spotting a spot

I’m rarely hormonal.  I can be stressed, for certain, but that’s stress, not hormones. Every now and then someone in my family can sense that I have my spot.  My telltales aren’t acne or cramps, but it’s pretty easy to spot when I have my spot.

See, with Lea, I always know when she has it (because she tells the postman, her fishmonger,and any receptionist or coworker or, well, anyone).  I also know because to speak with her you’d assume she’d spent the day shopping in cheap clothing stores that make you itch and sneeze, wearing a bulky overcoat, her pits stained, wiping her upper lip, pinning the "I’m growing them out!  So, shut it already!" bangs up behind a small barette. She acts like she’s on a diet.  Impatient, irritable, frustrated, and sweating.  Then she says, "the only thing that’ll fix this is a good steak."  She craves it.  I never get cravings for steak.  Not even once in the nine years I was a vegetarian.

Here’s what I do get: softer.  It’s not my skin or hair but my… my me.  My me gets softer, the person I am kinda gives up a little. It’s almost as if I somehow say, "I think I’m going to sit this one out."  I stop making decisions, stop pushing, stop the to-do lists, the worrying, and I just think.  A recharge.  The thing is, I really only get this hormonal, probably, four or five times a year, and it feels the most like me.  Because the fight in me is too tired, and what’s left is what’s real. 

I feel everything more and want to discuss it.  And then, inevitably, Phil gets to deal with it.  That emotional me.  But I don’t see it as "deal with."  You know what?  He’s fucking lucky enough to get to see that part of me, the raw me, who really means it.  Who feels it more, who might not be rational, who might be needy.  And he should take those times and savor them.  It’s the most open I can be, like after a night of drunk sex, where you don’t think–you just say what you feel and don’t worry about how it sounds or what he’ll think.  And you feel like you couldn’t be closer to anyone, and feel alive and so thankful for the moment and your life.  Except I know he’s sitting there wishing I wasn’t so emotional.  So my mood swings back to closed.  And I get annoyed that he doesn’t see how beautiful that vulnerability can be.  He thinks "see spot run" and wants to run along with it.  "I’m a guy.  I just want to go to sleep after sex," is what he’s thinking.  And then I’m bitter and think, "I’m a girl, and I want to be adored like you used to, to be kissed passionately on the street, to be loved from the top of a park bench.  I want you to be mad about me, not always mad at me for something I didn’t do your way."  And then I just go back to feeling sad, thinking, you just had a window to be with my most authentic self.  The most real I can be, and you don’t seem to want any part of her.  Then you say, "I love you, goodnight."  And you fall asleep, and I sit thinking about things like this.  How easy it is to point at spots.



  1. This reminds me of something Albert Maysles (he's a documentary filmmaker) said when I saw him: "We have this conception in our culture that when you open yourself up to someone you become vulnerable. But isn't it also possible that by doing so you could benefit, that it could be the healthiest thing you could do for yourself?"
    I have a really hard time when you do open yourself up to somebody and they aren't receptive to it; I guess it hurts my pride or something. That's what kind of freaks me out about marriage. You have to let your guard down, and sometimes get shot down, and still be in it for the long haul.

  2. I'm dating this guy and he says that he loves how strong I am, how independent, self reliant. I've told him that I can't always be that way. Sometimes I need to be needy, and he says he understands but it's almost as if with each day that goes by he forgets and becomes more unaccepting of that reality.

  3. Yeah. Iis exactly as you put it: it feels liberating to just say what you feel without caring what he thinks. Just be. And I feel strong because I'm able to do that.
    My guy (now ex-guy) thinks that showing emotions makes you weak, vulnerable = weak to him. the times when he did go along with it, and opened up to me as well (usually after the help of a bottle of wine :) ), we really did connect on a deeper level. The real me and the real him.
    Most of the times though he didn't want to get cought up in it, it is to much for him, a hassle. He absolutely doesn't want to show weakness.

    I think its great that you're still able to open up to someone like that, even after you've been hurt badly before. And that is truly what makes you strong.

  4. Ah, the dangerous cycle of the cycle- The tough girl that he fell for becomes one of the hundreds of emotional, sensitive broads he passed over to choose you, and you are momentarily too blinded by blood to see the beauty in that.

  5. Exposed – or maybe it is a different cycle – maybe those hundreds of emotional, sensitive broads he passed over were all strong and independent, but at the slightest sign of weakness, he bailed. And now, again, at a sign of weakness, he'd rather not deal with it. Becuase you know, being human is such an inconvenience.

  6. I'm a steak craver, too. Like clockwork, every month — about two days before the spot comes — I find myself obsessing about steak all day and cutting my nails off (I have no idea why the second part happens — the first makes sense, since a lot of people are a bit anemic pre-spot).

  7. The men who are now exes are those who were taken by surprise that I wasn't always confident, resilient and constantly sparkly Anouk. Just a thought I share. Generally though, I think those who think vulnerability = weak are the weakest, and being able to cope with self-exposure regardless of the response from others is a huge strength. The trouble with hormones/any kind of vulnerability is that it doesn’t always coincide with our significant other’s ability to respond/engage.

  8. I've been fighting this battle myself- trying to find a burrow between vulnerable and tough broad where I and the fiance' can comfortably co-exist. Of course, I'm a hypocrite. I want him to be strong so I can be weak, but have a much tougher time going the other direction.

  9. It's tough falling asleep like that…I wonder if there are other ways you can show him that side of you…maybe you two speak different "languages" when it comes to showing love.

    But then again, if he used to do it and not anymore…while I am the last to make excuses for a man, maybe having the beans and all the fear you had with the little guy is getting to him in some ways and he deals with it , uhm, not in a good way.

    You are beautiful….he's a lucky man to fall asleep next to you. :)

  10. Modern men claim to want to know what we're thinking and feeling, but the reality is, they don't. Oh, they will listen (to a point), but when it gets really raw, it scares the crap out of them. That's why our girlfriends, moms and sisters are so valuable and precious. I might lie naked next to my boyfriend, but my true nakedness is not revealed to him.

  11. I used to think that after 21 years old, PMS should no longer be an excuse. I'm starting to rethink that after this post…

  12. Don't.
    Don't go down the road of feeling emotional, and not getting, that he doesn't get it. Men don't work that way…never have, never will. Getting upset about it, or vocal about it, or holding grudges about it, won't make things change. He is your man, for better or worse, in sickness and in health, all of that. And you are his. If things were always easy, and neat, and reasonable, how boring would life be?!
    Don't, let everyone here take this as an opportunity to say he's difficult, un caring, a jerk. He's not. That translates to, wow, how'd you make such an uneducated choice. Which of course, you did not. He is a good man, anyone who chooses to question that, needs only to read some of the early posts, and then the day the babies were born, to know, deep down, how true to you he is. A marriage is like the ocean, high tide and low tide. Soon enough, low tide will be replaced and you can look forward to riding the high waves in again.
    Don't…give up. The two of you are doing a great job considering how much you've had to deal with in such a short period of time. Take some time to acknowledge all that the two of you have been through, and accomplished…it's pretty freakin amazing when you think about it :) there ya have it, advice from someone married a very long time.

  13. I totally relate to the getting "softer" thing – I was having the same kind of day on Sunday, so I too just shut myself down. Sometimes it feels good to be soft. My husband teases me constantly about being "the fire" – the fire isn't me, it's just the way I get through life, the way I learned to make things happen. Being vulnerable is a beautiful thing, scary but essential to building a deeper bond with someone.

  14. I just got married last month, so I can only imagine 5 years from now…I have my spot, my new husband never understands when women are spotting that they need love…yes I am irritable, and emotional but the more he pushes me away the worse it gets… he blames me for our fights, etc…why cant they give in atleast once a month when we go through this, all we want is to be loved and touched, insteand they run the opposite way making it worse then what it really is…I feel alone and wish he could open his eyes and understand that women have needs to. Goodluck, atleast your hormones pop up only 5 times a year, mine are monthly. I do feel for you though..Ry

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