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Menopause is ‘ a special time in a woman’s life when they can’t have babies anymore. They get hormonal, mean, rude, short-tempered, angry, and awkward. Bad time for teenagers to live with their moms. She was mean because she was going through menopause‘. Urban Dictionary

YAY!! It’s World Menopause Day. An excuse to celebrate irrationality, mood swings and incomprehensible bloating. So I thought I’d recycle this little gem just to get you in the mood to party.

This week I was going to bring you a vacuous post entitled ‘the physical significance of the modern super-hero’ (or ‘why Chris Hemsworth is so f*cking hot’), but then I realized that all three of my readers would probably work out what a pathetic, dyed-blonde sleaze ball I truly am and ditch my blog.

So instead, and partly because I’m still recovering from an outrageously evil assault by some vengeful grass ticks, (resulting in paranoid insomnia from the unrelenting itchiness), I have spent most of this week feeling a tad maudlin. As a result, instead of going into the finer detail of Chris’s pecs, I decided to write a true Midlife Mayhem ‘niche’ post detailing the symptoms of an equally debilitating health issue (even worse than the repercussions of a swathe of embittered grass ticks), eerily often referred to in hushed tones as ‘the change’.

(I’ll just give the boys a few seconds to exit the page).

So anyway, here’s my little snapshot of what I’ve experienced in the first few sacred years of my menopausal Chamber of Horrors:

  1. Admittedly, I’ve always been a bit partial to GRUMPINESS, (even when I didn’t have the abdication of my oestrogen as a valid excuse), but my grumpiness has now become a condition rather than an event. From the moment I wake up these days, I feel irritable, no matter if it’s the weekend,  if I’ve had a good night’s sleep or if the old man has unexpectedly been called away on a five day work trip; and that lack of control over my innate grumpiness, renders me even more grumpy. My tolerance has completely expired. I can and will find fault with everything and anyone and I blow trivial annoyances completely out of proportion. If anyone dares to allude to (or worse, question) my irrationality, they’d better be prepared.
  2. My BODY’S in-built mechanism for the equal distribution of weight (that served me well in my twenties and thirties in helping me deal with those extra calories) no longer seems to function, so it dumps those unwanted calories unceremoniously anywhere it can on my physique without prior consultation; usually around my tummy and chin, but never on my breasts. No amount of energy-sapping nut and fruit grazing seem to rectify this problem. I have been forced to accept friend invites from  ‘bloating’ and ‘swelling’ on Facebook.
  3. My STYLE has been forced to conform to my new skin tones which range from ruddy to sallow, with an occasional pretty grey tinge. I have capitulated regarding my wardrobe and embraced kaftans, voluminous Witchery tent dresses and hideously chunky beads in in-your-face tropical shades to distract the eye from anyone actually looking at ME.
  4. I gain WEIGHT when I eat, and I gain weight when I don’t eat.  The fullness of my boobs veer from empty vessels to over-ripe, sore mangos at varying times of the month. Why the f*ck do I need big puppies now of all times?
  5. My PERIODS have resorted to anarchy. They just appear when the f*ck they like with absolutely no prior warning. RUDE! The only certainty with ‘the curse’ these days is that it HURTS LIKE HELL, which makes them an even more bitter pill to swallow when they no longer serve any purpose.
  6. My MEMORY abandoned ship around the same time as my menstrual cycle. I now resort to lists for everything and find lost objects, (including car keys, the car and the kids), by a carefully orchestrated ‘working backwards’ process. My brain has obviously imploded and become a confused mash of old cells that connivingly trick me in sensitive situations; like at work in the face of my boss and deadlines.
  7. I have more BODY HAIR than the dog and the dog groomer looked uncomfortable when I suggested a two for one deal.  I used to celebrate the European liberation of a bit of leg or under-arm fuzz but now ALL my follicles have joined the party and rogue hairs grow anywhere and everywhere.
  8. Remind me again about the point of SEXOther than for procreation or as a negotiating tool, obviously. With judgmental teenagers, 24hr fatigue, body image issues and difficulty finding my sexual mojo for the guy I listen to fart in unison with the dog each night, I often sometimes can’t find that precious ‘window’.
  9. My intolerance to ALCOHOL is the real kicker.  Alcohol now screws with my head in a really badass way. I can get a hangover from Tiramisu, and one dangerous glass of cheap vino can escalate my mood from moroseness to a noose. No matter how much I’ve adapted my body to the curtailing infringements imposed by middle-age, giving up this last vestige of my youth hurts the most. Water has become my new best friend.

Tune in next week for the old man’s version of the ‘male journey’ into middle-age. Highlights include: how much is too much hair loss? golf on tv versus sex, imposing nose hair and keeping the weight down by watching lots of sport on tv.

Meet Ms Peri Menopause photo courtesy of mummysam at www.flickr.com