Women. Everybody loves them as much as they love shoppin', and boy do they love shoppin'.
But not everybody knows one. And that can be a problem when your job is to write a relationship advice column, telling men how to deal with women.
On Tuesday, Temple University's student newspaper, the Temple News, published the fifth and final installment of its monthly relationship column That's What He Said, written by a Temple University student who definitely has a girlfriend.
This month's article was titled "Time of the month a time of care [sic]."
In it, relationship expert and noted girlfriend-haver John Corrigan explains to readers how to deal with sexy TV wives I mean real girlfriends who, in addition to existing and being alive, are ON THEY PERIODS. It reads a little like Everybody Loves Raymond fan fiction (Ray-P.O.V.):
You will repeatedly hear that you don't know how it feels - you don't have a vagina and she will basically blame you for having a Y chromosome.
Conversing with your girlfriend while Aunt Flo is visiting is like navigating through a minefield - anything can set her off.
You better duck those mood swings or else she'll knock you out.
There's some real classic comedy here, and also some valuable insight.
For example, being on your period is like, "Sandshrew digging in your nether regions like the mini game in Pokemon Stadium." (Full-disclosure: I have had well over a billion periods in my lifetime and, though I am not experiencing one currently, I don't believe they have ever been as painful or disturbing as that sounds.)
You may ask: How does this young man know so much about girlfriends and the blood they pee(?) if he doesn't have one?
He fucking does have one and she's real and her name is…Hands...Watch…Keyboard. Handswatch Keyboard.
As he explained in his introductory column, however, he consciously elected to "spare her name in this column" not because it is a fake name and a Google search would turn up few hits, but because, as a shockingly real girl, Handswatch has a right to privacy.
The most confusing aspect of Corrigan's period play-by-play is not the part where he pretends his girlfriend is more than just an idea he had once of what a girlfriend might be like, but his mixed messages on sex.
The article opens with a raw, earthy scene in which the author wakes up in the bed he shares with his real-life girlfriend to find that a period has happened to her.
Despite stuffing my face with eggrolls mere hours earlier, I hear growling echoing from under the sheets. Lifting my head from the drool-stained pillow, I stare in the face of a lion's roar.
The agony, the torture, the fading chances of satisfying my morning wood…no!
(Not clear from the text whether the growls emanate from his girlfriend's wildly cramping stomach, her nagging pie hole, or directly from her angry vagina, vomiting up blood like the King of the Jungle.)
However a few lines later, he explains that, if your girlfriend is anything like this, who has brown—no: green—eyes and hair that is a color, the one thing she wants more than anything when she is on her period is Your D.
So take advantage of soothing her aches with a couple pelvic shakes.
Elsewhere, he posits that menstrual cramps are the reason Chaz Bono underwent a sex-change operation, and suggests that, perhaps, all women should be men:
Is attending yoga free of judgment really worth all of the pain that comes with being a woman? Maybe Chaz Bono had the right idea.
But it's not all bad jokes and seemingly well-meaning, if unrealistic, advice ("Presents, cards and flowers help - anything to make her feel special."); there's some real medical information here.
For example: What is a period?
According to the National Institutes of Health, estrogen levels rise during menstruation, causing the lining of the uterus to grow and get thicker. If the uterus does not need the extra lining, it begins to shed through the vagina.
Unfortunately, much as the very real uterus of a not not-real girlfriend sheds through her stunning vagina once a cycle, so must the Temple News shed Corrigan's column now that the semester has drawn to a close.
Shit got too real.
(Not girlfriends though.)
[Temple News // art by Jim Cooke]