by Candice Reed
My friend Vivian called me today to tell me that she was ovulating. Although we've been friends for more than 20 years, I've never had the inclination to share with her what's going on in my underwear. She, on the other hand, gives me detailed descriptions of both her ovulation fluids and menstrual flow. These conversations usually take place when we’re standing in line at Starbucks on a Sunday morning.
"I started my period today," she'll announce, as I try to decide between a double Grande vanilla latte and a kids hot chocolate.
"It's really heavy and I ruined a pair of underwear, but that bloated feeling is gone, so I'll be fine."
By this time everyone is staring or trying very hard to look someplace else, and I am wishing that I wasn't such a good friend.
It isn't just Vivian who shares too much information; Judy Jones in fifth grade started it all by telling me she felt a tingling "down there" when she watched Farrah Fawcett on Charlie's Angels. From that moment on, it seemed that people thought they should tell me the intimate details of their lives. People have told me that I'm a great listener, but inside I’m screaming for them to shut-up. It's hard to take them seriously when they've told me everything from what type of noises they make while having sex to how their husbands cheat on them with the babysitter. And it isn't just my friends, even my children, who are supposed to hide things from their parents, tell me things you shouldn't tell your mom.
"Mom, I just don't feel anything when Nick and I are doing it," my 18 year-old-daughter Anna confided to me one afternoon. Trouble was, she was working at a busy deli slicing cheese when she decided to share this Hallmark moment.
"It was the same with two other guys, sex just doesn't do anything for me. Am I weird?"
I made her put the Swiss cheese down and pulled her aside. I explained a few things—mainly that she was 18 and she wouldn't be feeling much for a few years. Then I promised to watch "Sex and the City" with her and hustled my butt out of there. I was so embarrassed that I didn't even buy any groceries.
Maybe it's because of Jerry and Oprah and Montel that everyone feels the need to share every detail about their lives with the whole world but it's getting a little ridiculous. No one keeps anything to themselves anymore.
"My husband doesn't like sex," the Wal-Mart shopper next to me said last week, staring at the items I was putting on the conveyer belt. The boxer shorts in my cart must have set her off.
"Oh I'm sorry," I mumbled quietly, staring at the National Enquirer, hoping she would talk to someone else.
"Nope, I haven't had sex in 20 years, but it's probably best. I had a big tumor on my ovaries a few years back," she nonchalantly revealed.
Before I could answer the cashier joined in.
"Oh you want to talk pain, my sister had a boil on her behind the size of a silver dollar and she had to have her son lance it," she said.
Suddenly the whole damn line, total strangers started telling each other intimate details about their lives. I grabbed my purse, left my items at the check-stand, and got myself out of there. As I hurried out of Wal-Mart trying to get images of boils and cysts out of my mind, I realized I had just started my period.
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