I lose my mind to obsessive calculation and halucination in the two days before my period is expected.  Like the bastard child of Rainman and Hunter S Thompson – only without their brains and glamour – I dedicate my working days to thumbing the pages of my 2009 menstuation diary and looking for symptoms and products that don’t exist.

Take this morning:  I started by counting the days that elapsed between ovulation and menstruation for last May.  I’d already made this calculation last May, and checked it the following June when waiting for my  next period.  Then, after a short coffee break, I counted the days that elapsed between ovulation and menstruation for last June.  I’d already made this calculation last June and checked it the following July when waiting for my next period.  Then, after another short break I counted the days that elapsed between ovulation and menstruation for last July… You get the picture, there are nine months up until January 2010, it was a good 1.5 hours of calculation.

After I’d double checked the numbers and committed them to memory, I searched Google for the same early symptoms of pregnancy I search for every month. Then I read the same pregnancy websites I’ve read every month since last May which say exactly the same thing they always did.  At this juncture my Beloved Husband would tell me to aggregate the most important information into one handy fact sheet which I could then refer to as and when it’s needed.  But he doesn’t know the importance of obsessive monthly behaviour patterns; what if I miss something vital and discover that my recent love of Michael Jackson and capers is actually a symptom of pregnancy?

And then, when the websites didn’t tell me what I officially want to know i.e THAT YOU, BUMPY RIDE, ARE NOW PREGNANT, then I read the threads; the same threads that have exactly the questions I want answered but that never provide you with a) and answer or b) the resolution to their story.  So you want to know whether the luminescent yellow spots in front of your eyes were pregnancy?  Yes, I want to know too!  So when you go on a thread and ask that question please, please return to give us the results.

Then, after a gruelling morning replicating information I already had, I found myself in Boots The Chemist trying to buy some hair mousse.  As I sashayed down the aisles looking for a nice bit of Toni & Guy, I was drawn, as if my magic, to The Family Planning Aisle.  I know it well, I visit it often to stock up on the shiny pink and purple boxes that are ovulation kits, pregnancy vitamins and tests.  But this time I scanned the shelves eagerly, hoping against hope to find a new product wrapped in a big shiny box saying PILL TO GET YOU PREGNANT IN 24 HOURS.  I scanned the aisle for the green glass jar that dispensed an elixir to increase your fertility overnight or your money back.  I searched high and low for the ointment that soothed the pain of waiting for news of impregnation.  It’s here, I muttered to myself, it’s got to be here, I can find stuff to straighten my hair and lengthen my lashes what about the thing that makes my eggs and his sperm want to go bowling?  It’s got to be here, it’s got to be here, I muttered over and over, in a purple and pink box, in the pink and purple box.  By then I was rocking backwards and forwards.

But the only thing I actually ended up taking home in a pink and purple box was a box of Milk Tray.  Milk Tray… a love of chocolate popular in the 1980s, that’s got to be a symptom, right?

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