I threw a Period Party for a bunch of middle school girls I know, and it was a roaring success. For an hour and a half they ate red jelly beans, drank raspberry leaf tea, and gave their red balloons panty-liner mustaches. I read them stories while they dunked tampons in their teacups; we all scribbled our favorite euphemisms for menstruating on the tablecloth; and they all got favor bags (filled with Teen Midol and tampons).
Talk about your ice-breaker!
I was motivated to throw the party because of my own 13-year-old daughter. I knew that she was the last of her crowd to bleed, and that she was worried. No surprise there. She’d mastered society’s lessons about menstruation: that it’s a dirty little secret that even grown women love to hate. Judging by both media messages and bathroom banter, menstruation is something that we either hide or complain about.
I’d been wondering how I could counteract this tide of negativity when I overheard my daughter’s best friend calculating how many years she’d have to wait before menopause.
That’s when I decided to take action. Having a Period Party is easy and fun. Here’s how I did it.
The guest list. It’s important that the girls invited are close friends, comfortable with each other and with any adults present. We had five girls, ages 12 to 14, who have known each other for years.
Preparation. Striving for somewhere between casual elegance and in-your-face fun, I lit candles and arranged flowers on a white tissue-paper tablecloth, which looked and felt like a tampon wrapper. Using red felt pen, I wrote down all the euphemisms for menstruation that I could think of (Aunt Flo, my friend, on the rag, the curse). The effect was marvelous, and we left the pens out for doodles and additions.
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