The definition of ‘EMSing’ #girlproblems

I’ve always laughed at jokes made about pre-menstrual syndrome. You know, the ones where guys are like, “Must be her time of the month” just because a woman goes from a devil-horned bitch to a tear-soaked, sloppy and snotty mess. I never really noticed the hormonal change in myself but, then again, it wasn’t until about halfway through my freshman year of college that I realized the sad truth: I’m not as perfect as I had always thought I was –– le gasp! I know!

Because of my almost completely unfortunate initials, my mom has always said, “Watch out, Emily’s ‘EMSing,'” and then my older brothers would, quite literally, watch the fuck out (I threw things). Looking back now on episodes of my life through –– let me flatter myself here –– mature eyes, I’ve realized I used to get pretty bitchy, throwing fits, yelling, storming up the stairs, slamming doors and crying hysterically. One teenage girl in the household was bad enough for my brothers and father, who often speculated that one girl was certainly enough, if not more than enough. One brother doesn’t want children and I’m fairly certain the other two want nothing to do with little girls. As their own children, I mean. That sounded creepy.

But back to me and my problems. I’ve toned down some in terms of PMS, but shit, after this week, I don’t think I’ll laugh as hard anymore at PMS jokes.

I bawled my eyes out last Thursday night over one thing one person did, or, rather failed to do. Even though it really wasn’t a big deal. The whole thing isn’t a big deal. I make things a big deal and obsess over them.

“You okay?” my friend texted me at 3 a.m. after I’d left the party.

“Yeah, just PMSing lol,” I replied at 6 a.m. when I woke up and saw the text.

LOL. But it’s really not funny. It’s ridiculous.

PeriodMonsterMy version of PMS has changed from an irritable and angry person to a sad, life-sucks-so-much-and-I-hate-it person. Time I spend in solitude goes from a precious commodity to a pit of loneliness. I text my mom. I text my brother. I text my dad. I text my other brother when the other one doesn’t respond. I know not to text the third one because he doesn’t often respond, but I try him anyway.

“Hi! How are you?” I type, hoping they’ll reciprocate the question so I can plunge deep into my tales of woe and sorrow that only a 20-something woman could spew.

Then I call my mom. And I cry. “I just–hic–needed to talk to–hic–someone who loves me uncondi-hic-tionally,” I’ll sputter into my Droid.

She’ll go along with it; it’s about the only time I ever really call her and she always says something along the lines of, “Aw honey, you know you’re just PMSing, right?”

Right. I know. But it doesn’t stop things from seriously sucking, at least from my chemically askew brain’s point of view.

I’m not as much of a PMS bitch anymore, but if you show me one of those sad ASPCA commercials, I will, without a doubt, burst into tears. If you talk about your grandparents or about how you need to give your grandma a call and you see tears well up in my eyes, don’t be surprised. It’s just me, EMSing again. Then you’d better duck before I throw something at you. EMS can be pretty unpredictable.

In the words of Drake, “Started from the bottom, now we’re here” and it’s true; I kind of hit rock bottom* this week (“YOU WERE NEVER AT THE BOTTOM, DRAKE,” argues my brother). My appetite for success in everything is insatiable and if one thing –– my own personal love life, perhaps? –– falls slightly out of place, the whole Jenga tower topples. My monthly bout of depression tears at my confidence. My successes become I could have done mores*, and my failures nag, nag, nag at me. But now I’m here. I’m going to relish this current balance of estrogen and progesterone before they get all fucked up again, fucking me up in the process.

If nothing else during these highly emotional times, at least I have the DivaCup and the bullshit that follows EMS becomes easier. ; )

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*a relative term; my supposed “rock bottom” includes panicking that someone didn’t text me back, the fear of being excluded and paranoia about everything. It’s stupid. I’m stupid. My “rock bottom” is nothing in the grand scheme of things, though it always seems like my whole damn world is ending.

*mores; done on purpose.

XX is greater than XY (My latest NeXt article)

Take out your iPod, select the “Music” option and click on “Artists.” Scroll on through from A to Z and count the number of bands that are composed of only males. Male-fronted bands probably make up the majority, correct? It might interest you to know that some females in this world can rock harder than the opposite sex.

The three female-fronted bands that nearly everyone in the teenage crowd has heard of are Flyleaf, Paramore and Evanescence, but there are plenty more out there in this world that are none too popular. While Lacey, Hayley and Amy Lee’s voices are indeed beautiful, there are other gorgeous female voices that deserve just as much attention.

A few bands that fans of Paramore might enjoy are: Hey Monday (of West Palm Beach, Fla.), Damone (from Waltham, Mass.), The Material (which started out in San Diego, Calif.), and New Years Day (of Anaheim, Calif.). Cassadee Pope of Hey Monday and Noelle LeBlanc from Damone are sure to gain more fame in the next few years with their voices leading the way.

Colleen D’Agostino of The Material has a beautifully clear voice that is irresistible. One might think that a female singer changes the gender of a band’s fans, but both Roi Elam from The Material and Ashley Costello of New Years Day disagree: “I don’t really think so,” said Elam, “I see an equal amount of guys and girls at our shows.”

“Nooo … not at all, and I was surprised by that,” exclaimed Costello. “When we play I see just as many guys in the crowd as I see girls. It’s really cute.” New Years Day has often been described as the female version of Fall Out Boy. Yes, here and there a likeness is detected, but New Years Day is a band all its own. “I feel like a lot of people took more notice of us because there was a girl singer, but it’s also very hard,” said Costello. “There are so many guy-fronted bands that I feel sometimes the female-fronted band gets pigeon-holed and maybe a label won’t look at us.”

Many people are skeptical of females being in rock bands, but listen to some New Years Day, and let Ashley change your mind in “Temecula Sunrise” or “My Sweet Unvalentine.”

Pretty close to one another in your iPod should be two bands: Fireflight from Eustis, Fla., and Flyleaf of Texas. Both bands are Christian rock, bordering on metal, and are led by females who know what they are doing.

The lyrics that Dawn Richardson and Lacey Mosley sing are powerful and attuned to God. “We all contribute our own parts and help each other to improve upon each other’s suggestions,” said Dawn. “Both Justin [guitarist/ background vocalist Justin Cox] and I work on the lyrics but I am the main lyricist, I imagine me being a girl does affect the way I write…” Nobody would think Flyleaf and Fireflight are all about God, but listening to their lyrics very carefully can help you realize just how much their faith influences the artists in these bands. “We write about what we have gone through in our lives and how God’s love has brought us through,” said Richardson.

Think the farthest thing from the music made by Flyleaf and Fireflight and you have a band called Save Ferris from Orange County, Calif. Although they are no longer together, their deliciously quirky sound and clever lyrics do not fail to entertain. Check out “Under 21” or their cover of “Come On Eileen” (originally by Dexy’s Midnight Runners) and enjoy some ska. Monique Powell is now a solo artist, but her voice was perfect for the likes of Save Ferris.

Ask me: who is the exact opposite of Save Ferris? I will think about it for a second before I reply with one word: Kittie. Don’t let their adorable name fool you — this is a cat you do not want to cross paths with.

Kittie strikes me as the female version of Slipknot — Morgan Lander attacking the listeners with her voice. After many changes over the years, currently rounding out this all-female quartet are Mercedes Lander on drums/vocals/piano, Tara McLeod on guitar, and Ivy Vujic playing bass. Originating in Ontario, Kittie has been around for years, putting many a CD out. Check out “What I Always Wanted” or “Paperdoll” and behold the scarily musical meow that is Kittie.

From Amy Lee to Dawn Richardson, Ashley Costello to Morgan Lander, some females can really rock. So put away the Avenged Sevenfold or Metallica CD and go try something different and new. Found on my iPod is a playlist called “Female-fronted bands.” Maybe you should create one as well, and drag all of the music from these bands onto your iPod.

Also worth listening to: Within Temptation, Garbage, Automatic Loveletter, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, 1997, Meg & Dia, The Donnas, Be Your Own Pet, Letters to Cleo, The Morning Of, Veruca Salt, Lacuna Coil and The Veronicas.

“Being the only girl in a band is awesome. It has just as many pros as it has cons. I’m always protected, but then again I am always picked on by them. It’s like a little sister-big brother relationship,” said Ashley Costello.

Emily Steves is a sophomore at Gowanda