Written and compiled by Kelsey Duchesne and Emma Glassman-Hughes
Today’s edition goes out to all the Squeamish Sallys, the Woozy Winonas, and the Queasy Quvenzhanés: it’s your time to shine, weaklings! Whether the idea of blood makes you personally want to run for the hills, or if you’re a cool cucumber lookin' to learn what it feels like to enter Wooz City every time you catch a glimpse of someone’s vein, scroll down to experience life from a queasy girl’s perspective (in non-nauseating gif form, of course). Is the room spinning or…? Alright, y'all; this is how it feels...
1. ...when your coworkers start sharing stories about the times they’ve donated blood.
You better watch yourselves.
2. ...when you’re in the car on the way to the doctor and you realize that they are probably going to draw your blood.
I am a distressed animal and this car is my CAGE.
3. ...when you watch your first episode of Grey’s Anatomy.
SO. MUCH. BLOOD.
4. ...when your friends ask why you’re so afraid of blood.
It’s complicated, OKAY?
5. ...when you manage to put off getting your wisdom teeth pulled for another year so you can avoid getting anesthesia.
Needles in veins? Nope, I’m busy that day.
6. ...when you’re trying to be strong for your friend who gets a nosebleed at work.
You’ll be fine just run your head under the faucet for a minute IDK *gags*
7. ...when you survive the most minor medical procedure. (TB test? Pulled tooth? Chiropractic adjustment?)
I am so impressed by me.
8. ...when you panic over a paper cut and have to pretend it’s not there while your significant other puts a hello kitty bandaid over it.
Silent whimpering. :/
9. ...when your friends eat quease-worthy foods in front of you.
(The smell of cream cheese? The noise they make while eating bananas? Anyone?)
10. ...when everyone's watching the snake eat an egg at the zoo and you’ve mentally and emotionally removed yourself.
Happy place!! Take me to my HAPPY PLACE!!!
11. ...when your friend tells you that “it’s not that bad” and “it’s only a little blood.”
12. ...when your friends go a little overboard at the party.
I mean we love our BFF's, but let's not make barfing a group activity.
13. ...when the double-jointed kid at school turns Show and Tell into an act of Cirque du Soleil.
Yeah, sorry but I actually don’t want to see you dislocate your shoulder right now.
14. ...when your friends keep talking about blood because they know it makes you uncomfortable and for some reason they think that’s FUNNY????
No. Absolutely not.
15. ...when you head to the bathroom and you suddenly catch a whiff of any number of bodily fluids.
You can get through this.
16. ...when you're misunderstood by everyone who says there's no need to fear something “natural.”
You don’t KNOW ME.
So why doesn't period blood in particular affect us in the same way? We’ve narrowed this mystery down to a few potential explanations:
1. Blood is technically just one component of menstrual blood. Along with the red stuff, your menstrual blood is a mix of mucus, vaginal fluids, and endometrial lining. Because of these, ahem, bonus materials, the consistency and color is different than regular ‘ol blood. (But, if you’re like Emma, this potentially makes it *more* gross, so read on).
2. Periods are typically a sign of good health, not a health problem. When we're not menstruating, the sight of blood means that there is a problem that needs fixing (maybe a band-aid, some stitches, a little gauze, or a glass of wine). When we see that infamous bright red, it alerts us that there is trouble ahead, much like the movie Jaws (complete with the stressful music). However, the sight of our period blood means that the only potential trouble is if we're caught THINX-less. Periods are natural and normal and most importantly, supposed to be there, unlike a scraped knee. Also, in times of crisis, like a pregnancy scare, seeing a period is downright joyous! While at times it may stick around longer than we would like, for more menstruators, seeing period blood is worth celebrating, not nauseating.
3. We’re desensitized. So let’s say you got your period ten years ago. You’ve approximately had your period 120 times, totaling 600 days (obviously everyone's cycle is different, but you get what we’re saying). Our hypothesis is that we have simply been exposed so many times that the anxiety wore away a long time ago. Think of how many times we’ve looked down at our underpants and thought “whoop, there it is.” Its pattern and consistency make menstrual blood less anxiety-inducing and more of an exercise of monthly exposure therapy.
Quease be with you, period peeps.