Gentle, Happy but Casual - "Menstruation"

This weekend my daughter and I went to see the movie '20th Century Women' starring Annette Bening, Greata Gerwig and Elle Fanning and written and directed by Mike Mills.

The premise of the film is the struggle Dorothea (Bening) encounters while raising her 15-year-old son Jamie as a single mother. She fears that for him to grow up into a good man she will need help in his development, so she asks two younger women in her life, Abbie (Gertwig) and Julie (Fanning) to help her help him. 

The setting for this story is Santa Barbara, California in 1979 and writer/director Mills does a wonderful job in recreating this era, replete with VW beetle cars, skateboarding, the profusion of cigarette smoking and the punk/new age music scene. It's almost as if the whole movie was shot with a vintage filter and I found myself slightly nostalgic for simpler times as these.

My mom was asked to join us in our moviegoing but as we had decided very last minute to go, she opted out. Afterwards she asked us "how was the movie?" and the best answer I could come up with was "interesting". I don't think she would like it very much and my daughter still hasn't decided if she liked it or hated it. I loved it but then I tend to like movies that are story driven and a little left of centre. 

Hands down, my favourite scene was one at a dinner party hosted by Dorothea in her large home. She often invites near strangers to join the ragtag bunch who live in her rooming house  for dinner, like the firemen who put out the fire that consumed her car in the parking lot of a grocery store at the beginning of the movie. This particular dinner party was elevated to remarkable when Abbie was nudged by Jamie because she was resting her head on the table. Her excuse was that she was menstruating. Watch the reactions below:

This scene highlights that even uttering the simple word "menstruation" can cause much discomfort, for both males and females,  and Abbie does a wonderful (if unappreciated) job in trying to diffuse the stigma surrounding such an innocent word. 

I wonder, have any of you had a similar situation transpire in your menstruating life? Were you involved in a funny or awkward scenario when the topic of menstruation arose? 

Please leave anecdotes and insights in the comments below.