I Cried; I Didn’t Bick My Head

Mar 27, 2015 by

          “What are you going to do when you’re on your period?” I asked in a low voice to spare the guys.

          She shrugged with a laugh, taking another sip of her beer. “Have you heard of the diva cup?”

          “I have,” I said with a scrunched nose. “I can’t remember how it works, but I remember thinking it was gross.”

          “I feel like we’re talking about lady things,” one of the guys joined in from another conversation.

          “Sorry!” we giggled.

          “What’s a diva cup?” he asked, actually interested.

          “It’s a cup,” she said with emphasis, cupping her hand for visual demonstration, “that goes inside –” she explained as she extended her arm upward.

          “Ugh! And the blood pools there!” I interrupted in disgust as I remembered how it works. “Can’t you go into that shock that happens if you keep a tampon in too long?”

          “Toxic shock syndrome,” her fiancé helped me out.

          “Yes, that!” I said, surprised at him given his gender.

          She shrugged as we laughed harder. “What worries me is getting it out,” she said. “A tampon has a string. With a diva cup –”

          “Oh my God, you have to stick your fingers in to find it!” I finished her sentence for her. “Oh, no, no, no, no, no!” I waved my finger from side to side, deciding right then and there, on a Tuesday night in the middle of a pub, that my vagina is a no-diva-cup zone. “I don’t even see the advantage of using a diva cup over a tampon,” I said.

          “I don’t see how I’m supposed to wash it,” she responded.

          “It’s reusable?” I shrieked. “So you’d be diva-cupping to save space,” I realized. “Girl, I think you can just bring tampons. You really only need enough for six times.”

          She tipsily counted out six months on her fingers. “Yeah! It’s only six times!” she excitedly held up her fingers as proof.

          “How are you going to dispose of your tampons?” I wondered.

          “Tampons have a string. With a diva cup, no string!” she reiterated.

          “I know,” I laughed. “I mean, how are you going to get rid of your tampons after?”

          “I’m going to use the string,” she repeated, the wine and beer clearly getting to her.

          “What are you going to do after you use the string to pull one out?” her fiancé clarified my question.

          “Bury it?” she guessed.

          “Isn’t it going to attract something?” I asked.

          “Bears? Yup!” she answered.

          “It’s not going to attract bears,” her fiancé laughed.

          “It’s blood. It’s going to attract something,” she stated with certainty.

 

***

 

          “Hey!” I interrupted the girl seated at the desk in front of mine during my second day of work. “Are you the girl who’s walking from Mexico to BC?”

          “It’s not technically Mexico,” she smiled. “The hike starts in San Diego, but yes.”

          “That’s so cool!” I exclaimed. “How long is it going to take?”

          “About six months,” she said.

          “Are you going with anyone or are you doing it solo?”

          “I’m going with my boyfriend,” she answered.

          “We’re going to need to chat,” I excitedly replied.

          By her going away dinner seven days later, we had definitely chatted. I felt like I was celebrating a good friend. In just a week of working together, I had learned quite a bit about her: Her boyfriend is actually her fiancé. They’ve been dating since high school, except for a one-year breakup in early university. They got engaged in 2013, after their return from a year in Florence, during which she completed a master’s program in visual art and he leisurely engaged in photography. They’re both very outdoorsy and she spends a lot of time at the gym. It was her fiancé who proposed the idea of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, and it was she who pushed it. This April, they’ll be flying to the other side of the continent to begin.

          At dinner on Tuesday, she and I were at separate tables, but when she saw that our coworker who had been occupying the chair behind hers had left, she beckoned me over to the empty seat and turned around to talk.

          “Thank you so much for coming!” she began. “It really means a lot!”

          “Oh my God, of course!” I said.

          I can’t remember how, in the span of two minutes while conversing between tables, she and I started talking about Paris and why I left early, but we went there. Other than the fact that I visited Paris, I don’t really talk about it with people from work; and if I do go as far as to mention that I left Europe early, I limit my explanation to the half-truth that I missed home. I promised myself going into this job that work, like my pole studio, would be a him-free environment. To keep moving on, I need new friends to not know about him (or to not know any more about him than they could potentially read on my blog). That way, I’m less tempted to talk when I miss him and I’m less likely to be asked if I’ve heard from him lately. Because this girl was days away from leaving the office, I considered her my loophole.

          “The timing was bad,” I explained. “At the same time that I flew across the ocean on my own, I was trying to get over a guy.”

          “Oh no, you need your friends for that,” she understood. “The year he and I split,” she pointed over her shoulder at her fiancé, “my friends were everything.”

          “Exactly. I didn’t care about the Eiffel Tower or meeting new people; I just wanted my friends and our wine.”

          “Wine is important too,” she laughed with her glass of red sitting behind her.

          “I need to meet your fiancé!” I told her.

          “Yes! He’s going to be thrilled to meet you, because you’re Italian,” she said.

          She got his attention to introduce us.

          “This is Maria,” she told him. “She’s Italian, and she has the most beautiful last name: Bellissimo!”

          “Wow!” he responded.

          “I’m never changing it!” I smiled as I shook his hand.

          “What part of Italy are you from?” he asked.

          “I’m from here,” I answered, “but my family is from Calabria. Did you pick up any Italian while you were in Italy? I know she didn’t,” I referred to his girlfriend.

          “No,” he answered as he lowered his head. “It’s such a shame.”

          “That’s okay,” I said with a wave of my hand. “I have two parents that speak Italian and never taught me.”

          “That makes me feel a lot better,” he laughed before turning back to his table to allow his fiancé and I to continue talking.

          “We need to get together when you’re back!” I told her.

          “Yes, I want to hear all of your stories!” she exclaimed.

          “I want to hear yours!” I laughed.

          “It’s been really lovely meeting you,” she said with utmost genuineness. “I can’t believe it’s only been a week!”

          “Me neither!” I agreed.

          Then, before turning back to her table, she momentarily reverted to our prior conversation. “I wish you the best of luck with that,” she said with more empathy than anyone I’ve told about him before.

          Following dinner, she, her fiancé, two guys from work, and I headed to the pub next door. In addition to our talk of diva cups and tampons, we discussed her breakup.

          “I shaved my head,” she told me.

          “What?” I laughed.

          “I shaved my head,” she said again in all seriousness. “My mom cried.”

          I used my hand to cover my open mouth.

          “Yeah, me and Britney Spears, we had a moment,” she joked. “It was a bad year. I wasn’t myself and I treated people terribly. I missed him like crazy.” She turned to her fiancé and reiterated, “I missed you like crazy!”

          “You had always wanted to shave your head,” he said.

          “I wanted to cut it short, not shave it,” she retorted in good humour.

          “I like that you’re real about it,” I told her, still laughing. “I think people that hide how and how long they really cope with missing someone make what’s normal look abnormal. That’s why I talk openly about it on my blog. I want people who read to be able to relate to the reality of it. I also like that you don’t have too much pride to tell him how much you missed him.”

          “Oh, there’s no denying it,” she said. “I bicked my head!”

          “Which makes my crying at the Eiffel Tower look not so bad!” I laughed.

          “You’re doing well,” she assured.

          “I just find that annoyingly hard to justify,” I said. “You were mourning a broken relationship. People get that. I didn’t have a relationship. I try not to talk about him to friends as much anymore, because I’m tired of being scolded for still caring about someone I didn’t date.”

          “Did you bick your head?” she asked me sternly.

          “No,” I giggled.

          “You’re doing well,” she repeated. “It doesn’t matter if you dated him or slept with him or nothing. He means something to you, and that justifies missing him.”

          I breathed the sigh of relief that comes when someone gets you.

          “Everything’s going to work out, even if it’s not with him,” she promised. “I can’t wait to hear all of your stories when I get back!” she said again, clasping her hands together in excitement.

          Her enthusiastic interest made me laugh. “You’re the one going on the adventure, and you want to hear my stories?”

          “I feel like some guy’s just going to come along and sweep you off your feet,” she said with the unconditional faith of someone who’s known me forever.

 
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