The Horrifying Secret That EVERYONE Knew But Me

The Horrifying Secret Everyone Knew But Me - Hilarious!!  #mom #daughter #parenting  #thetalk #funny

So then…I open my backpack and untangle my jump rope from my friendship bracelets so I can reach my math workbook.

In the kitchen, I grab two chocolate Ding Dongs and a cold glass of milk, and head to the TV room with workbook and pencil, so I can settle in to watch the afternoon Million Dollar Movie. Life as a 5th grader is good.

I’m halfway through the movie, 100% through my snack, and 5% through my homework, when my Mom calls me to the back of the house, shuts the door and smiles.

I smile too, wondering what prompted this private meeting. I’m a pretty happy-go-lucky 10-year-old kid, so I assume it must be good news.

Young Darcy Happy Shelly 5.25.13
“Next week your Girl Scout troop is going to show you girls a film. So the troop leader suggested we prepare our daughters for what it’s about – and answer any questions you might have,” she says.

“OK,” I say brightly. “What’s the film about?”

“Well, it’s about an amazing monthly miracle – a special stage in a young girl’s life when she experiences some very important physical changes.”

Then she calmly and patiently explains the monthly cycle.

This is MY side of the conversation:

Wait. WHAT?

What are you talking about?
Women do what?
From where? WHERE?
Are you serious?
No really, are you serious?
I am calm.

For how long?
Oh my God. Won’t I die if I lose that much?
OK, OK, well maybe I can handle it, if it’s just five days.
Wait – five days EVERY MONTH?
For how many years?

Young Darcy Surprised 5.25.13
Mom, Mom, you’re kidding, right?
You’re kidding, Mom.
I am calm.

When is this going to happen to me?
That soon?
Oh my God. That’s terrible.
A “miracle?” A “blessing?” It’s not a “blessing.” It sounds horrible!
“Falobian tubes?” “Ovreeze?” What are you talking about?

Young Darcy Confused Shelly 5.25.13
Who cares about babies? I’m 10. I don’t want babies now.
Why can’t it wait until then?
But why not?
Can’t you talk to somebody about that? It shouldn’t happen until you want to have babies.
You gotta talk to somebody about that – you gotta change that.

I just…I just can’t believe it. This happens to ALL women?
Mrs. Hardison? Mrs. Mitchell?
My teachers? The nuns?

How long has this been going on?
Oh come on!
ALL women who EVER lived? Seriously?
What about pioneer women?
Really? Like pioneer women who lived out west in covered wagons?
That’s crazy. That’s just crazy.
I am calm.

So what do you do when it happens?
Yeah, I have seen that big purple box with the white rose on it in your bathroom sometimes.
That’s what it’s for?
I dunno — I just thought it was adult toilet paper or something.
Wait – pioneer women didn’t have those purple boxes. What did they use?
Seriously? Oh my God, Mom, I’m gonna be sick. This is so awful.
All of it. This is too much. Really, it’s just too much.

Young Darcy Panic 5.25.13
Who else knows about this?
Dad? Dad knows about this? My brothers?
Oh my God, how embarrassing!
Everybody in the whole world knows about this except me?
Oh, OK, so everyone older than me knows. But still, that’s like billions of people!
And they’ve all just been walking around keeping this big secret from me?
That’s terrible, Mom. Really. Terrible. Shame on them. Shame on them.

And men don’t do this?
They don’t have anything like this?
That’s pretty unfair, Mom.

Young Darcy Mad 5.25.13
This is just bad news. Bad news you’re giving me here, Mom.
And you know what? I’m not gonna do it.
No, I don’t have to.
I’m just not gonna do it.
Nope. No way, no how.
I’m not.
I’m not.
I’m not.


And the fact is — I am so traumatized by this revelation when I was 10 that I actually succeeded in avoiding this dastardly occurrence until I turned 15. Take that, menses!

But of course Mom was right – this monthly “blessing” and a healthy reproductive system produced my two beautiful babies –

one of whom is now a tall, handsome son –

and one of whom grew up to be a lovely young girl –

Chloe Happy Shelly 5.25.13

who I drew aside one day to tell her about…
an “amazing monthly miracle.”

Chloe Panic Shelly 5.25.13

Written by Darcy Perdu of

For more hilarious true tales, subscribe right HERE!  You’ll love the laughs!

(Who told YOU about this fabulously fun cycle? How did YOU react? Were you traumatized like me – or did you just go with the flow? (Oh, yes, pun ABSOLUTELY intended.) Have you told YOUR daughter yet?)

Original Illustrations for So Then Stories by Shelly Draven

How did YOU find out?  My Mom told me and it did NOT go well.  Nope.  Here's my funny reaction! #humor

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44 replies on “The Horrifying Secret That EVERYONE Knew But Me

  1. Judy said:

    Holy cow! Talk about old repressed memories. No! My mother never talked to me about it but gave permission to the school to do so. I was like you, completely horrified once I learned of the amazing monthly miracle. Other girls were excited and couldn’t wait for it to happen. What the hell was wrong with them?! When I was 12 I started my period and realized it was just as every bit as horrible as I thought it was going to be. I would get so sick every month and had to put up with that until I was 18 and could go to a doctor on my own about it and found out it didn’t have to be that way. That didn’t make me like periods any better though. I never wanted to have kids so truly didn’t see the point of it. My friend said the uterus and related parts should be given as a wedding present to couples who want children. I second that motion.

  2. Jamie said:

    My mom gave me a book. She didn’t elaborate or ever check back to see if I’d read the book. (I didn’t.)

    The truly traumatizing thing about that period of coming of age was finding out that not everyone else had an actual real relative named Aunt Flo like I did. My grandma’s sister was Flossie, Flo for short. I just assumed when the other girls in the bathroom at school talked about Aunt Flo, they meant a relative like mine. I was TRAUMATIZED when I asked a friend where her Aunt Flo lived since she came to visit all the time. *sigh*

  3. April said:

    I was SO very happy to get my period. I was ALL GROWN UP. And I had to call and tell all my non-menstrating friends how I was more of a woman than they were. I honestly don’t remember the conversation my mom and I had.

    My daughter’s remarks are “THAT is disGUSTing” and about how she will Never, EVER (even if she was going to die if she didn’t) use a tampon.

  4. barbara said:

    I had two sisters 4 and 5 years older. Our parents were also always very open and honest about such things. My memory is — coming in on a winter day from playing and sitting on the toilet while my sisters were experimenting with makeup in the same room (only one bathroom but it was large). I said, oh look I started my period, and they said OK, here are the Tampax, let us know if you need help. Oh, and take aspirin if the cramps get too bad.

  5. My mom did sit down and have The Talk, but we had already covered it in school. Nice thing about an all-girl school.

    However – I had horrible, horrible cramps for about three hours before my periods started and it never occurred to me to say anything or ask if that was normal. One time, the cramps hit me in the middle of church, and I suddenly bent over, gasping. My mother smacked me and hissed “stand up straight”. I didn’t tell her what was wrong and it was never discussed again.

  6. My Mom knew nothing about menstruation when hers started, she thought she was dying!

    Like your Mom, she prepared me very young to make sure that I would never get a big fright like that.
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  7. Hahaha oh, that was funny!

    My mother never told me about any of these things, but she didn’t really need to. I have 3 much older sisters who made sure I knew every little ghastly detail about periods, hormones, sex and whatnot.

    I talked about it with my daughter when she was about 11, but apparently she already knew and we agreed that she would tell me when she got it and if she needed any help with it. I bought her various pads and tampax and told her to put some in a little bag to bring with her to school, etc. because you don’t always know when you’ll get it, as I got mine in the shower after P.E. and had to borrow a pad from a girl in my class.
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  8. KAte said:

    I was somewhere around 12 because it was in 7th grade. I don’t remember my Mom warning me about it. I do remember our first round of sex-ed at school (it was really basic the first year, they doled it out in bits), although she must have said something. I don’t remember having a concentrated sex talk either though, so it may have just been covered as it came up in conversation.

    I do remember going to her and asking for instructions on how to use a tampon because I decided right away that pads were gross and I wasn’t going to deal with that mess.

  9. Cindy said:

    I don’t remember first hearing about it, but I do remember my girl scout troop watching the little movie and being given a booklet — and pads (and the belt because I’m old and there was no just peel and stick way back then) and a little pouch to carry them in. I think I still have the little pouch in a drawer, filled with old coins.

    • OMG — I had completely forgotten about the belt! Yes — that dreadful little BELT! So awkward and weird! Ack!

  10. Chris said:

    I remember the “TALK” very well and how traumatizing it was to be a girl on the receiving end. However, that was nothing compared to having to explain all of this to my son. DH is useless when it comes to any of the big things – pulling teeth, cleaning up vomit, your body is changing, why boys and girls are different, etc. Really, some days I’m not sure why I keep him around.

  11. Tina said:

    That was hysterical!

    I don’t remember ever getting the talk, but I do remember being unwilling to leave the house for days at a time after witnessing another girl’s “accident” while wearing white jeans. Poor thing :(

  12. I think I was ten or eleven. My mom started out by asking me if I had talked about this with my friends. I laughed. As if we wanted to talk about that. For some reason I already had a clue, probably from something I read.
    She told me the horror story about her cousin with whom she was raised not knowing and fearing she was dying.

    She also did not relate it to sexual activity or pregnancy.
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  13. Connie Conehead said:

    Mom wisely planted a “health book” in the den bookcase, which of course I found & read. And she must’ve talked to me early, cuz I was only 11 when it arrived, & I knew exactly what it was & wasn’t fazed at all. I love my mama!

  14. Katherine D said:

    Darcy this was awesome! I didn’t get “the talk” at the appropriate age sigh. I got the birds n bees talk when I was seriously like 5 years old! I remember my mom had a book with chickens, eggs, and statue of a naked man. I had no idea what she was talking about but she was reading to me. Then when I was 10 my family was packing up and leaving for a 3 hour car trip for a day I go to change my clothes and there it is. I scream my head off for my mom. She finally comes upstairs takes a look at what I am screaming about and then takes me by the hand and says come with me. She proceeds to instruct me on the use of the girl stuff. Sigh. I remember that entire day feeling like everyone was Superman and could see right through my clothes and just knew what was going on. I think my face was 12 shades of red the entire day! Thanks for the memories lol

  15. My mom told me about it around the same age but I already knew about it. From whom, when or how, I can’t for the life of me remember that!
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  16. Oh my goodness, this was awesome!

    I don’t have memories of a talk like this, I think my mom just answered questions as they arose as I grew up, and I’m following suit with my daughter (almost 7). Not sure of how much she understands, but she knows what goes on down there once a month and is very happy to avoid it as long as possible.
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  17. Violet said:

    I was in 5th grade when I started my period- so my mom never really got around to talking me about it before it happened. I had an older sister- but we were never close- she didn’t tell me either. I had gleaned a little bit of info from overheard conversations but the most my mom said to me about it was concerning my mood swings as in “GAH! I wish you would just start and get it over with already!!” I started at school, in class and didn’t have the sense to go home when the teacher pulled me into the hall and asked me about it. I was just like, “I’m sure it’s fine!” and went back to class when I rightly should have been humiliated. I made sure to have the talk with my daughter when she turned 8. I didn’t want to risk her getting it early like I did, and not knowing that she could call me to come and get her if it happened at school

  18. I don’t know when I learned about it, my sister was 3 and a half years older than me, so I would guess somewhere between 8 and 9. I don’t remember thinking it was overly gross… and I really wanted to get my period, and did when I was 13. Then my mom sat me down and had a long talk about how I didn’t want to get pregnant as a teenager and how to avoid it. :) It went well.
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  19. Shaie said:

    The most incredible story of this time of month does not actually belong to me, but my sister-in-law who’s family came from Venezuela. When my young SIL received her period for the first time she was at school and had no idea what was happening. She was in the bathroom crying her eyes out, afraid she was dying. A teacher comes in and talks to her for a bit and they go to the office so they can call her mom and get fresh clothes. Instead they get a hold off her dad. He comes walking into the office, as proud as peacock, and declares to the whole office, “Today, my daughter is a WOMAN!” Of course my SIL was mortified, the rest of the office was stifling laughter. She said it wasn’t as bad as what happened to her sister, though. Her aunt visited her sister while in class with a big bouquet of balloons because her niece was now a woman and proudly let the whole classroom know.

    • Rhonda B said:

      OMG! That is wild! I love Latin/Spanish decent families! They are so loud and loving and proud…I’m glad that I am not in one, though for this reason! haha! Too cute now but, OMG to have been this poor girl then.

  20. Frankie said:

    There are no words to describe the hilarity of this post. Do you know how many ab muscles I popped trying to contain my hysterical laughter in the office? I’m a late bloomer as well but I don’t remember “the talk” and honestly I think they talked to me after I saw it and I was like why I’m bleeding? I don’t know how I didn’t freak out. I guess I’m a weirdo.

  21. Darcy, you just make me smile. I am so glad I found you. My daughter has been so ill and in and out of the hospital recently, and I so needed to laugh. Thank you, my new friend. This was nothing short of HYSTERICAL! I can see why BlogHer chose you as a 2013 Voice of the Year. Are you going this year? I would love to meet you. Just bought my ticket!
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    • Thanks, Parri. So sorry to hear your daughter has been so ill; hope recovery and good health come soon! And yes, I AM going to BlogHer 2014 so it’ll be fun to meet you there!

  22. Kary Smith said:

    Nobody had to tell me. Much like Janeane Garafolo’s mom in Reality Bites, the women in my family had an open bathroom door policy so I saw the whole messy process happening every month. Thank God the used pads and not tampons, though. Agghh! Gross.

    As it was, however, I wasn’t really traumatized about it and accepted that it would eventually happen to me. And, yes, my daughter comes into the bathroom when I’m dealing with my business, (there is no keeping her out ) so she knows all about the big purple package under the sink. She is 7 and once asked why and I simply said that it is what gets us ready to have our babies in our tummies. She was cool with that. The question of HOW the babies actually get there has not been brought up, yet. We’ll cross that bridge when we get there.

    • Yikes! That’s another fun discussion: how are babies made?

  23. Krystal said:

    I watched the video in school. The next summer while we were on a road trip, we stopped at a rest stop and I had my first. I freaked out in the bathroom and I’m sure my face was just as red by the time we left because the bathroom was full! Once we got to our cousin’s house, my mom told them what happened and I heard her talking about it. I was mortified!

    • Omigawd, Krystal’s mom, don’t tell the relatives, for God’s sake!
      Sounds pretty mortifying, all right!

  24. My thoughts exactly except I missed the first film at school so EVERYBODY besides DID know…my mother, a nurse, barely said a word about it. Yes horrifying..but like worth it for my 3 kids..still I remember thinking..are you kidding me?

    • Exactly! I thought the same thing – like, sure I want to have kids, but is THIS the best plan you could come up with? I wish I’d been invited to that meeting when THAT plan was decided! Ha!

  25. Miranda said:

    I have two daughters, ages 9 and 11. We talk about this at the beginning of every month. They were so embarrassed at first. OMG Mom! But now they ask questions. They are not going to be totally unprepared like I was. I’m glad my last one was a boy!

  26. BwaaahahahaMama said:

    I almost fell off the sofa reading this! My mother never said a word to any of us (all girls). When my oldest sister got her period, she thought she was dying and screamed from the bathroom – the sobbing and begging to go to the hospital came next, as did my dad laughing his ass off in the hallway. I figured it out after the “magical moment of the beginning of womanhood” talk in school with the nurse who looked like a WWII relic. And thus when mine arrived I said absolutely nothing, got up from dinner, took care of things and came back to finish dinner.

    • Wow! Very pragmatic! No dramatic wailing – just take care of business and get back to dinner! Love it!

  27. Jenny-B said:

    I had a sister 2 years older than me, and I still got my first one before her. My mom and stepdad never stopped to explain what was going to happen to me, and when I was 9 (yes, it came that early!) my biological dad was the one who answered all my questions and explained what was happening. He showed me illustrations online about what changes to expect, and explained to me what was and wasn’t normal. At the time, it never struck me as odd that I had the conversation with my dad instead of my mom, but now, it seems kinda ridiculous that I was more comfortable telling my dad about it over the phone than I was telling my mother.

    • Aw, I love your Dad! What a champ! That’s so awesome that he explained everything to you and handled your questions. So cool!

  28. Jamie said:

    You know who told me about this? Judy Blume, no lie. In “Are You There God? It’s Me Margaret”. My mom totally dropped the ball on the talk, but luckily Judy Blume picked up the slack!

    • Another commenter mentioned this too — I need to check that book out! I’ve heard the title a million times, but never read it!

  29. Are you there god? Its me Margaret…. Never fails.

    • I need to read that book! Have heard about it and haven’t read it yet!!