So I want to talk about talking. I’ve been told that what I talk about is surprising sometimes. Either because of my age, gender or something else. And half of me hates this. I love the looks I get when I bring these topics up, but I don’t like how rare these subjects are spoken of. I want a place where these actions are as regular as showering (not everyone does it, but you get weird looks if you don’t. And you probably smell funny). For instance, I’ve been told guys like myself will not utter a word about one topic, period.
I was with a group of friends who were talking about their periods. And seeing an opportunity, I said “Hey, can I ask a few questions, because I have no idea how to help when a girl is on her period”? There was shock and awe on the table. I felt like I was about to be anointed into a cult. I’d nearly say the lights dimmed, and everyone on the table leaned in close.
One my friends said “Do you really want to know about this”? Of course I did. Most of my guy friends only say one thing when it comes to periods; I should take a tactical leave of the country when it happens. But I needed to know this because I am related to women, I make friends with women, and get girlfriends on (rare) occasions.
The only reason you shouldn’t ask about Auntie Floe’s visits is if you are a guy surrounded by only guys until the day you die. (If this is your situation, I have a few questions, like: How does that differ from modern day society/ Can I crack open a few cold ones with you guys this weekend/ How does it feel knowing your tribe of testosterone will die out in a generation’s time?) And this knowledge puts you in great books with women, because it’s a rarity (when it shouldn’t be). So while this is a barely tapped market, you may as well avail of it. I’ll share three tips I was told, but you’ll have to learn the rest yourself as every period is different for everyone.
Hot water bottles are mandatory. Especially ones with the fur coating, like a tea-cosy. And if she can’t go out herself, someone needs to buy the supplies. (And before I get guys who’d rather leave a woman to buy that kind of stuff, think on this: If you’re chemistry was being dicked around like it was a pharmacy being run by a blind intern, would you be able to go outside so easily?) Another tip I was given was chocolate. Enough said.
But while I was taking notes with these girls, I said none of this should be that rare. And it won’t be if we talk about it. If there are topics that are issues, then it stands to reason that these should be the issues of friends/family. Burdens shared and all that jazz. And since we’re talking about issues, let’s talk about mental health issues. (It took me three months to think of that segway. It’s not going to get much better than that.)
I keep colourful company. Red yellow and green characters too grand for any story written. Problem is, they aren’t always bright colours. And in my time befriending people who were blue, I became very good as an open ear. Break-ups, Trump, a death in the family, they call me. Give me a bottle of coke and a packet of cigarettes, and there isn’t a dark night in creation that can stand against us.
But sometimes I’m the only contact in someone’s phone who they can call. That is just heart-breaking. This should be talk in a café. If I came to you, said “I miss my brothers/ I dropped my ice cream/ Life is treating me like I forgot the safe word” would that be so unknown that we wouldn’t talk about it? I don’t think so, but we act like it shouldn’t be spoken of. And that is mind blowing.
If it exists in our lives, it should exist on our tongues. We need to start somewhere so why not here and now? When I’m offering an open ear in a deaf world, I’m trying to set a trend. We’ll all be healthier with more of those stories told. I want talking about our problems to be as regular as ordering a coffee. Either that, or we should flip it on its head, and make ordering a coffee as taboo as talking about dark days.
“Can I get a coffee”?
“What!? Here? Now? Are you serious”?
“Dude, it’s just a coffee”.
“Ok ok. Here. Just keep it out of sight, ok? Next you’ll want sugar as well”.
“Are you fucking kidding me”!?
I’ll tell you a little secret: sometimes, hundreds spent on therapy doesn’t match to a friend seeing you have a world and a half of storms between your ears. And that friend saying “Coffee”?
Society determines what is taboo and what isn’t. Aren’t we society? We should be talking about everything, everywhere, except the cinema. Everyone who talks in the cinema should be flown into the sun. Anyways, I’ve been chatting for long enough. It’s your turn now.