No, the title does not refer, at all, to the famous millennial catchphrase, in case you are wondering. For my first post, I will be talking (literally) about Disneyland Paris and periods.
But first things first, let me ask you: what, in your opinion, makes a Disneyland trip unforgettable?
- Maybe meeting your absolute favorite character.
- Maybe getting to see the castle with your own eyes for the first time.
- Maybe have the chance to bite into Woody's head (in a cookie form, of course).
Or maybe, simply being there.
Well, as for me, my first Disney trip turned out to be unforgettable not exactly for any of the reasons above but because, there, I officially became a woman. Yes, I did have my first EVER period at Disneyland Paris, which happened to be also my first trip ever. I lost both my airplane virginity and childhood during those five days. Ironic, since I supposedly was in the most childhood related place on the entire planet earth.
But did it ruin the trip? Not at all. In fact, if you ask me, I wouldn't change one single tiny bit of it.
I was 11 years old at the time (2011 was THE year) and was traveling, like I said, for the first time ever along with my parents and my aunt. We went there in summer as my birthday gift but little did I know when I first arrived in Paris that I would get to make acquaintance with both Mickey and cramps during that vacation. In the parks, we stayed at Disney's Newport Bay Club and it was pretty fine back then because, for some odd reason, I still enjoyed seafood. My tastebuds grew older in the meantime.
The whole point in writing about this particular experience is not as much to promote Disneyland or provide you with the most amazing tips to enjoy the parks at their fullest - I was 11 and just living my best life, of course, I didn't pay any attention to prices or worried about rating meals. Those five days were indeed incredible, goddamit they were the best days of my life up to that point (because I did go to Disney again a few years after whilst NOT having my period and let me tell you it's bloody life-changing). We had diner at the Mickey Cafe the night we arrived and there we met Mickey and Goofy and Chip and Dale, took photos with them, got to hug them but not talk to them because again I was a kid, a shy kid that could barely speak any English let alone French.
I remember riding some child-friendly things, I remember running away from Tower Of Terror because when the time to actually ride it came (as we, the bold and adventurous part of us, had got ourselves some FastPasses so that we didn't have to queue) I got, surprise surprise, ridiculously scared. Well, in my defense, my parents and my aunt are adults and they got scared too. I admit, though, that later I regretted not going on it but at least we got to create some magic as we offered our FastPass tickets to a couple that was just about to go stand on the line. Disney magic really does exist.
I also have a picture with Pinocchio and Geppetto in which I look bald (yey for my father and his amazing photography skills) but apart from that and all that I mentioned, I don't have that many memories. I was young and too overwhelmed by both being there and well... having my period for the first time ever, I think. As I was saying back there, the whole point in here is not to promote Disney or to complain about menstruation, after all, it's a natural thing and it would have had to happen anyway. My point is that of course it was uncomfortable, of course I didn't want it to be happening, of course I just wanted to enjoy my time there and not having to worry about bleeding...
but looking back, I'm actually super glad that it happened.
"Are you out of your mind?" You might be saying right now.
Well, I'm quarantined for over a month now, so I can't really deny that for sure but as for Disneyland and periods, I'm certain that I know what I'm saying. And I know that mainly because traveling - and you have to agree with me on this - is all about creating memories and although clearly not all of them are going to be good or manageable, we do have the choice of how we want to look at them: for instance, I could easily mark that trip as the worst ever, as a week that I just want to forget, as the most traumatic experience ever.
But instead, I choose to look at it as something that will keep me linked to Disney, this amazing world that I am so passionate about, in a way that most people out there will never be. I choose to look at it as a blessing and as one of the best - if not the best - memories that I get to take with me forever.
And at the end of the day, I really am a lucky bastard.
© 2020 Patricia Marques