A lot of girls I know say that The Pill makes them crazy. For some of them, it makes them so crazy that they can't even take it, and are forced to investigate other forms of birth control.
For awhile, I couldn't understand these girls. I thought The Pill and I were hunky-dorey. Good chums, indeed. Slowly, however, I started noticing little ways in which I felt there was some sort of exterior force working on my personality. I'd say to myself, Dude, you so need to chill now. It's really not a big deal that you're out of Q-Tips. You can pick some up tomorrow. Chill. Chill. Normally, these types of everyday inconveniences don't bother me, and four years ago, before I had ever taken the pill, they wouldn't ever have bothered me. However, since starting that controversial contraceptive, I've noticed that, oddly, I'm much more easily irritated. By the most stupid shit.
But I've decided, officially, that The Pill doesn't make me crazy. It just makes me really, really, really... ready to cry. At all times.
The Boy makes fun of me for it. Which, of course, makes me cry more. Before meeting him, I recall at some point when I was 18, being asked in my Human Sexuality class, "When was the last time you cried?" It was some sort of test to prove how much less boys cry than girls do. Most girls where in the 1-2-weeks-ago zone. I was on the I-Don't-Remember side of the room with 6'3" basketball-playing Paul and two boys with combat boots.
Sometimes, The Boy says, "You'll cry over anything. There doesn't even have to be anything wrong, and you'll still cry over it." Now that's simply not true. Just because he can't understand what exactly the miniscule little thing is and why it's upsetting me so doesn't in any way negate its existence. And believe me, I cry over some really miniscule things these days. More like these last 1460 days, about how many days I've been popping that itty-bitty pill.
My friends complain of the same thing. Kdogg, my best friend and former roomate, and I were both non-criers. In two years of 24/7 friendship, I think we cried once in front of one another. And I don't really recall crying any time other than that during those years. Ever. Kdogg's started the pill herself, and she's found herself to be the sunny-with-a-constant-chance-of-showers type, just like me.
And, by the way, that time Kdogg and I cried? Yeah, it was because we had both thought one was mad at the other and had had a silent "tiff" for two days. Finally, after having enough, I came into her room, trying to be hissy but instead being a total wuss, and said, "I just want to know why you're so mad at me." The last three words came out choked with tears, and she responded with an equally tearful, "I thought you were mad at me!" Then we cried and said, "I can't believe that was what our first fight was about. We're so pathetic." We haven't had one since.
But I digress. And yet, that's another thing: I think this pill makes me a little more airheady than usual. I know, I know, pretty soon I'm going to start blaming it for a bad grade or unpaid bills, but seriously... I feel stupid a lot lately. It's not so much that I feel stupid, but I notice that my concentration levels aren't what they were when I was in high school and college. Which is really saying a lot, considering all those drugs I let interfere with what was otherwise a perfectly good system at the time.
I had a friend who told me once, "Yeah, the pill totally ruined my college years. I went through all of college thinking that I wasn't as smart as everyone, even though I had been at the top of my class in high school. I just chalked up the difference to having gotten accepted to a prestigious school; it made sense that everyone there would be smarter than me. But once I stopped taking the pill, I swear, it was like the clouds were lifted. Within a matter of days, I didn't feel stupid anymore."
So, sure, that may be taking it a bit far. And who knows, maybe I really am just easily distracted. And I suppose, by most standards, my six-hour Arabic marathons are proof to some people that I can actually concentrate. But I still feel like something has been lost. It's harder for me to reach 100% concentration than it used to be, and maybe I'm just looking for a way to explain that logically.
But first things first: I really gotta stop this crying thing. Because seriously, when you find out you've gotten overcharged for cheese, you should be able to stand up for yourself and hold your own. Right? Demand some sort of explanation, yeah? But no. My constant urge to cry got in the way, and I had to flee before The Supermarket Lady caught me with tears streaming down my face. Our interaction went a little something like this:
Me (thinking to myself) : Wow, ten euros for parmesan cheese. Now that can't be right. Well, I'll just return it. ::: walks up to customer service counter:::
Me: Bonjour. I just happened to notice that I got charged ten euros for a very small block of parmesan cheese. I buy this cheese regularly, and it never costs ten euros.
The Supermarket Lady: We never take back perishable goods.
Me: I just bought it. Right there. Twenty seconds ago.
TSL: We never take back perishable goods.
Me: Are you kidding? Look at my receipt. I bought it thirty five seconds ago.
TSL: Ten euros isn't too expensive for parmesan.
Me: What?? It's not ten euros.
TSL: It's always somewhere between five and seven.
Me: I would never, ever buy five euro cheese... let alone ten euro cheese.
TSL: We can't do anything for you. That's a perishable good.
Me::::eyes smarting:::: But I just bought it!
TSL: It's a perishable good.
Me: :::throwing the cheese into my grocery sack and running out the door like a madwoman before my tears fall:::: Ok.
So all was going well until I hit that "It's somewhere between five and seven" comment that TSL said. Something about the tone. And the desperation of the situation. There were actually two women there - one was just looking on unapprovingly and silently while pulling childrens' t-shirts off plastic hangers - and I fully vibed all the negativity they were obviously aiming at me, grimly sitting behind the customer service desk in their aggressively yellow t-shirts. I couldn't help but cry.
What the fuck? Dude, seriously. This is just not cool. That is a perfect example of a situation which in no way required tears. Something must be done. So I'm wondering if I should stop, or change, or somehow modify my family-planning techniques. It's something I've been mulling over for, oh, a good two years now. Whatever I do, it obviously won't be drastic.
Here's my list of pros and cons for taking the pill. Feel free to make your own personal additions to the list:
- Um, no cramps. Could I repeat that, maybe? Yes... no cramps. One more time? No cramps.
- No babies. Could I repeat that, maybe? Yes... no babies. And, by extension, no need to think about other forms of birth control or issues of, um, timing.
- A two-day period. Right on time, everytime.
- Good skin. Or better skin than when I was 19, anyway, but maybe that's just age?
- Crying because I'm frustrated.
- Crying because I'm sad.
- Crying because I'm tired.
- Crying because some guy cut me off while walking down the sidewalk. There's a flow to these damn sidewalks, you know.
- Crying because someone didn't wash out his oatmeal pot. Again.
- Crying because someone couldn't understand why I didn't ask The Supermarket Lady to go down and get me a price check on the cheese instead of asking to return it. Which, admittedly, is the logical thing to do, but not what a tear-streaked hormonally imbalanced 24-year-old does.
- Lack of concentration?
- Regular visits to the lady doctor
- A few physical side effects that I don't need to detail here, but that I'm sure a lot of you women out there have experienced. These often require further visits to the Lady Doctor.
- Having to remember to take the damn thing
- Cost (although, really, it's not all that expensive here)