Have you ever thrown up so violently, your tampon shot out of your body like some kind of Nerf dart gun?
In hindsight. I should not have eaten the pasta salad.
It tasted weird.
Like a bandaid that fell off of some sweaty fat guy at the gym.
That should have been a red flag.
Not a sign for me to dump more Italian dressing on it, and have a second helping.
An hour later, just as Blair was finding out Chuck secretly applied to Columbia for her on Gossip Girl, I started to feel it. In my throat.
I tried to will it back into my stomach.
Give me diarrhea, I don’t fucking care, but please, do not come up. For the love of Christ, digest!
I spent the next 12 hours on the bathroom floor.
Andy was still at an evening conference, and after two hours of the boys standing next to me as I hunched over the side of the toilet asking me to PLEASE FROW UP AGAIN MOM, MORE THIS TIME, OMG YOU’RE DOING IT SO AWESOME MAWWWM, CAN I PUT SOME CARS NEAR YOUR FROW UP, WHY ARE YOU PEEING EVERYWHERE, THIS SHIT IS CRAZZZYYYY, I called my mom for help. And pads.
Because tampons don’t cut it when you have food poisoning during your period.
This is my third bout with food poisoning, the previous round being from a questionable burger with relish from Johnny Rockets.
The first, from eating an entire plate of broccoli and warm ranch dip at a family picnic when I was 8.
Unlike my two most recent forms of food poisoning, the repercussions of the broccoli/dip massacre of ’89 weren’t instantaneous. In fact, I went to sleep feeling perfectly fine.
I remember bolting up in bed, hours later, and vomiting all over my sheets, scaring the shit out my cocker spaniel, Mia, who was sleeping soundly across my legs.
I stumbled to the light switch, with every intention of taking off my sheets and puke covered nightgown, and hiding it all in the garbage like nothing had happened.
Nothing to see here, mom. I sleep bareback all the fucking time.
But, when my eyes adjusted to the light, I saw my bed was not only covered with vomit, but blood. And, then I looked down, and so was my nightgown…and my underwear.
I freaked out. Because I was 8. I was vomiting and bleeding and legally capable of getting pregnant if anyone put sperm on me.
I tried to come up with some sort of plan, but I just kept vomitting. Again. And again.
I was in over my head.
I fumbled my way down the hall to my mom’s room, dragging my feet through hot puddles of puke.
I wanted to be all classy and discreet about it, but…
MOM, I’M VOMITING AND I STARTED MY PERIOD AND I THINK I MIGHT DIE PLEASE DON’T TELL DAD.
She put me in the bathroom so I could puke up copious amounts of broccoli in a more wipeable environment, while she cleaned up the hall. And my carpet. And my bed.
Then, she came in the bathroom and had a very lovely conversation with me about how pads work in which I WANTED TO STAB MYSELF IN THE FACE.
I went back to bed, with a pad in my Day of the Week underwear and a bucket next to my head.
My mom woke me up the next morning to tell me Mia was in heat.
The vomit was mine.
The blood was not.
I was humiliated.
I kept the pad on for the whole day anyways, just in case Mia’s dog cycle aligned with my person cycle. But it didn’t.
My mom had Mia spayed a month later.
Because waking up to find a little girl standing next to your bed covered in spoiled ranch dressing and dog period is something you never want to experience twice.
Unless you are my creepy third cousin, Aaron.
Which is why he isn’t allowed to have pets or live near elementary schools.