I Enjoy Being a Girl (With the Exception of the Annoying Bits)


by Anna Lefler

Author of The CHICKtionary:
From A-Line to Z-Snap, the Words Every Woman Should Know 

Ah, womanhood.  Just when you think you’ve got your game on, society – or your body – steps in and changes the rules. 

It’s the perfect weekend for a romantic beach getaway?  Not according to your uterus. 

Your boyfriend is totally over his ex?  Really?  Let’s have a look in that coffee cup cabinet.

New gauchos for casual Friday?  Um, we’re not doing that anymore.

Is there no end to the uniquely female annoyances we must face on a daily basis?  Apparently not.  On the upside, at least we have someone to talk to about these indignities:  each other.  And, because the bulk of the female experience is common to all women, we don’t have to waste time explaining ourselves.

However, if we did try to explain the challenges of womanhood to, say, a non-native speaker, the definitions might go something like this:

Cramps, noun

Cramps are your body’s way of saying, “Sisterhood, schmisterhood—I own your ass.”  Cramps can be described as a series of abdominal pains that range from a dull ache to the sensation of being repeatedly flayed with barbeque tongs, with accompanying levels of discomfort starting at “meh” and maxing out somewhere near “MOTHER AIYEOWOWOW!” Cramps can strike at any time prior to, during, or after your monthly period (see also:  the curse, Aunt Flo, Festival of Menses).  It is interesting to note that if you track your cramps and determine the monthly point at which the discomfort is greatest, you can be assured that your body will behave entirely differently the following month.  Popular remedies for cramps include over-the-counter painkillers, application of a heating pad on your abdomen, and leaving work for the day so at least you don’t have to have cramps and listen to your idiot boss.

Freshness, noun

A mystical and highly desirable state that encompasses all things female.  The quality of freshness should be apparent in your breath, your demeanor, your laundry, your scent, your hair, the new skin underneath the scaly layer you’re making the rest of us look at, and your view of the world.  Your approach should be fresh, along with your manicure/pedicure, and, if your make-up no longer looks fresh, then you should high-tail it to the ladies’ room and take care of that.  Inattention to the myriad aspects of female freshness can lead to a condition known as catastrophic freshness fail (see also:  not-so-fresh feeling).

IUD, acronym

Acronym for intrauterine device (not, as commonly believed, “in up ’dere”), the IUD is a form of contraception that involves planting a piece of plastic that looks like one of those floss-picker things into your uterus, where it floats around like Sputnik until your gynecologist (see also:  gynie) removes it.  Although the IUD produces several effects that work to prevent conception, its general method is to irritate and eventually piss off your uterus so much that it shuts the blinds, changes its phone number, blocks you on Facebook, and refuses to play nice with any of your partner’s sperm until the annoying device is removed.

Residual Girlfriend, noun

The annoying physical and/or emotional detritus that lingers from a previous relationship.  Like that gray-brown stuff that hangs on in the corner of the shower stall no matter how hard you dig at it with your scrubby brush, the remains of previous relationships can be impossible to eradicate.  As a result, you may find residual girlfriend cropping up in the form of a coffee mug, a photograph in the back of a drawer, even a personal joke that he tries his best to bring you into but which, considering it’s just more residual girlfriend that has to be scrubbed away, is not funny.  Seriously, so not funny.

Seven-Day Cleanse, noun

This phrase strikes terror in the heart of any woman who’s used to eating, well, food.  That’s because the process of the seven-day cleanse is to whittle down the amount of food entering the body—or suddenly eliminate it altogether—and replace it with water, tea, or another beverage that is specially formulated to make you rethink whether having a haz-mat site for a colon is really such a bad thing after all.  Oh, sure, they tell you that by day five you don’t notice how hungry you are because you’re too busy enjoying the hallucinations, but in our opinion, if we’re going to spend the weekend lying face-down in the driveway, we’d rather the cause be the toxins we put in our bodies, not the ones we’re trying to flush out.

Win a Signed Copy of The CHICKtionary – Plus a Bonus Gift Card!

Leave a comment below by Wednesday, November 16 for the chance to win a signed copy of The CHICKtionary – a humorous dictionary of the things women say…and what they really mean when they say them.  The book corrals more than 450 terms, including some you know (uterus) and some you might not (flexting), and defines each from the perspective of a typical contemporary woman—a woman who avoids accidental pageant hair, is frenemies with her robotic vacuum and only occasionally relies on her high-waisted jeans to hold up her strapless bra.

The winner (who will be selected at random) will also receive a $25 Target gift card, which is bound to come in mighty handy as you launch into your holiday shopping frenzy.

Or, you know, blow it all on maxi pads.  It’s your call.

The CHICKtionary:  From A-Line to Z-Snap, the Words Every Woman Should Know is available wherever books are sold…and few places they’re not.  For more information, please visit http:///www.annalefler.com.

Congrats to Megan Lent! She was our random winner!


  1. Oh, I have the chicktionary.

    And I’m still angry at all the womens who didn’t tell me to order more than one right away.

    Because I am getting buried in the casket with this book.

    I have become the coolest chick in town with the street cred talk that’s busting out of my trap since this pink mamastillrocksit book was delivered by Mr. UPS.

    I have dropped the bomb of #flapjacks more times than I can count this week to the amusement of at least ten small town women.

    I have joked about that thing that you first think is the name of an Italian puppet, that you WISH was the name of an Italian puppet.

    And my god I have made the old ladies laugh in my work kitchen by answering their every query with “Is it a freshness problem?”

    In short: Anna’s book has not only made me able to adjust my prozac schedule to every other day but it has also made me da bomb in this small town.

    A funny funny book in a conveniently perfect pocketbook size.

    I feel so bad ass when I pull it out to read while I’m in the check out line at SuperSaver.

    BAD.ASS. y’all.

    I owe her.

  2. Yeah, cramps own my ass every month.

  3. I love this. LOVE LOVE LOVE.

    Now, if you will excuse me, I must go and freshen myself. Everywhere.

  4. I’m so intrigued by this. If I don’t win… I am going to have to ask for this for Christmas. :)

  5. No cramps since 1999, never did any of this stuff, but my knees are going because my hips are so wide that cause them trouble as I walk. Can’t say I could enjoy being a woman. I don’t, with few VERY few exceptions. Could be why most of my friends are male. I can talk to them without being a threat to someone.

  6. As a really cool chick, I feel like I’ve been battling the world without my most powerful weapon!!! I need THIS for future world-saving battles…don’t let that way heavy on YOUR shoulders…go ahead, ask me for my mailing address ;)

  7. I am now very concerned about my freshness. Also, the caterpillar that seems to living where my eyebrows used to be.

  8. I am somewhere in the middle of my seven day cleanse so I’m not sure I can read anymore. But maybe after I freshen up a bit? Things are getting a little Earthy in some places.

    (You’re brilliant)

  9. Cracking up at the term “Festival of Menses.” I’ve never heard it called that.

  10. Hi, I’m here to enter the contest for the industrial fruit dryer…?

    Wait, what…?

    (Thank you for having me, FnS!!) XOXO

  11. I think I need to go “freshen” myself after reading this excerpt. Hilarious.

  12. Pick me, pick me! Or, you know, I could just fork over the cash for the book. Whichever, really

  13. Megan Lent says:

    If I had this book, I would turn it into a word-of-the-day calendar. I would write numbers next to each entry and thereby always know the date. It would save me from ever having to ask strangers if it’s Wednesday, or if it’s one of those special weeks where we have Tuesday twice in a row. AND I’d be able to track my ovulation/menstruation cycles like a responsible not-a-mother fucker.

    Also, I’m a broke college student who has spent all of her book money on the seven different versions of Rosseau’s Social Contract required for Poli Sci 10.

    • Megan is our winner!!!

      • Shannon Turley says:

        congrats, megan, maybe you could reiterate rousseau’s social contract in your ovulation calendar for every raving premenstrual lunatic out there on the verge of staging a homicidal coup d’etat because people are generally fucking morons. id totally buy that.

  14. Still giggle every time I think of a bandeau. I’ve got to move onto the Cs.

    Two copies are making their way to biffles who are being separated by a career & a few states. Seriously, I thought my cousin would take her biffle when she moved. I don’t know how either one is going to survive being apart. I worry for their husbands.

  15. Hi,

    I already have the KINDLE version of the CHICKtionary but I would absolutely love having a copy of the actual book. There really is nothing like having the actual book and if I was lucky enough to win then
    who knows maybe I could even get the author Anna Lefler to sign my copy one day.
    I better go now since my high waist jeans seem to not be holding up my strapless bra anymore,
    Code Red Situation!

    Thank you.

  16. I feel so fresh after reading this. Good job, Anna! Of course, I already own The CHICKtionary, but I’ll def take one to give as a Christmas gift if I win. And to whomever enters this contest and does not win, BUY THE BOOK ANYWAY. It is beyond hilarious.

  17. The CHICKtionary is even better than that old Massengil commercial in which a woman and her mom (!) talk about which flavors of douche they each prefer. “I like vinegar and water…” It’s that good. Still, I could use another copy for the car.

  18. Scout Durwood says:

    Freakin love it! Well done!

  19. Hilarious and do true!! Would love to read the whole book!

  20. I do not enjoy this fashion nonsense we must endure. Why must it always change?? WHY???

    • I work in an OB/GYN clinic, and this book would be shared amongst 30 women (and 2 men!)…..loved the excerpt. Every year I make a “book” from all the funniest comments, phone calls, triage notes…..this year one of my favorites was from a birthing plan that stated, ‘I don’t want any drugs, nothing EXCEPT when the baby crowns, I want you to numb the “ring of fire”!’ I coupled it with a picture of Johnny Cash.

  21. This book is so up my alley. Is “up my alley” euphemistic for something? Not sure. But if I had the Chicktionary I would know! This excerpt is hysterical. As an owner of an IUD, I especially appreciated that entry, but am feeling very aware that my uterus is pissed off. Spooky feeling.

  22. Can’t wait for a copy!
    I have an IUD, in up dere’. Had my friend, my GYN, put it in the day I busted ol’ ex-hubby cheating. Doc wanted me to make an appoinment. No time for that. I might accidently sleep with the bastard again.
    PS: I could really use a Taget gift card.

  23. Woo hooooo! Gonna get me some maxi pads!! I love your writing. I want your book. x

  24. Would LOVE to read the whole book!! “Festival of Menses” LOL

  25. Love it!
    By the way, can a 7 day cleanse get rid of a catastrophic freshness fail? I’m asking for a friend. ;)

    • Shannon Turley says:

      if you’re using the cleanse concept for the elusive freshness, i think you might be a teeny weeny bit confused on female anatomy….

  26. Lynn Durkovic Nelson says:

    Well, I just fell on the floor after being “owned” by one of those cramps :(
    I need this CHICKtionary to help get me thru those “not so fresh” times so I know I am not alone :)


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