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Are You There God? It’s Me, Suzanna Danna.

Issue Date: Tuesday, Feb. 17, 2004

I remember reading Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret when I was all of nine years old. I remember Margaret praying to and asking God about several things. Asking if she could get Phillip Leroy for a dance partner, questions about her period and other things that all the six grade girls in the world were thinking about.

The knowledge that I was not alone in my questions about my body was very comforting.

I was curious about my period. Would it hurt? Would it be nasty? How would I know when it was coming? Did I need to rule out white shorts for the next 4 years?

Tampons or pads? Could you actually loose a tampon up in your cuda? Could I get my ears pierced and wear makeup after I became a woman?

Several things stick out in my memory about my journey into becoming a woman. I can see myself in my mind the first day I started my period; clearly, just like it was yesterday. We had just moved to Texas from Georgia and I was in the sixth grade. Twelve years old. Kinda young and geeky, all knees and elbows.

I was in Miss Davis’s class @ Schimelpfening Middle School and I felt… something… down there. I asked Miss Davis if I could be excused to go to the restroom. I confirmed that I had started my period in the restroom, stuffed what felt like a whole roll of toilet paper into my drawers and went back to class, excited, jittery and scared. I told Miss Davis what the present situation was, and she excused me to go to the nurse for equipment.

I called my mother from the nurse’s office and all but yelled into the phone, “It CAME!”

My mother picked me up from school because it was a special day. She took me shopping at the grocery store for supplies and then showed me how everything worked. My older sister never talked to me about that kind of stuff. Even though she had boobs and I asked her about her period… repeatedly. She was very modest and too embarrassed to tell me about it. She would rather die than be seen with any members of her family at that point in her life, much less talk about her body.

I was so excited! I called my grandmother. I called my aunt. I called all of my friends. When my father came home from work, I barreled down the hallway, jumped into his lap and proclaimed dramatically, “I’m a woman now…. Can I get my ears pierced?”

Later that year my grandmother came into town from Georgia and the three of us; my mother, my grandmother and myself (three generations), all got our ears pierced together. That was so great.

When I stated wearing makeup I was even more excited. It was another right of passage. I procured from the local Eckerd’s an eyelash curler to defeat all eyelash curlers the world over. I still have that friggin thing. Actually, right now, it is in my purse. I’ve had it for almost 20 years. It is a silver Revlon one that has the white squishy pads. I tend to hang onto stuff that works.

The popular girls singled me out as having the best eyelash curler at Clark High School. They loved me. They said I was pretty.

Ok, no… they didn’t. But my circle of girlfriends did love the Revy.

Sidenote: I was tempted to purchase a Shiseido one a few years ago, but I heard my Revy eyelash curler crying from the depths of my purse. Begging not to be replaced. He promised to not clump up or pull out any wayward eyelashes; he knew I needed all I could get. The Revy offered me the moon and the stars, swore I was the best, no body ever worked him like that. He said he loved me and would always accept the cheap-ass refill cushion that I offered him. I relented.

When I was young I was always trying to glean things from my older sister and her friends. I remember thinking that I always wanted to be older. I was always six going on twenty-seven. I couldn’t wait to grow up.

When I was 9 I couldn’t wait to be 10. I think it was double-digit envy.

When I was 10 I couldn’t wait to be 13. The word teenager rang in my head like the peal of bells from a church tower in Venice. It was intriguing. I always heard of, “Those damn teenagers.” I wanted to be a damn teenager.

When I was 13 I couldn’t wait to be 16. Driving = Freedom baby!

When I was 16 I couldn’t wait to be 18. If I wanted, I could have left home. Or joined the navy… or the Peace Corps. Ha ha ha ha! This made me snort.

When I was 18 I couldn’t wait to be 21. It wasn’t the drinking thing; I had been buying liquor since I was 16. I think it was just a magical number.

When I was 21 I couldn’t wait to be old enough to be taken seriously.

It was always the next milestone.

When I was 30 I couldn’t wait to be old enough to be taken seriously (heh.)… And I really wanted to be 22 again. So many things I could have done better.

Why couldn’t I just relax and enjoy the phase of metamorphosis that I was in? Why can’t I enjoy it… even now? Why do I have to always look ahead as opposed to enjoying the now?

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To understand this dear reward (above) at all, you must hie thee on and read gatsby’s grape ape entry and my comments.

And because of said comments he sent me my very own dream turtle in an email titled wee gift with these words attached, “my purple monkey is booked solid so i ordered you a tangerine turtle. hope he proves helpful.”

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