she raised both of her hands to me.

I left the store. Even ridiculousness has it's limits.

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