This article first appeared on Role Reboot and has been republished with permission.
Your period is a time for many things: binge-watching television, catching up on your comfort eating, getting into arguments for reasons you’ll never be able to reconstruct…but it’s also a time to express yourself.
There’s a wide enough variety of hygiene products on the market today that you can actually make choices based on what’s best for you, your body, your values, and even your style. You know the character traits associated with your sun sign, your Hogwarts house, and your favorite flavor of La Croix, but have you thought about what your menstrual products reveal about your personality? Here’s what you’re expressing — if only to yourself — when it’s that time of the month.
You have never once felt a moment of ambivalence whether you should call yourself a feminist if you shave your legs. When you bring leftovers home from a restaurant, you actually eat them before they go bad. You hate the phrase “guilty pleasure” and will passionately defend the aesthetic and cultural importance of The Bachelorette and 50 Shades of Grey.
In public buildings, you will walk out of your way to go through a door that’s already open instead of opening the one directly in front of you. There are three jars of cinnamon in your spice cabinet, because you can never remember to check what you already have before you go shopping. You have a reputation for being a good listener, and you never have much trouble falling asleep, even in hotels.
Your fashion sense could currently be described as “quirky,” but when you hit menopause it will seamlessly transition to “kooky.” You either think of yourself as, or hope to one day be, a Cool Aunt. There is one dish you can make very well, and you are inordinately proud of it, but if you’re eating alone you usually have cereal for dinner. You laugh at your own jokes, but to be fair, it’s because they’re usually good.
When you give people directions, they always include the phrase “Ignore Google maps, my way is faster.” Your bookshelves are organized by color, not by title. You cut your own bangs and actually pull it off, but because you don’t realize this is rare, you’re always trying to convince your friends to do the same. You take wonderful care of your pets, but can’t keep a houseplant alive for more than a week.
You tweet about your period every month. You have several witty comebacks in reserve should anyone try to shame you for doing this, and are slightly disappointed that no one ever has. You have extreme Mom Friend Energy and mention your Prius’s gas mileage a little too often. You would never admit this, but any time you go swimming on your period, you wear a tampon.
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You spend an hour on your hair every morning, then wear the same jeans three days in a row. You discovered your favorite band when they opened for your former favorite band. Once, in college, you propositioned a straight couple for a threesome, then ignored the dude so completely you don’t even remember when he left the room.
You have a farm share, buy local eggs, and make your own kombucha. You also have at least one tattoo that you got on a dare. You would consider dating a Trump voter, but never someone who thinks period sex is gross. You have had at least one full-on shouting fight about whether Pluto should be considered a planet.
Tampon plus pantiliner
You always arrive at the airport a full two hours before your flight boards. All the sex toys you own are the same brand. The bottom drawer of your desk is a graveyard of bullet journals, day planners, and other organizational projects you attempted but never finished. You have calendar reminders set up for all your bills, even though they’re all on auto-pay. You’ve always felt a deep sense of compassion for Britney Spears.
The sixth season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer is your favorite. You hate small talk, but unlike most people who make that claim, you’re a great conversationalist. You have an expensive, luxurious mattress on an IKEA bedframe.
Your Instagram is flawless and followed by several actual celebrities. You mispronounce words with such confidence that other people start saying them the same way. No one knows how deeply you hold a grudge: You don’t try to get back at people, but you remember everyone who’s ever wronged you, and rejoice in their misfortunes. There’s a decent chance you are actually a sea witch.
Using birth control to skip periods entirely
You work in a field directly connected to your college degree. You read Marie Kondo’s book, but it didn’t transform your life, because it was mostly things you already do. In your heart of hearts, you believe the brownies you make from store-bought mix are just as good as the ones your friends make from scratch.