The Duchess of Inverness’ autumnal soiree is well underway, and guests have arrived from all over the township to dance, consort, and enjoy the supper room, which is well-stocked with savory pies of the most impressive sorts. But what’s more, women are sharing unguarded truths about their periods—at the duchess’ ball, of all places!


The sumptuous swells of violins and the mesmerizing twirls of dancers young and old have signaled that the ball has begun in earnest, so how can it be that this woman is sharing no-nonsense period facts? Surely this is not the place to be brutally honest about how the first couple days of one’s menstrual cycle totally suck! True as this woman’s period confession may be, her choice to blurt it out in the middle of the duchess’ ball suggests ill breeding of the most dire sort! And within earshot of our hostess no less! Good heavens!

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Why, this woman has chosen a most improper time to get real about period fatigue! Lady Henrietta Arden has just arrived (quite fashionably late), and every head in the room has been drawn to the exceedingly elegant square-cut neckline of her brand-new gown. At a moment like this, vulgar comments about how heating pads and naps are everything during your period is tasteless at best!

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The duchess has provided magnificent supper pies full of guinea fowl, not to mention trifle for dessert, and it is time to move to the refreshment room so that the guests may enjoy them. The fatty juices leaking invitingly from the dozens of pies are glistening in the candlelight as if to tempt the partygoers as they prepare to sup—and the ladies lucky enough to get escorted into supper by handsome young dancing partners are smiling demurely as they wait to be served. Unfortunately, it seems this woman does not realize that such a sumptuous feast is simply no place to drop some truth bombs about the myriad ways bleeding between periods (also known as “spotting”) can be a total bummer! What disrespect toward her fellow guests, toward the duchess, and especially toward the duchess’ beloved cook, who worked so hard to create this most elegant meal!

My word! It appears that the young bachelor Henry Davenport has fallen victim to the charms of the beautiful Catherine, the common-born daughter of the Duke of Inverness’ most trusted aide-de-camp, Arthur Wollingsly. Henry has asked Catherine to dance, and she has accepted! It would be a shame to see this budding romance overshadowed by this uncouth hussy’s boorish chatter about how a uterine condition called endometriosis can cause severe pain and cramping, among other health issues. What extraordinary rudeness! Candid conversations about how endometriosis is often misdiagnosed or ignored by physicians are perhaps appropriate in the stables or the public house, but not here at the duchess’ ball!

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Did this woman arrive unaccompanied by a chaperone? Who has allowed her to make such a bold claim about how an IUD is the ultimate birth control and makes her period way easier to manage to boot? A single woman like her should not be without the supervision of her husband or an older woman more expert in the ways of etiquette so that she might avoid situations exactly like this one. A totally straightforward period fact at the duchess’ ball of all places? We are simply beside ourselves!