Is that you, old friend? Come closer, please. I am threadbare and my waistband is stretched beyond recognition, making it quite hard to tell what is what anymore. It’s been so long since my days in the sun with you, the sun being your cooch and your cooch actually being quite dark.

You must know that I wasn’t always this jaded by the harsh realities of war; a phenomenon better known as your menstrual cycle. I was drafted into service against my will when I least expected it. Torn from the bliss of my youth where I had grown accustomed to playing the starring role during your one-night stands of varying success and endless nude selfie sessions in your hastily organized bathroom. I’ve nearly forgotten what it means to be air dried with care instead of unceremoniously tossed into the dryer with your idiotic mismatched socks and a ten year old t-shirt from your sophomore year production of Oliver!

I was once beautiful. Lacy, soft, and placed with love into your dresser in the coveted spot next to that lavender sachet your grandmother gave you last Christmas. I presided like a monarch over raggedy thongs and hip-huggers that clung to their glory days despite their many holes and loose threads. If only I had known that I too would soon join the ranks of these unloved and unwashed.

OK, they were washed, they just looked like shit and I judged them harshly for it.

It was then on one fateful day that you miscalculated your cycle and an innocent like me was made to suffer. I remember it well. You were with friends at a rather underwhelming bar where you naively expected to find a new conquest. But I could sense it in the air that you’d likely wind up alone. I am a breathable cotton blend so yes, I had enough air to sense despite the CRAMPED quarters…

(Did you enjoy my joke? It is my understanding that your insides betray you and strangle themselves during your monthly cycle.)

So there I was, your faithful companion in turning sexless days into sexy nights! And as your friend Taylor slyly remarked about the hot bartender’s equally hot butt, you let forth a monstrous guffaw to wake the dead and apparently your dormant uterine lining. I felt the quake coming and could do nothing to shield myself from the onslaught that came down upon me.

My threads became soaked and my colors muddled. I was destroyed, and there was no way to salvage me. Nonetheless, you still hurried to the bathroom to smother me in cheap toilet paper in a pathetic attempt to create a rough-hewn pad. But the damage was already done.

I now knew what my future held. No more nights out with the possibility of making an appearance for a Kyle in finance, a Michael from a start-up, or a Cody from “I’m trying to figure out my next move.” No more being laid out the night before a big day at work next to that peplum blouse from Banana Republic or that weird dress with seemingly three attached gauzy slips that make it impossible to put on properly on the first try. No more place of honor in the top drawer. It was over.

So now here I am. Unearthed from the bottom of the pile while a new reigning queen sits above. She is gauzier than I ever was. Less flash and more class I suppose. She is also likely not cotton which isn’t as good for you in terms of that aforementioned breathability that I myself possess, but I digress. You and I have been through too much to have harsh feelings. I am only asking for a bit of recognition. Ever since that first Battle of the Blood, I have seen countless others. My stains are many but the number of those who know my story are few.

I now only make appearances when you know your regular tampon may not hold, or when you make trips home to visit your hometown, a place where your choice of underwear simply does not matter. I have come to accept this. I only ask for some commendation in recognition of my loyalty, my hard work, my suffering and the suffering of those who came before me.

Perhaps a Medal of Honor? I would surely take a Purple Heart, or even… a Red Badge of Courage.

Forgive me, I have made another joke at the expense of your disgusting human body. I must laugh, or else I would cry.

But please, consider this request. Take some time to think—surely we can discuss again soon. Say, in 28 days? I expect I’ll see you then, you’ve always been quite regular and I have time to spare.