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My Mom Forced Me to Have a 'Period Party' Too

Am I the only one who felt awkward after watching the HelloFlo commercial? It did make me laugh but it also brought back a flood of memories of my own "period party." Yes, I had a period party but it was not an event I’d ever brag about.

I was 13 years old and in the 8th grade in the inner city in Miami, being creeped out by watching all the girls around me announce the arrival of their periods by wearing black skirts to school. My time hadn’t come yet, but I wasn’t trying to rush it — I had better things to do, like write for the school magazine and host the morning announcements. What did I need a period for? Who was I racing?

RELATED: 'HelloFlo' Ad Makes Periods Look Pretty Hilarious

But lo and behold, one Saturday I afternoon I went to use the restroom and noticed something wasn’t quite right. My heart sank. I called out to my mama and showed her the tissue.

She walked away and came back with a maxi pad, handing it to me with a mischievous look on her face. “Plug it up! Plug it up!” she sang out, mocking me with the locker room chant from the 1976 horror movie "Carrie."

That wasn’t funny.

I went to my room and sat down at my desk, wondering what my life had become. An hour later there was a knock on the front door and I went to see who had come. It was my Aunt Linda and her children. Then another knock at the door announced the arrival of my Aunt Valorie and her daughters. Then there were more: My Aunt Phyllis arrived, then the neighbors from upstairs. I had no idea why everybody was coming over all of a sudden.

As I looked over at my mama, who was also smiling at me in silence, it hit me: she called everybody in the world and announced that I had my period.

They all gathered around staring and smiling at me like I was a weird artifact. As I looked over at my mama, who was also smiling at me in silence, it hit me: She'd called everybody in the world and announced that I had my period. I shook my head. I swear, that lady …

As I watched the new HelloFlo commercial this week, where the tween fakes getting her period so she can be a part of the in-crowd and her mom punishes her by having a fake period party, I felt the shame so deeply that it made me blush again, as if I were still 13.

Her mom playfully invites family members, co-workers and friends to celebrate her new period during her aptly titled "First Moon Party," and we watch in astonishment as the little girl’s family members play games like bobbing for ovaries and pin the pad on the period. This shaming forces the little girl to confess and the mom hands her a period starter kit.

What? A period starter kit?

Who would buy a period starter kit? Maybe single dads raising daughters alone would benefit from this announcement, or maybe pre-teens in a rush to grow up. I don’t have daughters, so I’ll never have to deal with this issue, but if I did, I’m not sure how would I handle preparing my daughter for her first period.

RELATED: On Throwing a Period Party

Now that I think about it, I guess the period starter kit would be a bit more tasteful than being handed a maxi pad and listening to your mom chant, “Plug it up! Plug it up!”

It must be a "thing" for moms to embarrass you when you get your period. Yikes.

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