“You Might Get…Hairy”

A few years back, I travelled to Korea often on business. I started noticing that women there “of a certain age” seemed to all adopt the same look.  It was like every woman who was about the age I am now had the same curly-permed haircut and wore a blue windbreaker.   I didn’t give it much thought…until now.

First of all, I’m not terribly distressed over my age because I don’t feel like I’m as old as I am. BUT…my world is changing in subtle ways that I find fascinating.

Forgive me. That was a lie.  What I really mean is, it’s fucking irritating as hell!

For example, my doctor really, really wants me to have a colonoscopy all of a sudden. “Happy Birthday! We have a teenie, tiny, little camera with your name on it ready to be shoved up your bum along with the 400 other middle-aged folks we’ve got scheduled on the same day. Who knows? You may be the lucky winner of the Colon  ‘Sweep’stakes where we’ll feature your colonoscopy LIVE on YouTube!”

With all due respect to the Colon Paparazzi…..Please stop talking. I have bigger fish to fry.

Hormones…..An important component of my Avoid The Blue Windbreaker campaign.

HORMONE DOCTOR

Got your tests back. Good news! You’re not menopausal!

ME

Oh. I guess I’ll have to be nicer, then. I thought there was a medical explanation.

HORMONE DOCTOR

You’re a bit low on HormoneX, though. 

ME

Is that the one that dictates…temper?

HORMONE DOCTOR

Not exactly but I want to start you on a replacement regime just to be safe.

ME

You mean, my safety or the safety of others?

HORMONE DOCTOR

There are potential side-effects.

ME

Like stomach upset, dizziness, loss of appetite, high blood pressure, thoughts of suicide, risk of blindness, speech disorders, kidney failure, liver damage stroke, death?  You know, the usual stuff?

HORMONE DOCTOR

Hair. Four percent of women get hairy.

ME

I have a really good waxer. 

HORMONE DOCTOR

You may experience increased aggression.

ME

If I were any more aggressive, I’d be considered a virus. 

HORMONE DOCTOR

Easy peasy. We can fix that with other pills. 

Coming Soon:  Bone Density and Mood Swings: Are Happy California Cows The Answer?

 

 

 

 

“I Was Told There’d Be Yams?”

It’s funny how age just kinda creeps up on you…like a serial killer…only you survive the attack and keep on living but in a strange altered state of continued physical metamorphosis.  One day you’re alive and vibrant, virtually wrinkle-free with a body temperature of a consistent, balmy 99.5 and then….life pulls a Dexter on your ass and suddenly you’re asking what the hell is wrong with my neck and wondering if it’s okay to strip off your t-shirt in the middle of a P.F. Changs.  It isn’t but you’ve reached the age where you just don’t give a shit about such things.

It’s a doubled-edged sword, really.

It’s freedom and captivity rolled into one gloriously heartbreaking scenario of “I’m wise and settled in my ways but I just can’t zip myself out of this roiling sea of change I call a body.” And by the way, do I care if that 35-year-old still thinks I’m hot?  Well….YES! damn it.

Yes, I do realize how pathetic that sounded.

Yet I cling to the humor of it all as do most of my friends even though one of them once told me she asked her skin doctor how to keep the wrinkles at bay and he told her to stop laughing. That was probably just before the sting of the Botox needle that would soon make her no-crow’s feet wish come true albeit at the price of never being able to register any kind of facial expression ever again.

I have started to worry that too much Botulism will cause my forehead to eventually drop over my eyes and obstruct my deteriorating vision and I’m already well into the bi-focal phase.  Ooops, I forgot. They call them “progressive lenses” now.  Sorry marketing folks.  I know you mean well but  your touchy-feely new term does not make me feel any better nor does it make me want to buy more glasses. You could claim that wearing “progressive lenses” will lift my ass back to pre-forty elevation  and I would still resent them.  I ran down three grocery carts and scraped my low-profile tire rims on ten miles of curb before I’d admit to needing them in the first place.  I lied to myself for months that the grocery carts were the same color as the parking lot surface and therefore invisible to everyone and that curbs had just gotten higher in the last few years…..

And kept on laughing.

Since running down shopping carts isn’t really funny,  I wonder if there’s something wrong with me.  You know…emotionally?  There are times when I’m in a place where laughter is unquestionably inappropriate, like a funeral and I feel the urge coming on.  It takes every ounce of energy to keep from snorting out a belly laugh in the middle of a poignant eulogy. I remember seeing an old Mary Tyler Moore episode where Mary had to stifle her overwhelming urge to laugh at the funeral of Chuckles The Clown. [I feel your pain, sister!]  That is hands-down the funniest television episode in history, in my opinion.

I try not to think about Chuckles too much, though. It could take a toll on my face.

Ah, the face.  The face, the face, the face.  How to deal with the face.

There are the needles filled with thick goo to puff out the lips. The belt sanders that promise skin like a baby’s butt.  The creams. The ray guns and lasers that all claim amazing results.  I’ve heard it said by more than one skin specialist that the only non-surgical remedy to wrinkles is Retin-A.  I’ve used it.  It makes my skin fall off in large sheets like the sides of glacier decimated by global warming.  Not to mention I could not go in the sun without being covered like a Bedouin unless I wanted my face to turn a perpetual shade of throbbing purple.

And then there’s the fat injections.

What?

Injecting fat?

Doesn’t that fly in the face of everything we women are told by virtually every fashion magazine on earth which is to make the fat go away and strive to look more like Gisele Bundchen?  Yes, it does but there’s a way to put that excess fat to good use, I’m told, which may get us closer to that totally realistic, Gisele-like state.

Here’s how:

They “harvest” fat from your ass and inject it around your eyes.  It’s supposed to fill in those hollow spaces we get as facial fat disappears and sends our jowls into southward migration.

Harvest? I never thought of that word as it relates to body fat but according to Webster it is “a supply of anything gathered at maturity and stored.”  This all makes perfect sense to me now and thank the gods it also makes me laugh. (Just not too hard because I’ve heard that rambunctious laughter can sometimes cause women of a certain age to pee their pants so I don’t want to take any chances.)

I’m going to move on to a more pleasant subject like hormones since this fat harvesting / needles around the eye thing has me a little weak in the knees.

It’s probably about time for me to have one of those ever-popular-Suzanne-Somers-esque hormone panels done but my deathly fear of blood tests keeps me from it.  Besides, I don’t want to know if mood swings that turn me a bright shade of green and have me busting out of my clothes might be coming down the pike. A friend of mine said his wife went through this crazy werewolf cycle and all he saw when he came through the door for two long years was hair and teeth.   I do not want to know if I’ll become a werewolf or a vampire or any other kind of creature despite their popularity at the box office.

And what if, god forbid, I get news of an impending decrease in my libido..or worse… like the article I ran across on a medical web-site entitled “How Dry I Am” which needs no further explanation.  Good lord, is nothing sacred in this diabolical process?  Truth be told, I prefer to be blissfully ignorant about my Venusian hormones.  I will deal with the eruptions as they come rather than having my spirits crushed in advance because of some fortune-telling endocrinology.

I just want to keep laughing in the here and now, munching on yams and hoping for the best.  They’re the anti-menopause food, you know?

The reality is, I like it here in Middleville.  My sense of humor is anchored in bedrock. I’m happy and content. My husband still tolerates me, thank the gods. I can bitch with immunity and my car insurance has never been lower. I’m still fitting in my jeans despite an undercurrent of fear that I could become inexplicably drawn to the high-waisted variety from L.L. Bean at the drop of a hormonal hat.  No matter.  As of this writing, I still get the occasional double-glance from a thirty-something even though it might be because I have toilet paper clinging to my shoe… but whatever.  We all cling to something, right?

Right now, I’m clinging to the promise of yams.

 

 

 

Can Trees Cry?

I think menopause may be stalking me……and I blame it on my mailbox.  

 

Just for the sake of clarification menopause didn’t send me out of those “Important: Time Sensitive Material Enclosed” letters.  Menopause is more stealth than that.  At least that’s what I’ve heard.   Nevertheless, I believe my mailbox has become a harbinger of doom.

 

You’re probably envisioning some sturdy, stone structure that looms over the street like a postal behemoth but my mailbox is quite austere.  It is small and metal and came from the hardware store.  My dad put it up while he was visiting last year after my previous one was taken out during a mailbox hate crime.  I suspect that the perpetrator of this hate crime was a peri-menopausal woman such as myself.  In fact, I’m quite sure of it.

 

Despite the emotional tension of election day, I was in quite a good mood.  Pretty much all was right with my world.  My dogs were happy to have finally been taken on a good run (they have learned that oh-so-human art of guilt infliction which is another story), the ibuprofen I had taken had worked its magic on my gym-weary, middle-aged muscles and I was looking forward to sitting around and watching the election results.  But my good mood bubble exploded into a spray of prism-y goop when I opened that innocent looking metal door.  Holy shit!  You’ve got to be kidding me!

 

After I wrestled twenty pounds of paper into the kitchen, I flew into a rage.  Nothing, I repeat nothing, in that stack of wasted natural resources was important.  Not one utility bill, not one thank you card, not….one….thing.  I thought I might spontaneously combust.  My mind went to a really crazy place.  I wondered to myself, if I DO burst into flames, how will I simultaneously  A) put my dogs outside so they don’t bite the paramedics  B) open my driveway gate for the rescue vehicles and C) dial 911?   But… I took a deep breath and cooled my inner inferno… and a strange calm washed over me.  I began calling every single killer of trees that had sent me something I had not asked for.  First on the list: my credit card company who sends out an unsolicited magazine every month that weights 8 pounds (I got TWO).  They told me it was a “free benefit” with my super special, purple-platinum-chartreuse card and I was required to TELL them I didn’t want it.  “Didn’t you read the fine print on the 400 page disclosure we sent you with your card?” the representative asked in a chipper your-call-may-be-recorded-for-quality-purposes voice.   Uh….. no.   

 

Even though I know I can recycle this useless crap, it breaks my heart to know that a tree gave its life for naught. 

 

And all this waste is making me cry!  Damn it!  What the hell is wrong with me?

 

Okay, that’s it for now.  I’m off to swallow some black cohosh and eat a yam.