MENOPAUSE: THE NONMUSICAL

I haven't seen the off-Broadway musical that originated from Orlando (where menopausal women go to live out their days). But I feel their pain and think it was a superb idea.

This time of life, like almost any other phase of a woman's life, is absolutely hilarious. It's like puberty all over again, except with a better sense of humor. Every now and then, if I feel like I'm not getting the right level of empathy from my family members, I'll resort to reading blogs about menopause. Only the funny ones, though. You know how that goes, right? It's like only eating the bacon out of a salad.

In so doing, I ran across a Huffington Post article from 2013 that almost made me pee my pants from laughing. My co-workers already think I'm insane, so I wasn't really worried about how the cackling that emanated from my desk sounded. Truthfully, I was more worried about my office chair. 

Oh, well.

Here's my favorite provision in Huffington's The Menopause Bill of Rights:


"Provide for the needs of your menopausal partner by establishing procedures for assisting with maintaining the pretense of eternal youth and the feeding of unrealistic expectations at all times. This includes detaining Michelle Pfeiffer and slapping her until she confesses who she sold her soul to."
https://youtu.be/g9Ahm65zEKg

Please pay attention to the photo above. If you see this face, fling poo at it.


Anyway, it's a great article. In between hot flashes, yelling at your spouse and searching for chocolate, you should read it. Come to think of it, Huffington Post must have had a female editor in 2013 because of the inordinate amount of menopause-themed articles it produced that year. Another one titled "Why I Reported Menopause to the Police" contained this warning up front, "Menopause is nobody’s friend, except maybe the moisturizing industry."

My kids will laugh at that statement. More than once, I've almost wrecked our minivan while trying to smear lotion all over my hands. Kinda hard to drive with slippery hands and teenagers yelling at you.

But even after all of my in-depth, rib-tickling research, I still have no earthly idea what's happening. For instance, what's the deal with perimenopause? Does it come first, or last? Is it worse? OMG, it can't be worse, can it?


ART CRED: Spice of Life
Maybe I'll start a Pinterest page with all of my favorite menopause jokes. It would be therapeutic, and it would help my memory. I can never remember to say things like, "I'm either going out to get ice cream or to commit a felony. I'll decide in the car" in the actual moment.


My family already accuses me of being bipolar, but it seems that I now have permission to fully embrace it as a victim of menopause. I'm totally buying this shirt. 
www.gnarlytees.com

And another thing... I believe that women just now starting to "go through a phase" and who were all teenagers in the '80s, are the very best menopausers. We remember Flashdance. Only now, it's Hotflashdance.  Which reminds me that physical exercise is a great way to deal with major life changes. 

When I can get up the gumption to outrun my age. 

Seriously, though, doctors say that a healthy lifestyle, regular physical activity and correct fitness habits are beneficial to women over 40. Some experts (debatable) even say that there are specific routines you can follow to "increase hormone levels" and stave off the effects of "the change." Yeah, what they really mean by that is hiring a personal trainer 20 years younger than you and flirting working out two hours each week. Exhibit A: Sarah Vine's trainer, Mike Tanner.

Now that I realize that the majority of people offering expert advice online are perfect idiots, I feel empowered to create my own list. 

How To Beat Back the Menopause Mephistopheles

1) Become fluent in sarcasm. You're gonna need it.

2) Set-up regular deliveries of your best-loved snack food. Most grocery stores offer online shopping and deliver right to your front door.

3) Commiserate with your pre-teen children who are going through a similar "life change" and eat more ice cream together.

4) Run like the Devil's chasing you.

5) Have your spouse install state-of-the-art ceiling fans in every room of your house, with a remote control that includes settings like hurricane, tornado, gale force, etc.

6) Wear sunglasses. All the time.

7) Drive fast and use candlelight as much as possible. What they can't see what hurt them.

8) At least in your own home, ban things like the annual Miss America Pageant, Barbie dolls, and mirrors.

9) Shop at places like Betabrand and Rekucci. Leggings are pants, too.

10) Lastly, move to Portland, Oregon. It has been ranked the best city for achieving great skin.  

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