Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Life's Little PMS Moments

Gave wrong answer to
"Does this make me look fat?"
Read the next two sentences in the voice of Andy Rooney. I don't know why, but it's just more fun.

I've read countless romance novels over the years, but I don't remember ever reading one that featured a PMS moment.  Why is that?

There are plenty of delicate mentions of women's "courses" in romantic fiction, but never any discussion of those dicey, emotionally fraught days leading up to her "monthlies".  Granted, there isn't much romantic about PMS, but the symptoms could provide some funny or suspenseful plot devices.

Jim Carrey's classic SNL skit about a PMS Hotline 
illustrates this.  It's one of my all-time favorites.
Here's a video link:

Apparently PMS is also a fact of life for insects. I snapped this shot of a Praying Mantis casually dismembering her paramour on my back porch last summer.

The Mantis Method of ending affairs is highly efficient.  One brief postcoital picnic, and you're done.  No need to change the locks or decide who gets custody of mutual friends. No restraining orders. I had long ago learned that this was the Mantis Way, but it was nevertheless unsettling to witness the chow-down firsthand. I wonder when he first realized there would be no spooning... and was his last thought, "God, she was worth it!"  

(I hope so; that would be so romantic!)

 Suggested breast augmentation surgery.
Note: The hammer has not changed in 300 years.
For the sake of realism, I think it's high time PMS was introduced into scenes at Almack's.  
“Lord Pifflewaithe, I thought I made myself abundantly clear.  I do not prefer cloves in my ratafia!”  She mutters behind her fan, "Sodding nodcock!” Then she "accidentally" drenches his Hessians with the offending beverage...  

In Hyde Park our wild-eyed heroine launches herself from a galloping curricle, dives into the duke's landau, and bitch-slaps a saucy minx for giving her the cut direct at a ball...

Other possible scenes... A courtesan, vexed upon receiving her conge via footman (sans de rigueur separation baubles), slips her moorings and rampages through White's, tearing sconces off the walls...  

A premenstrual costermonger goes berserk and fatally brains our villain (a former Bow Street Runner addled by syphilis-induced dementia) 
with a Golden Delicious.  

Marsha on the day in question.  (Just kidding!)
Think about it.  That's all I'm saying.

The trick would be to adapt modern examples to the past.  I offer a true story from my actual life.  I arrived at work one morning to find my boss Marsha staring down at the commuter lot from our third floor office window.  Marsha looked for all the world as if she wished she had a high-powered rifle. As you can imagine, I was frightened.  I tried to slip quietly into my cubicle, but I was 18 months pregnant, and therefore quite ungainly. My outie bellybutton upended a rolodex. 

Her head snapped around and she pierced me with the eyes of a chupacabra.  “Did you ever wake up and wish you had a mouse to kill?” she asked without the slightest trace of humor.  I've never forgotten that question.  Those thirteen little words summed up her feelings in a way every woman on earth could relate to.

I think it would be easiest for writers of sci-fi and paranormal fantasy romance to work PMS into their plot lines. Buff, butt-kicking alpha heroines could use it to their advantage in obvious ways. I don't think goddesses or vampires would suffer from PMS.  Well, maybe Hera.  I'm on the fence with faeries, sprites, and mermaids.  Trolls, ogres, witches, are a no-brainer. Now, she-werewolves... oh my!  Werewolf PMS would be an awesome thing to behold!

Well, those are all my thoughts on the subject of historical PMS.  This is my very first blog ever, with the notable exception of one very long-winded, ill-considered, extremely rabid political rant about four years ago. My phone is probably still being tapped and I may be on a no-fly list.  (Come to think of it, I may have been PMSing at the time).

I have been reading other author blogs, and it seems to be the thing to do to ask questions to encourage feedback.  So here are my questions:
1) Did you enjoy my blog?
2) Do you fear for my sanity?
3) Would you like to share an amusing PMS story?  If so, please do.
4) My use of parenthetical observations annoys my best friend Kathy.  Does it annoy you?

DISCLAIMER:  I would just like to say at this point that I'm a card-carrying feminist. I'm not being disloyal, nor is it my intention to perpetuate negative sexist stereotypes; I just have a sense of humor.

Judith With Head of Holofernes, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, Circa 1500s
Jael & Sisera (Lady with Hammer), Gregoria Lazzarini, Circa 1700s, posted on wikipedia
Praying Mantis Photo, Courtesy My Hydrangea Bush, Circa Last Summer
Chupacabra Photo (Or Possibly Just an Ugly Dog), Date Unknown, Courtesy www.frogcitycheese.com

* * *
Visit Kate's website for the latest information on her books: http://www.kateworth.com/
You can find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/KateWorth.Romance
Send her a tweet @KateWorth2 or email her at KateWorthRomance@yahoo.com

The Promise is available at Amazon at the following links:


  1. First, let me say I love your website. Based on the excerpts you've included on the site, and this blog, I can't wait to read your books! I love your wit and share your style of humor. I hope there is a bit of it sprinkled throughout your books.

    As for the mention of (or blaming) PMS in books, why not? I think it could be funny and what a great way to let a character "get away with" something…especially during the early 1800s. Men were ignorant back then about such things (did I say back then?).

    I can't wait until the book is out. Please be sure to let me know/Blog when it is published!

    Oh, and Yes, Yes, No (I only get weepy, nothing funny) and no (I like them).

  2. 1) Did you enjoy my blog? Yes
    2) Do you fear for my sanity? Not as much as I do mine
    3) Would you like to share an amusing PMS story? If so, please do. Must think of one first... I am living with two teenaged girls so the hormones run high.
    4) My use of parenthetical observations annoys my best friend Kathy. Does it annoy you? Not in the least...

    I love the idea of using PMS--I might just use it in my WIP. Thanks for the idea.

  3. Loved your post! I often fear for my sanity during PMS days. Most of my PMS moments are pathetic, not funny, so I'm not sharing.

    Well, I'll share this one story: an old boyfriend mentioned reading a report on PMS stating that chocolate seemed to exacerbate the issues, not relieve them. He was serious. I seriously showed him the door...

  4. Wow.
    1) Did you enjoy my blog? this is the first post I've read, but Im excited to read more!

    2) Do you fear for my sanity? ha nope. I feel we may have the same level of sanity! I'm febe at http://febemoss.blogspot.com

    3) Would you like to share an amusing PMS story? If so, please do.
    I recently got off the pill for medical reasons and skipped two periods. The pms that followed the month I got my period WAS INSANE. I felt so weepy and I started to tell my husband this..and then began to sob because I was sobbing for no reason. yes I sobbed because I was sobbing..yeaah.

    4) My use of parenthetical observations annoys my best friend Kathy. Does it annoy you?
    Nope! not in the least.

    Love the pictures! I used to do the same with my posts.

  5. “Did you ever wake up and wish you had a mouse to kill?” she asked without the slightest trace of humor." What a great line!

  6. My friend Maggie emailed me frustrated because Blogspot wouldn't let her enter her comment.
    Not to be deterred, she sent it to me to enter for her... so here it is:

    Theresa, before I put a sledgehammer through this computer, I'd better just send you my comment. I went through the whole process of registering on AIM and all the rest of the nonsense, after answering questions to prove I wasn't a robot (their words) it still doesn't recognize me. Sooooo... here's what I wrote. If you can just post it under Maggie Lawrence, that would be fine. Thanks!

    That would be "yes," I enjoyed your blog posts very much, and "no", I have never had sex with a dwarf. (You did ask that, right?) (And no, the parenthetical remarks don't bother me at all. The very thought of thong underwear bothers me.) Where were we? PMS? Let's go straight to the post-partum depression stories and skip the foreplay. The day after my second child was born, I cried because there wasn't enough bread for French toast. And I didn't want to kill a mouse, I wanted to kill my husband. Now that I think of it, that's perfectly reasonable. Will have to come up with something else.

    — Maggie Lawrence