Ok, guys. For this post, you’re either going to have to arm yourselves with a big sense of humor, or you might want to pass on this one and come back a little later, you know — like, not right away.

Because today I want to talk about a subject that only women can really really understand. Yeah, you see what I mean. No, I don’t want to talk about stiletto heels or layering. Yes, I think it’s ok to talk about anything and everything. Even when the words used to describe those things aren’t necessarily so pretty.

Today, I want to talk about PMS. Pre-Menstrual Syndrome.

So let’s see…

The other day, feeling like a victim to my hormones, I was trying to get on with my life, ignoring my jeans cutting into my waist because of the bloating, my skin blossoming like a teenager’s (and in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m far from being a teenager) (thank god!), the kink in my lower back, and the tears in my eyes every time I exchanged even two words with anything even resembling a human being (during PMS, an affectionate dog can make me cry) (a Moschino show can make me cry) (a like on Instagram can make me cry), and I said to myself:

“God, if I had PMS all the time, my life would be a total disaster.”

I don’t know about you, but ever since junior high, it’s like some kind of emotional monster takes over my body for at least three days and not only do my moods become a roller coaster — on top of it all, I hurt pretty much everywhere. It’s a choice between any of the following:

One time it will be headaches. Another time I’ll be puffy and bloated all over. Or my back will get jammed up. Or I’ll feel totally fine, but I’ll have an enormous pimple right between my eyes. Or sometimes, I’ll just have flat, oily hair — and when that happens, I sort of feel lucky : not that bad!

And then sometimes it’s the sampler: everything at once.

The worst part is — since I’m totally disorganized, I never know exactly when PMS is going to strike.

I mean, after all this time, I could just add it to my calendar, right? Set those days aside for writing (that’s actually the good part of all this — I’m crazier when I have PMS, so I’m funnier, or at least more sensitive, and that works pretty well for writing — craziness and emotion) or set them aside for illustration (that’s the best — me, my computer, my music…frankly, you can all @&$* off, there’s nothing more PMS-friendly), or set them aside for just lounging around in bed watching four seasons of How I Met Your Mother, which is actually all I really feel like doing on those days anyway.

Of course, I don’t like talking about this. Talking about it leaves the door wide open for all kinds of sexist crap and stupid jokes like “weeeeelll, little lady (when I hear little lady = help, I might kill somebody), someone’s got her period?” (Shut up, asshole) just because I said one word a little louder than usual.

But anyway, if I were organized, here are the things that I would definitely not plan during PMS time:

A discussion with my man. Typical. Me: yelling for no reason, Him: looking at me stunned, Me: coming back to Calm mode, begging him to forgive me, throwing my hands in the air, acting like it’s the end of the world — when all we were trying to do was plan our next vacation.
Him: Hang on a second, what day of the month is it, exactly?

Any kind of public appearance. See earlier paragraph — none of my clothes fit, shiny skin (and that’s if I’m lucky, otherwise it’s the Eiffel Tower on my forehead) and tears in my eyes at the slightest compliment.

A photoshoot. OMG, a photoshoot with PMS = hell. Backache + heavy camera = whoa. All of that only to find yourself in front of a gorgeous model = self esteem in the gutter.

A signing at Colette for the launch of my stationery line. Because it just may happen that, overcome by emotion from meeting my readers and feeling so much love, I start almost crying in their arms (she knows who she is ;).

A bikini wax (is it just me, or does it hurt WAY more on those days?)

Traveling by plane (risk of arriving at your destination looking like an inflatable mattress from all the bloating and swelling)

Watching 12 Years A Slave on the plane mentioned above (between PMS and the altitude, which apparently lends itself to emotional release, one may or may not find oneself crying hot tears and sniffling for 1 hour and 35 minutes).

Buying enough supplies of Figolu cookies (not sold in the US), Granola cookies (not sold in the US) and Balisto chocolate bars (not sold in the US) to last two months only to find that you’ve eaten it all by the end of the aforementioned flight, due to general PMS craziness. Add that to the hot tears and the bloating. What? You think I’m talking about my own experience? Pfff, nonsense.

The worst part is that if you ask anyone who is around me on those days, they didn’t notice anything out of the ordinary (other than the people who know me really, really, really well — they could tell in three seconds). So actually, after all these years, I think I can actually say I’m able to manage it pretty well.

The monthly menstrual vortex.

Because, yeah. Being in PMS mode is kind of like facing a dragon. All day long. And you have to make it look like you’re not struggling. And try to handle everything super well in spite of it all. Or most of the time, just manage to get by.

So you know what ? The rest of the time, life is a walk in the park.

Translated by Andrea Perdue