By staff writer Et Nola
January 7, 2007
“Common ruse, dirty face, pretty noose is pretty hate”
Of all my favorite punctuations marks, the period would have to be one of the only I still remember by name. Let’s face it, I only learned English for citizenship. Of course, I always liked my English courses because of how much I learned about life through writing. What few people realize is that even simple lessons like punctuation hid clues to dealing with life. For example, using too many exclamation points may annoy the reader and obscure the impact of actual excitement, just as people who overuse exclamation points and/or excessive enthusiasm can annoy those unfortunate enough to be near them. It’s not a coincidence. Using the hidden wisdom of the Science and Grammar Gods, I’ve uncovered advice every man can use to battle our most physio-grammatical foe: the period.
Yes, the period, also known as the “Finisher of Sentences,” “Master of the Uncomfortable Arts,” and “Ruiner of Worlds.” From a grammatical perspective, the period is innocuous. It sits patiently at the end of our sentences, often there to reassure us that our thoughts are complete, even if they really aren’t. Physiologically, the period might as well be a hitman perched atop the observatory and aimed to kill the mood. While women are undoubtedly aware of the sinister nature of their periods, this article is more about how it affects all mankind, specifically the “man” portion. This is a chance to help us help you, but mostly because we can’t help ourselves. Honestly, we don’t know what you’re going through physically, but we can imagine the discomfort you misdirect towards us is some indication. So, let’s look at how we can join forces to turn the tide. (Man, avoiding puns while writing this is nowhere near as easy as you might think.)
“You don’t need the Ramones to tell you she would rather be sedated than cramping and hating everything in existence.”
As I learned in English, periods are one of many ways one can end a complete thought. Of course, when some women are having their periods, all complete thoughts crash together entirely, and we are left to play roulette for failing to understand. Guys, consider every action you take regarding her mood as either a chance to keep the ammo from entering the chamber or an opportunity to shoot yourself in the foot. Her menses is a declaration of warfare. Do not be a casualty.
What do you mean “menses”? Don’t you mean period? No, my friend. I mean both. Ancient civilizations believed that knowing the name of your enemy grants you power over it. I mean just look at the words. You might imagine it is called a “period” because no one wants to think anymore about the subject, period. However, I’d go with “menses” because when a man sees a woman who is having hers, he must act quickly and carefully or be crushed beneath a wave of mind-blowing agony and discontent. Your girl and her period become “misery incarnate,” and remember how much misery loves company. Unlike some others, this threesome promises to screw you and has a reputation for reliability. That’s just a generalization though, right?
Let’s face it: some women handle their periods better than others. Some have more erratic periods, while others seem more consistent. Lastly, some women are clinically psychotic. What should trouble you is that you have no idea what combination of the above you’re going to encounter upon entering the relationship. People—this is why you research things. Just because she’s a goddess most of the month, doesn’t mean she won’t consider castrating you in your sleep one night during her period. That’s why I sleep with one eye open even when no one is around. My testicles and I are brothers, both racially and physiologically. They are a part of me that I would never want to let go, even if people stare at us in public. Since one cannot predict what kind of temperament to expect, let’s look at some lessons school has taught us on how to deal with the unexpected battles ahead.
“Compliments and Their Complements”
(or “Killing Them with Kindness”)
First and foremost, homophones can teach us a lot about how to deal with periods. To refresh everyone’s memories, two words are homophones if they are pronounced the same way but differ in meaning, spelling, or both. Of course, only one set of homophones really matters here and that would be the difference between the words “complement” and compliment.”
The concept behind a good compliment is the (implied) sincerity of your praise. The key to this concept is to speak from the heart about things you really do appreciate about her. While she may not believe you at first, the key is to continue praising her anyway until a certain point. There’s a theory about the frequency/potency of compliments that should be considered. The Good Treatment Theory of Diminishing Returns™ states that as the frequency and/or potency of compliments rises beyond a point, each additional compliment yields less and less additional believability and benefit to the relationship. This is of course an addendum to The Bad Treatment Theory of Diminishing Tolerance in which neglect is tolerable up until a threshold in which one faces zero tolerance and mandatory community service.
The concept behind a good complement is the ability to do more than is expected of you. Basically, the less you normally did for her in the past, the easier it is for you to follow this step. All that is required is to be more considerate than usual. This may mean DVRing Grey’s and actually watching it with her. Okay, I admit this is an extreme case. You are welcome to avert your eyes or utilize Picture-in-Picture technology. The truth is that I’ve seen men come out of sessions of Grey’s without losing their sanity. Think of how much she’ll appreciate your efforts. Ladies, please appreciate his efforts, for God’s sake! Alternatively, you can simply buy her favorite junk food (the lower fat ones but not the one’s that say low-fat unless she normally buys that one; the key is to stay away from anything that implies she’s bloated, even if you notice. Avert your eyes and remarks even if it’s like watching a train wreck, a beautiful train wreck with such lovely hair and beautiful eyes…).
“The Cocoa Cure”
(or “Death by Chocolate”)
According to my Contemporary Biology professor, calcium can aid in reducing cramps, which are one of the key issues pissing menstruating women off. Thus it is in your best interest to keep the calcium flowing. Got milk? Use it. Find ways to get them to consume more milk. Chances are, you already mastered getting them to drink. Stick with what you know and just add milk. Buy cookies, bring them chocolate, “borrow” an IV drip, or simply find foods they like with high calcium concentrations. Honestly, that last option may seem a bit much, but depending on how long you’ve been together or whether you live with her, it may be advice worth adhering to.
Of course, the greatest perk of it being winter is that the greatest weapon in combating a hormonal significant other comes in liquid form: hot chocolate. Milk (for calcium and reduced cramping) + chocolate (for stimulating endorphin production) + the warmth of the drink itself (for a pseudo-sedative) = a much more relaxed woman in general. You don’t need the Ramones to tell you she would rather be sedated than cramping and hating everything in existence. This tip doesn’t work for every woman, but it certainly succeeds far more than fails. Your mileage may vary. In dire straights, head directly for your tranquilizer gun and embrace your inner “Deer Hunter.” As recommended by your local Department of Fish and Game, shoot them in the ass.
“Patience and Other Virtues”
(or “I Guess I Do Have Time for This”)
Ultimately, if you truly care about this person, you’ll put up with their ill temperament just as they would with you. Sometimes this means trying your best and realizing that maybe you just need to give them space instead, even if you believe they should be shot into space for the sake of humanity. Sometimes it means continuing to try expressing care anyway and realizing that their bad mood isn’t your fault. Either way, simply spending time listening to them can be your best resort. For example: try to watch something on TV with them in the room. Normally you’d be trying to enjoy what is on, except now you actually intend to focus on her talking.
Question: Why would one attempt such a thing?
Answer: Because you’ve screwed up all of the simpler methods.
In the end, the point is to emphasize the importance of both quality time and quantity time. Though the proper combination of expression and gift-giving may come off as quality time to some women, sometimes they just want you around more often for something known as “cuddling.” Whatever that means is for you to find out. I’ve encountered too many variations to describe in one column alone. The above are just some of what could be a wealth of lessons time, schooling, and sheer accident have taught me.
“And I don’t like what you’ve got me hanging from.”