If you're uncomfortable discussing "womanly" things, stop reading now and head over to YouTube.
Today, we're talking menopause. I'm in the stage medically known as perimenopause which roughly means that the "change" is coming sooner rather than later. (When I say that, I hear Johnny Cash singing Folsum Prison Blues and want to parody the lyrics. "I feel the change a-coming. I'm going round the bend . . ."
I'm not sure how accurate the estimated time frame is for perimenopause, because as near as I can tell, once you hit puberty, you're on the downward side of slope. We're born with a couple of million eggs that naturally die off so that at puberty we're down to about 400,000. After that, we lose about a thousand a month so, really, from the initial two mil, only about 400 ever mature.
However, I've started to have some indications that the time is nigh. I say, "Bring it on." The sooner it starts, the sooner it finishes. I can devote the money spent on tampons to something else. I live in the Florida Keys and the average hot flash can't possibly be more uncomfortable than the heat and humidity of July and August. I might not even notice if I'm outside when one hits.
My body teased me earlier in the year. After a couple of years of significant lessening in my monthly cycle, I skipped two months. I thought, "Okay. We're in full menopause mode." Turns out the cessation of period was more like a comma. I got it again the next month, skipped another month, now it's arrived again -- sort of like bugs in the house. You can exterminate them for awhile, but they always return.
I've been reading up on the whole process. I don't remember my mother's change process being all that big a deal. I recall one hot flash in my presence. Either I was completely oblivious to her journey or she was monumentally discreet about the whole deal. That would have been Mom's way -- go off and experience the misery in private so that she didn't inconvenience anybody.
No matter how bad or how easy a time I have, I'm determined to go through it with a sense of humor. That doesn't mean the whole thing will be a laugh riot, but I'm sure I can find something humorous in even the dark times.
With that in mind, I'm compiling a list of the Top Ways that Menopause is Like the Mob. The first item on the list was obviously inspired by that too-brief respite. I've come up with five and am now throwing open the blog to your suggestions. Leave a comparison in the comments. When this has run its course (pun fully intended), I'll randomly pick a winner from the commenters and send a signed copy of either of my books.
Here's the list so far:
1) Just when you think you’ve quit, it pulls you back in
2) The only thing worse in bed than night sweats is a severed horse’s head
3) Older generations of Sicilians don’t like to talk openly about the Cosa Nostra. (This thing of ours.) Older generations of women don’t like to speak openly of Questo Nostro Cambiamento. (This Change of ours.)
4) In the mob, things get ugly in a snap. Women with severe hormonal fluctuations – likewise.
5)Mobsters and menopause -- both known for "packing heat".
Have at it, readers. Have fun!
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