This came to me recently because at my age, I believe that I am in the throes of peri-menopause, from the Latin “peri”, meaning ‘around’ and “menopause” meaning ‘my hands, man’s throat’. What a happy time this is for me. I was at work recently and I realized that I was just burning up. I mean I was just sweating my ass off! I turned up my desk fan, but it felt like someone had turned on an oven inside me! I hadn’t been doing anything remotely physical so I thought perhaps something was really wrong. I went online to WebMD to check out my symptoms.
My problem is apparently stupidity because no one who is not a doctor should EVER, under ANY circumstances, go to WebMD. You might log on because you have a zit and you will log off convinced that you are going to die a slow painful death from some rare, horrible disease that only WebMD has ever heard of and no one can cure. Trust me on this one. Anyway, after realizing that I might be having a heart attack, a stroke, or some rare disease from exposure to Mongolian Yak shit, I stumbled onto peri-menopause. And I realized after reading the symptoms that I should just upload my picture to their website!
I went to see my doctor about this. Remember him? The really good looking one? So he said he felt that I am too young to be experiencing early menopause. I appreciate the sentiment, but he is a man, so for him to decide what is going on with my ‘down-there’ is like going to a mechanic who has never owned a car. So I made an appointment with his assistant, who is a woman. I just knew she would understand, and maybe dispense hormones and mind altering drugs!
“You seem awfully young to be going through menopause. Maybe it’s stress. Are you stressed?”
Hmm, let’s see. I have a four year old and a husband who keeps turning off my ceiling fans. Our economy is in the toilet. I work in the financial services industry. Gee, what are the odds?
“Well the holidays are coming. Do you have a large extended family?”
Yes. They are all in another state. That’s my idea of happiness. A large, loving, extended family in another state. Preferably, another time zone.
“Do you miss your family?”
Well, yes, I miss them all. But my aim is improving.
“I think you are just stressed out. Try taking walks and drinking something like ice water if you feel warm.”
Uh, no. I think I’ll just walk from the sofa to the fridge and get a cold glass of chardonnay. Thanks anyway.
So the difficulty sleeping, the mood swings, and the hot flashes continued. Each night when I come home from work, I get out of the car and start stripping off my clothes in the garage. That way, I am almost naked when I get in the door to the kitchen. I walk through and turn on the fan in that room. Then I come around the corner to the office, peek in at Jerry and Jenda to say hi, and I flip on that fan. Then I walk through the living room on my way upstairs and turn on the fan in the living room. After I go upstairs and put on a wife-beater and a pair of shorts I come back downstairs to find that ALL of my ceiling fans have been turned off. At first, I thought there was some kind of electrical short. Then I realized that Jerry was running around behind me turning them off! DAMN! I asked him, nicely, WHAT THE HELL IS YOUR PROBLEM?!
Put a sweater on!
“Jenda was cold, too.”
Put one on her! Better yet, why don’t you two get out of the house for a little bit while I cool off. Go out and spend some quality time together somewhere, like Cuba.
Some nights it’s just too much trouble to fight, so I go upstairs and draw a cold bath, dump in a few buckets of ice for good measure and listen to music. Recently, I got out my old Depeche Mode CD. I got inspired listening to ‘Personal Jesus’. I now have my own words to that song. I call it ‘Personal Summer’. Sing along if you know the tune….
My own personal summer
Night sweats that wreck your hair, husband don’t care
My own personal summer
I want to kill the man who turns off my fan
Sittin’ here nude in a violent mood
I could kill for a frosty chill
Get near my fan and I’ll bite off your hand
(Chorus) Hot flash, blot face
Let’s face it, people. A person can only get just so naked. It’s not something I can control. It’s like someone flipped the broiler on inside me and there’s nothing I can do. I even tried to sublet space in the meat locker at Harris Teeter. Luckily, I made it out of the store before the cops got there.
So the other night, I sat, fuming, sweating, and drinking very cold Chardonnay, and I thought about Mother Nature. And I have come to believe that global warming really does exist, but I know now that it’s Mother Nature having a massive hot flash. So I understand what she is going through, and I recycle, and use CFL bulbs, and try to be green. But Big Mama has the power to melt polar ice caps, bring hurricanes, and dry up lakes and rivers. My power is somewhat more limited. So I approached it this way with the family. Turn the heat on low if you’re cold. But when I get home, throw on some extra clothes and leave my fans on, pretty please?
“They stir up too much air. We get chilly.”
Then I channeled my inner Mother Nature. LEAVE MY FANS ON OR I AM GOING TO SHOOT YOUR ASS, PLEAD INSANITY, AND SIT IN A VERY COLD PADDED CELL FOR 45 DAYS RE-READING PROUST! I MEAN IT!
And I’m not terribly worried. This here is the South. “He deserved killin’” is actually a valid defense in our courts. So I hope it doesn’t get to that point, but if it does, I hope the courtroom is REALLY cold. And I will try to get a jury made up of menopausal women and Tibetans. That way, if the ‘temporary menopausal insanity’ defense doesn’t work, I can use the ‘Mongolian Yak Shit’ defense. I think Mother Nature would approve!