A Recalcitrant Wife and Mother Tells All

The first rule of PMS Club…

Just because Halloween’s over doesn’t mean all scary things have to be packed away.

Picture this: it’s a cold, dark, rainy night. I’m in my jammies, on the couch, under my favorite blanket, watching the election results and playing Words With Friends during commercial breaks.

My husband gets up to grab a snack. “Want anything?” he sweetly asks.

“Yeah. How about a handful of Peppermint Patties from the freezer. And a bag of Cool Ranch Doritos. Hey, do we have any beef jerky?”

“Oh.” His tone drops. “Okay.”

We’ve been married for fifteen years. He knows what this means.  

The Bearded Iris: PMS - its coming from inside the house!

As if me bursting into tears earlier that day over a Folgers commercial wasn’t enough of a red flag.

And then this happened on Twitter…

Just teared up at the commercial for the Abraham Lincoln movie. PMS and this election really have me jacked up.


Mary Burt-Godwin


And I was all, “Oh Thank GOD I’m not the only one.” Which is reason #472 why I love Twitter so much. Instant support group. Fo’ free!

In fact, a bunch of other gals jumped right in to reply to Mary’s confession and we started our own impromptu PMS Club…as hormonally charged women are wont to do:

Seriously. THIS? This is how you make new friends on Twitter, for those of you who have told me you just can’t get into it. Just look for opportunities to interact. Sometimes people respond, sometimes they don’t. But when they do? It can be really fun, and/or comforting.

A few more gals appeared with great offers for what they’d like to bring to our burgeoning PMS Party. @JulieTheWife was ready and willing with her T-Pain microphone and a flame thrower. HOLLA! That girl clearly knows how to par-tay. @JustUsChicks and @AuthorJenTucker chimed in with things like Fritos and wine. Someone may or may not have offered to bring a chainsaw. A screening of The Notebook was planned, complete with spooning. And at one point Mary shared that she has a gold tooth. It was off the hook, y’all.

And all of it was way more fun than biting my nails over the electoral college or skinning my husband and wearing his furry pelt as a cape. (Animal prints are so hot right now, don’t you know.)

But it got me thinking. We should probably establish some rules to our new PMS Club. Here’s my first draft. It might sound a little familiar…

First Rule of PMS Club: You do not talk about PMS Club.

Second Rule: You DO NOT talk about PMS CLUB.

Third Rule: If someone yells “stop,” goes limp, or bursts into tears, just back off.

Fourth Rule: There are no wrong food combinations, only insufficient quantities.

Fifth Rule: If provoked, use one weapon at a time, ladies. And try to make it look like self defense or an accident.

Sixth Rule: No bras, no shoes.

Seventh Rule: PMS will go on as long as we say it does.

Eighth Rule: If this is your first night at PMS Club, you have to bring enough Percocet for everyone.

What am I missing? And what are you bringing to the PMS Party?!

By the way, if you’re looking for some funny women to follow on Twitter, I highly recommend the founding members of the PMS Club. You can follow all of them here. And please join in the fun! If you’ve ever dipped Slim Jims in melted chocolate, cried over a Today Show segment about holiday crafts, or wondered about the pros and cons of premeditated homicide, you’ll fit right in.

Now please hand me my hot water bottle and get the hell out of my way before I cut you.



  1. Mama Mary

    I am typing this through my tears of laughter. I am bookmarking this for every month at this time to re-visit and laugh my way through the PMS bloat, angst and mental instability. Love you and this!

    • The Bearded Iris

      No, love YOU. And thank you for writing such a wonderful tweet that so many women could obviously relate to. You have a gift.

  2. Mary Anne

    I still have PMS even tho I dont have a period. All month I crave Doritos and Slim Jims and take my teen to the shooting range. Just another day in my household-loved this!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Thanks Mary Anne. And did you just say SHOOTING RANGE? You are in the club girl, period or not.

  3. Jennifer

    That IS hilarious! But, I have tried Twitter four times and every time just given up because I walk away feeling like I am in some junior high hell where I have to sit at the table alone and no one talks to me. No one ever responds, and I can’t deal with the self esteem issues, so I go back to Facebook where people I don’t even know, nor do I know how they ended up in my friends list “like” me. ;-P

    • The Bearded Iris

      I hear you. It really can be so awkward to try to join in a conversation and be ignored on Twitter. I try not to take it personally when it happens to me. The weird part of Twitter is that so much of it is timing. Until you “make friends” on Twitter and get on someone’s short list of their favorite Tweeps, the odds of them seeing your tweets are low. But once you do make a few friends? Very fun. For instance, I did not really know Mary or Debi above until this PMS exchange! But this was the foot in the door we all needed to get to know each other better. Now the three of us are actually spooning on the couch and feeding each other chocolate covered potato chips! See? It CAN be done. 🙂

  4. Anne @notasupermom

    I’m feeling a little better today. Also, the children have stopped twitching when I make sudden moves.

    • The Bearded Iris

      …always a good sign, Anne! I’m still waiting for my dog to come out from under the coffee table. Apparently he doesn’t like the sound of chainsaws or incessant weeping.

  5. Danni

    I once cried while watching “A Very Brady Christmas”. I swear it was PMS and not some terrible undiagnosed personality disorder.

    • The Bearded Iris

      I believe you! The Bradys + The Birth of Baby Jesus = Extraordinary tenderness and gratitude.

  6. John

    This had me laughing, and thinking that Cool Ranch Doritos may just be the new global currency after the zombie apocalypse.

    • The Bearded Iris

      You got it, Mister. Start stocking up. I hear they have a very long shelf life.

  7. Karin

    Wow. This came on the right day! hahahaha I am definitely part of the club! Crap! Just broke the first rule.
    Love this!

    • The Bearded Iris

      That’s okay Karin. We will cut you some slack on your first day of PMS Club as long as you brought enough Percocet to share with everyone.

  8. The Sadder But Wiser Girl

    HA HA HA! I don’t twitter (other than my blog posts), but I’d love to join the PMS club! I have proof I’m worthy, though I know I’m not supposed to talk about it…

    • The Bearded Iris

      Girl – get on the TWITTAH. If you only Tweet to promote blog posts, you aren’t going to have relationships and people won’t click through to read your brilliance. You have to interact on Twitter (like in the example above) to form the relationships that lead to the page views.

      Are you following me? What’s your handle? Let’s talk about our hormonal imbalances in a very public forum. It’s fun.

  9. Lisa Hewitt

    Y0u are brilliant. I got hacked on twitter. I blame xfinity.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Hahaha! No doubt.

      But seriously, you can protect yourself from that by not clicking sketchy links in Twitter. The spammers are so smart. They send DMs that say things like “You HAVE TO SEE this sex tape of you and a platypus!” or “Can you believe people are saying this about you? Click here to see!” DON’T DO IT. It exposes all the people who follow you to getting those links in their DM boxes too. Fucking spammers. They suck.

      • Lisa Hewitt

        That’s just it! I did not do anything! WTH! I PROMISE I did not send out a tweet about some bullshit berry weight loss thing and deleted it (right after twitter told me about it) and I now have a very strong password. I can’t believe that tape of me and the platypus is still going around, that is so 5 mintues ago.;) Spammers, do indeed, suck. I hope that one get the screaming shits from those magic berries.

  10. Julie

    My husband knows what’s up when I buy cool ranch doritos and a dozen avocados instead of groceries. His eye doesn’t even twitch anymore.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Mmmmm, avocados. I’ll be right over.

  11. Domestic Goddess

    Are you there God, it’s me DG. Cut the SHIT!

    I am sending away for my PMS membership card…really hoping it comes with a starter kit that includes Doritoes, Pepp Patties and Beef Jerky – can you throw in a burned cd of AirSupply just for help with the crying? It’s not that I need it, but AirSupply really helps unclog the tear ducts.

    Love you Iris Beard. Mean it.

    • The Bearded Iris

      LOVE IT. I think Air Supply should be our official soundtrack. We should probably add a roll of duct tape to the starter kit too…that shit will come in handy for all kinds of situations.

      Love you too, Pookums.

  12. Jane

    So funny! It always reaffirming to know that there are people out there who fantasize cutting. I think your second movie should be Bridges of Madison County- sob fest!!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Can you believe I have NEVER seen that one?! Should I rent it this weekend? Or will that put my husband’s life in mortal danger?

  13. Lady Jennie

    Xanax? To deal with the anger?

    • The Bearded Iris

      YOU ARE IN, Lady Jennie! The secret stash of pills is in the left hand pocket of my leopard Snuggie.

  14. Michelle Johnson

    I cry during Hallmark Card commercials, but I sob uncontrollably if it is that “time of the month.” I’d love to join the PMS club and I’ll bring the frozen chocolate chip cookie dough!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Yesssssssss. Frozen cookie dough should be mandatory at our monthly meetings.

      Oh, those Hallmark Card commercials are the BEST. {sob!}

  15. Crystal

    HA HA! So true! And even more true about Twitter. There are days when I wonder what the heck I am doing on there and then a conversation sparks. Worth it!

    • The Bearded Iris

      Totally. I feel exactly the same. Those sparks make the boring days worth it. Let’s all sing a round of Make New Friends!

  16. Snappy

    My must have is Caramellos – lots and lots of Caramellos. And I wonder why I still haven’t lost the baby weight post pregnancy.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Oooh, do they make a sea salt dark chocolate version of those? If so. Yes please.

  17. Mary

    I once sat on the kitchen floor and divided up the community property in my head. Can I come too?

    • The Bearded Iris

      Come? Bitch please…you just jumped up to club officer status.

  18. Melissa lochamy

    Wait till menopause. It”s “you know what” 24/7, except you just add sleeplessness and no see for the rest of your life to the mix. Happy munching, younguns.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Flattery will get you EVERYWHERE, Melissa. And the “no sex” thing is more of a perk than a threat if you ask me.

      I am not looking forward to the sleeplessness, but I just discovered Tart Cherry juice from Dr. Oz and it seems to be helping!

  19. Melissa lochamy

    Oops….no more sex..just the thought of it makes you visibly ill.

    • The Bearded Iris

      and that’s different from now because…?

  20. Debi

    I just read this for the second time & It is fast becoming my favorite piece of written work ever!
    So proud to be a founding member of the PMS club founded on election night and now I will wipe away the tears of laughter:) Holla!!

    • The Bearded Iris

      HOLLA! This little party really is the most fun I have had on Twitter in a while! (At least since the last season of The Bachelor.) So much fun getting to know you better through our synchronized #sharkweek action.

  21. Julie

    Every month I used to haul out my chocolate IV drip and Kleenex. Now that I’m… older… this condition is much more unpredictable! Can we post-PMS women join the club?

    • The Bearded Iris

      Unpredictable mood swings and food cravings, you say? YOU ARE IN. ::secret handshake::

      • Julie

        Thanks! I loved the moment where your husband’s voice drops in terrified realization. During one of my recent rants my husband didn’t even bother responding – just turned and said, “Kids, let’s all go upstairs for awhile.” He’s a quick study.

        • The Bearded Iris

          Yeah, they have to adapt quickly or we’ll grind their bones to make our bread.

  22. Kim

    “Fight Club” is the #1 reason for my anxiety over homemade soap at craft fairs. (Did you see it? Did you see how they get the FAT?!) Will this exclude me from membership in the PMS Club? Donut, orange soda, and Kleenex near – just waiting for your reply.

    • The Bearded Iris

      WHOA. Hold up. You have craft fair anxiety? You’re in.

      But don’t worry, I only go for “GRADE-A for AWESOME” homemade soaps from the best treated goats in Montana. (My friend Patty is a goat-milk-soap making artiste!)


      Orange soda? Check.
      Donuts? Kleenex? Check, check.

  23. Glenda

    Le sigh . . . I’ve hit PMS on steriods, I now know why it’s called MENOPAUSE . . . all men need to pause before speaking, this includes sons. Mother Nature is a b*tch. Hello hot flushes (I flush not flash), over the top tender boobs and a lifetime membership to Kleenex Club because a bird might fly nearby and it makes you weep with unexpected sentimental thoughts of your dad that’s been dead for 12 years.
    So . . . Can I join? I’ll bring Reese’s and chocolate ice cream by the crate.

    • The Bearded Iris

      You’re IN, Glenda. I promise not to graze your tender breasticles when I reach for one of your tissues!

  24. rootietoot

    I can probably talk my psychiatrist into doubling the Xanax prescription, so I’ll bring that. And cheetoes. When my husband and kids see the cheetoes on the kitchen counter, he says “So, how about I take the kids out for pizza and a movie, you can have the evening to yourself”.

    • The Bearded Iris

      OMG, your husband is a prince! “…have the evening to yourself…” What does that even mean?

      • rootietoot

        It means not having to share the cheetoes OR the Netflix queu.

  25. Ann

    I can bring Peppermint Ice Cream, Cymbalta, and muscle relaxers. Can probably teach y’all how to sell all of your ex’s crap at a yard sale and rake in over $10k, swear to it…you can ask my scary sister!

    My current husband is a sweetie even if, after I said, “I keep getting hot and then cold, it’s driving me crazy!” (with a mouthful of Good & Plenty), he replied with, “Maybe you’re starting that menopause thing?”. Wish I’d been faster with the iPhone to capture the look of pure horror on his face as he realized what he’d said as he fled down to the basement! Now he makes sure I don’t run out of Good & Plenty.

    • The Bearded Iris

      Sounds like you are eating “Good & Scary”! And yes please, teach us the ways, Obi Wan.

      • Ann

        Well…after he’s left to go live with the skanky-ho, I mean, my children’s new step-monster, you tell him to come get his #$*+ or you’re giving it to the Goodwill. Put only his clothes in the garage, keep all the good stuff inside, and lock the doors! Be sure to be in there because skanky will be in the car and won’t want him to come inside, nor do you, and he’ll get it all quick and go so the neighbors don’t see. Then you have a yard sale but don’t tell his relatives! I sold all of it, the Mule, and even the house! Had to move out two weeks later. (I ain’t lyin!)

  26. Kerstin @ Auer Life

    Love it – and I want to become a member, like RIGHT NOW.
    I can definitely bring some stuff to the table here, including a teenager with PMS – that has got to be the worst thing ever. Help!

  27. Crista

    I’ll bring “The Best of Journey’ after we’re done with Air Supply. Journey has the best break-up songs…even when you only want to break up with your family for about a week.

  28. Laurie Nylund

    Sadly, I guess I am now too old for the PMS club or I would ask to join you ladies. Six months into menopause and the hot flashes are making me CRAZY. I would seriously trade this for PMS. And eating anything emotionally comforting (ice cream, mashed potatoes and gravy, homemade bread and honey – ie carbs of any sort!) just makes it worse. I guess I need to start my own support group.

  29. Jessica

    You are hilarious and I so needed this. Oops is that a Snicker’s crumb on my boob?

  30. hollow tree ventures

    I’ll bring wine, assorted street drugs, and several bags of doorknobs we can swing at anyone who tries to come near us.

  31. Ellen at Sisterhood of the Sensible Moms

    You nailed it with Rule #4. I’m bringing Cheez-its and homemade Chocolate Cola Frosting. And an X-acto knife so I can cut a jackass.

  32. Abby

    Omg. Hilarious. I’ll bring hard cider. Because it’s the only thing in my fridge that doesn’t required cooking to consume. Also, may I suggest we have club t-shirts to wear to meetings? I have the perfect design in mind.

  33. Jen

    My friend was telling me about a book she was reading (called The Red Tent??) in which the women of this Indian tribe would all gather in a tent (nicknamed the red tent – for obvious reasons) and do things like braid each other’s hair, tell stories, eat, and basically just fucking relax. They weren’t allowed to cook, clean, tend the babies… NOTHING! And the best part?!? The KIDS had to wait on THEM!


    I’m pretty sure that my brain just exploded inside of my skull and is now just a pile of mush and yuck. I always knew I was born the wrong race in the wrong century…

    • The Bearded Iris

      Dude, The Red Tent by Anita Diamant is one of my ALL TIME FAVORITE BOOKS. It is historical fiction set during the Old Testament time about some of the people in the Bible. It is fascinating and so juicy! There is love, passion, murder, polygamy, midwifery, scandal, hummus, and yes, the women would all be sent to the red tent during their cycle (probably to stop all the killing).

  34. Betsy

    I’ll bring the powdered donettes and the salt & vinegar potato chips, which have to be eaten in the SAME BITE. Oh, and the martinis. Yup…

  35. Sarah

    I am way late to this party but considering that I just ate the end of a bag of Trader Joe’s veggie chips plus a bite each of three different packages of fudge that hubby brought home plus some cashews as I also threw back a Bridgeport IPA while crying and watching Parenthood, I’m pretty sure I’d fit into the club! Thanks for making me laugh!

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