Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Nicole's Guide to Dealing with Nicole when Nicole has PMS

Dealing with a PMS-crazed individual is challenging at best, and extremely painful at worst. Avoidance is typically the most recommended strategy for those who must live with those who go through "that time of the month." However, certain circumstances make it impossible to implement that strategy.

In this post we will discuss very specific ways to deal with a specific PMSing individual: me. For the purposes of constructing a misleading sense of objectivity, I will refer to myself as "the subject." Those who tend to be in the subject's presence during PMS will be designated "the targets."

1: The Subject's Default Modes

The subject exists primarily within the range of two default modes, namely (1) unconscious; and (2) amused. These modes represent a spectrum of emotions that includes: (i) hungry; (ii) annoyed; (iii) smug; and (iv) chatty. When in the two modes, the subject is generally harmless and may actually be considered good company.

2. PMS

However, when the time comes nearer to the subject's luteal phase immediately prior to hemorrhaging, the subject becomes severely agitated, stressed, and combative. Typical warning signs include death glares, an angry tone of voice, cravings for particular foods, fatigue, and an urgent need to have a soft kitty on lap. Snarling for no reason at all is the single most obvious clue that PMS has begun. This stage may last up to two weeks.

3. Coping Strategies

Again, the best method is avoidance. When this option is not viable, be as pleasant and accommodating (BPA) as humanly possible. For example, changes in the subject's environment can cause undue amounts of volcanic fury, changes such as leaving an item -- any item -- on the floor, or leaving unwashed dishes on the table. In this case, the target must take care to be extra neat, or be classified in the subject's mind as a complete waste of space and oxygen, and treated accordingly. This strategy works for targets who are relatives of the subject.

If the target is in a romantic relationship with the subject, the PMS Hug is an excellent addition to BPA. The PMS Hug is not the weeny, pathetic hug you give people when you pretend you're delighted to see them but don't really remember their names. That type of hug will get you punched in the stomach. The PMS Hug is significantly more robust, and has been carefully designed and field-tested. It consists of the target imagining himself as a human straitjacket and clamping his arms around the subject until the subject has sufficiently calmed down. Again, the PMS Hug is an addition to being pleasant and accommodating, not an alternative.

Parents and pets are exempt from the consequences of PMS, and so have no need for coping strategies.

4. Motivations

One question that arises is: why bother? Why is the subject entitled to special treatment during her time of the month? Why not just act normally and let it blow over? Naturally, you are free to choose how to behave when the subject becomes crippled by overwhelming hormonal changes that often cause nausea, migraines, and fatigue. You may choose to join your friends for a drink as the subject weeps softly into her pillow because picking your socks off the floor was nowhere on your priority list. You have the option of throwing a huge party when the subject just wants to sleep because PMS has given her insomnia for three straight nights. You can do all these things, obviously.

I hope you packed your bags for that guilt trip.

5. Conclusion

PMS sucks. For everyone. But mostly for us girls. >:(