the pms defense

I know I’ve said this before, and I know it doesn’t need to be said at all, but there should absolutely be an early PMS detection system. 

My husband and I had a fight today, and it was a doozy.  It was one of those fights where people all around us could sense the awkward tension surrounding us.  They could tell we were angry, but only because of body language and facial expressions.  My husband and I would never fight in public.  But once we got into the car? The fur was flying. 

Have you ever watched a car pass by and the driver, or maybe a passenger is obviously singing at the top of their lungs, oblivious to the unwitting audience in the surrounding cars?  That was us—a duet of angry words. 

The more we argued, the more I began to think.  I was counting the days in my head.  We rarely fight—it had been weeks…just about four weeks to be exact…right about the time I was…


I tamped down my anger, pressing my lips into a tight line.  I would say no more.  I would not concede defeat—I was right after all—but I would not add to the fray any further.  That’s the thing about PMS, even when you are aware of its effects; you are just too afflicted to give a damn.  That was where I was at that moment…and it suddenly explained a lot.

It’s not unusual for me to wake up tired, especially on a Saturday morning when I have to go to work.  I often long for the days of old when “banker’s hours” actually had meaning.  But this morning, as I dragged myself through an abbreviated version of my morning routine—I woke up late—I was feeling a little cranky.

I didn’t let that cranky feeling spill over to my coworkers, they deserved better, so I put on a happy face, and attacked the day with a plastic vigor knowing that I only had to survive until one. 

It didn’t help matters that the Girl Scouts were outside again.  Like a pack of zombies, poised to tear me to shreds if I dare step one foot outside.  I could see them, running patrols across the front of the building, their little smocks plastered with badges, one for every person now addicted to their wicked sweets.  It was more than my willpower could bear.

I toyed with the crisp bills in my fingers, folding them and unfolding them with nervous precision.  I had just enough cash left for two boxes, but I was fighting an internal battle with my self-control.  I had completely broken myself of the habit.  Was I willing to fall over the edge again into a self induced cookie stupor? 


Instead I retreated into the break room where I knew there would be some substitute that would hold me over for just a little while. 

There was little left.  The cake had been polished off the day before.   The M&M’s had been all but annihilated.  There was a box of pistachios left, but my craving wasn’t for a salty snack, but a sweet one, so I checked the freezer hoping to find a frost bitten popsicle at the very least.  What I found was more like the treasure at El Dorado. 

A box of Thin Mints—frozen to perfection—and one of the tubes was already open.


I think I might have blacked out, because the next thing I knew, I was sneaking three of the frozen Thin Mints, closing the box up again like I found it, and slipping away like a thief in the night.  I didn’t know who they belonged to, but at that moment, I didn’t care.  I knew I had taken my life into my own hands.  Pilfering Girl Scout cookies was a killing offense.  I was afraid to take more than three, and I was afraid to do anything but eat them in rapid succession, chewing as fast as I could so as not to get caught.  I would like to say I felt guilty, but in truth, I was overwhelmed with euphoria.  I didn’t go back to the cookies again.  I was satisfied with three.  I was even able to look the Girl Scouts in the eye after that. 

I’m blaming my behavior on PMS.  A woman cannot be held responsible for things she does when suffering from the monthly affliction.  I’ve read about people getting away with murder…surely I can get away with taking three little Girl Scout cookies. 

I should be fine in a few days.  By then the hormonal surges should revert back to normal.  I’m taking extra precautions until then.  I’ve asked my husband to lock me in the closet at night, when the moon is high, and the wolf bane blooms.  Oh wait, that’s for werewolves.  Nevermind.  I’ll just be taking a few Midol and going to bed early.

Until the next time…I’ll be avoiding eye contact and confrontation!

Copyright © 2000-2018, Erica Lucke Dean. All rights reserved. Any retranscription or reproduction is prohibited and illegal.
Posted on March 28, 2010 .