It’s that time again, folks,

that time of the month I warn the dude readers to avert their eyes. But first, a story.

For most of my life, I’ve not been a fan of girls. Even as little kid, I would rather play Transformers with the boys across the street than Barbies with the girls next door. (The boys across the street also had a pinball machine in their basement, which was awesome in a way I can’t begin to describe.) As I aged, my distaste for the fairer sex grew in equal proportion to the catty backstabbing I witnessed throughout middle school, high school, and college. This is not to say I had *no* girlfriends – only that it was easier for me to get along with men. And that high school girls suck. Generally.

I spent a lot of time during my freshman year of college honing my theory, expanding it to encompass the higher education crowd: the army of mindless bimbos that teetered down frat row during pledge week, the ethereal drama engenues who wore yoga gear 24/7, and the pseudo-feminist contingency who apparently only listened to Tori Amos. If you fall into any of these ill-conceived categories, don’t take offense: it was a very depressed year in my life. I pretty much hated everyone, except for the five or so guys I’d hang out with and smoke pot. I was actually a little bit in love with all of them, and I cried myself to sleep the night before I left for summer break.

I got a single room my sophomore year, since coed roommates weren’t allowed at Syracuse and there was literally not a single female that I could stand to live with. It was pretty lonely. I began to wonder how I would make it through to graduation. Luckily, at a particularly low ebb in my constant flow of depression, I met Kaia, a buxom, sophisticated, New Yorker and fellow redhead. She lived across the floor from me, and, after a long (vodka-fueled?) night spent recounting adolescent misadventures we were basically inseparable. We wound up living together for the next two years.

Kaia took me on my very first tour of Manhattan club life, schooled me in the wonders of Kalamata olives, and basically gave me the keys to her car, as she claimed to not know how to drive outside NYC. For my part, I dragged her to a Phish show where I overindulged a touch and passed out face-down in the mud. It was clear who had the upper hand in this relationship. When I got kicked out of my favorite bar at the end of junior year, it was Kaia who suggested a “Fear and Loathing” drinking game that left me incapacitated for days, and when Kaia got unexpectedly hammered at a campus party, it was I that drove her home and hauled her upstairs to the bathroom, where she remained until the following morning. Together, we drained bottle after bottle of Svedka over 5-for-5 movie deals, sharing cigarettes and staying up way too late. It was like I had a twin sister, only with better clothes and a more expansive collection of skincare products. And, as often happens with female roommates, our monthly cycles came into sync.

Last weekend, I drove down to NYC to crash with my dear friend Kaia. I hadn’t seen her in almost a year, so we fixed the first of many drinks and set about catching up on each other’s lives. The next morning, slightly ill, we staggered out for food and shopping. “My back is fucking killing me from these cramps” Kaia grumbled, as I started the car. “Fucking period.”

Sure enough, two hours later and a full WEEK AND A HALF early, my back was also fucking killing me, and I was suddenly very fucking glad I hadn’t taken the fucking tampons out of the fucking travel bag. Fucking women. Fucking moon cycles. After 12 months of not seeing this girl and six years of not living together, it really was like nothing had changed.

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