Sunday, September 30, 2012

Day 130, September 30

"I feel like my body has gotten totally out of shape, so I got my
doctor's permission to join a fitness club and start exercising.
I decided to take an aerobics class for seniors. I bent, twisted, gyrated, jumped up and down, and perspired for an hour but, by the time I got my leotards on, the class was over."   (Found in an email)

I can totally relate to the above.  I lived through the Jane Fonda era where we were all supposed to wear leotards (in horizontal stripes, no less), tights, and leg warmers.  Jane carried the outfit off with panache.  I looked like a Glamour don't.

Leotards are not made for women who have hips.  Or breasts.  In fact, they are not made for anyone who weighs more than one hundred and two pounds.  If they aren't pulling at the neck, they're giving you the wedgie from hell.  And who can exercise when you're constantly pulling spandex out of your butt?

Give me sloppy sweats, an oversize t-shirt, and I'm good to go.  (To Baskin-Robbins, that is.)

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Day 129, September 29

"Even doctors can make mistakes.  Mine asked me to undress."--Maxine

As always, Maxine hits the nail on the head.  What's with doctors wanting you to undress?  Can't they tell just from looking that I'm overweight, overstressed, and overwhelmed?  A blind pig could see that.  Surely someone with a degree in medicine ought to be able to discern such things.  And really, all I want, is my prescription for Prozac.  For that, they need to see me naked?

But doctors, whether forced by ethics or some perverse need to see middle-aged naked women, insist upon us disrobing.  Quite frankly, any modesty I once had went by the way side after delivering four children.  But still ...  My body, even pregnant, was in a lot better shape back then. 

You know the drill at the doctor's office:  you strip down to your birthday suit.  The doctor leaves a paper half gown to cover your upper part and a cocktail napkin to cover everything else.  Let me tell you, that cocktail napkin isn't cutting it.

Ah, well ... we do what we must. 

Friday, September 28, 2012

Day 128, September 28

Have you ever gone to a salon to have your hair cut or styled and had the stylist tell you, "You really ought to use a better product on your hair."

"Better product?" I echo.

She nods vigorously.  "Your cheating your hair by using cheap products."

Cheating my hair?  Really?  My hair wouldn't know what to do with "better products."  It's accustomed to the cheapest products on the market.  In fact, I don't use "product."  Product implies fancy creams and shampoos in fancy containers. 

"It's okay," I tell her.  "My hair's menopausal.  It's been cheated on for years."

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Day 127, September 27

Just when I think I have life pretty much figured out, I'm thrown a curve.  My youngest son, Hyrum, is bringing a (serious) girlfriend to meet the family next weekend. In preparation,  he gave me a list of do's and don't's.  (He is obviously embarrassed by his old mother.)

I took umbrage at his lack of faith in me.  After all, am I so terrible?  Well, there was the time when I told people that I had nursed him until he was eighteen years old (hence, my sagging breasts).  Then there was the time that I showed up at school to pick him up for an appointment and had my shirt on inside out.  And there was the time ... 

Well, you get the picture.

The problem is, I was much younger and sharper back then, my brain was still functioning--sort of, and I still was in control of my tongue.  Now, years later, I'm not nearly as young or as sharp; my brain has taken a permanent sabbatical; and my tongue gets away from  me more often than not.

Maybe, instead of preparing me, Hyrum should be preparing his girlfriend!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Day 126, September 26

When in the throes of menopause, I ask myself "Why?"  as in  "Why did this happen to me?"  When I voiced the question to my sometimes loving husband, he said, in the tone of the quintessential Jewish mother, "You would prefer the alternative?"  (The alternative being death, of course.)

The man just doesn't know when to leave well enough alone. 

Have you noticed that about husbands?  They don't know when to shut up.   At other times, they don't know when to open their mouths.  For example, you're wearing a new dress in preparation for going out to dinner.  Your hair, for once, is behaving.  Your makeup is flawless.  You look drop-dead gorgeous.  And the man in your life says, "So, surf or turf tonight?"

A simple compliment or word of praise would have gone a long way at that moment.  But he has his mind on his stomach and not even Angelina Jolie in a thong is going to get it moving in another direction.

Then he acts surprised when you bonk him on the head with your purse.  (Just make sure it's not your designer purse.  You don't want to waste a designer purse for a good bonk.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Day 125. September 25

Warning PMS:  Personality Mutating Strangely

I found this in a book about women.  I love it, not just for the play on the familiar acronym, but for the kick-butt humor in it.  Now I'm wondering what else MMW (Menopausal Mormon Women) could stand for:

Here are a few of my ideas:

MMW:  Mean Mommas Winning  (I don't know what we're winning, but we're definitely winning.)

MMW: Mormon Mother Wolverines (forget the grizzlies)

MMW:  Mutant Mothers Willing (to eat chocolate, that is)

Well, we're getting a little silly now.   I've gone too long without my Prozac!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Day 124, September 24

In case you haven't noticed, I'm big on friendship.  Women need girlfriends.  Husbands and significant others are fine, but they don't GET things like another woman does. 

For example, have you noticed that men are completely oblivious to when you wear a new outfit?  My friends always notice when I am wearing something new (new by way of garage sales, of course).   And then there's the whole shaving hair disposal thing.  Men don't see (or care) when they leave nasty little hairs in the sink.

I figure the man/woman difference thing can be explained by asking yourself one simple question.  Can you really trust the advice of someone who uses the same soap for both his hands and face?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Day 123, September 23

Well, we're back to Lot's wife again.  I do feel sorry for the lady.  Imagine being turned to a pillar of salt.  Then imagine how you'd retain water!

As I've said before, I retain water (I'm sure that's the cause of my weight gain) like a camel preparing for a draught.  At the makeup counter of a high-end department store, my sister and I were accosted by a man (wearing makeup, no less), asking if we wanted to have our eyes evaluated.  He was not talking about our eye health but our the appearance of our eyes. 

Without giving us a chance to respond, he then went pointed out that I had puffiness under my eyes  (there's that water retention thing again) and that my sister had feathering around her eyes.  In my book, insulting potential customers is not the way to make a sale.  Praise be, he had just the thing we needed:  a hundred dollar an ounce eye cream, guaranteed to erase puffiness and feathering.  Needless to say, we didn't buy any of his overpriced cream.

For a hundred dollars an ounce, I could buy Beluga caviar or Godiva chocolates!  Never let it be said that  I don't have my priorities straight!

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Day 122, September 22

Do you remember Lot's wife?  She was commanded not to turn around and look as she and her family were fleeing the city.  But the poor woman couldn't help herself and turned around anyway.  What did she get for her disobedience?  She was turned in to a pillar of salt.


If I were going to be turned in to a pillar of anything, I'd want it to be chocolate.  Or carmel.  Or cheesecake.  But Lot's wife didn't get a choice.

It's much the same for menopausers.  We don't get a choice about a lot of things.  Hair growing in places it never grew before.  Fat showing up in places it shunned in our early years.  And let's not forget those hot flashes that turn our beds in to sweat boxes.

In Sunday School class, Lot's wife was held up as a bad example.  I'm inclined to give her a break and hope that others will do the same for me!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Day 121, September 21

It's been said that, in our twenties, we have the face nature has given us and that, by fifty or so, we have the face we've earned.   I don't know about you, but for me, that's downright scary.  Good grief.  Did I really earn sunken eyes, a hooked nose, and jowly cheeks?  What sin did I ever commit that was so terrible as to merit this?

Well, there was the time that I put a curse on my ex daughter-in-law.  And then there was the time that I nearly got in to a fist fight with a woman who was taking advantage of my elderly father.  But, really, were those so bad?  I was defending my family, as women have been doing for generations.

I took the chance of looking in the mirror (something I usually avoid) and had to conclude that they (my sins) must have been heinous indeed!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Day 120, September 20

This is a different kind of post, less biting and more reflective.  (I do have my moments.) 

The oither day I read an article about aging beautifully.  It reminded me of an old southern saying, "Pretty is as pretty does."  Perhaps you've heard of it, as well.

Like many adages, this one holds a lot of truth.  A few weeks ago, I had the experience of watching a television special on Mormonism.  A former member of the Church spoke about her feelings (negative) about her one time membership in the Church.  It made me sad.  She had given up a "pearl of great price" for worldly pleasures. 

Afterward, I heard many people describe her as beautiful ... but I couldn't see any beauty.  All I saw was an overly made-up woman justifying her selfish choices.

Menopause strips us of many of our youthful beauties and vanities.  One thing it doesn't have to strip us of, however, is our faith.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Day 119, September 19

At a garage sale last weekend, I bought a pair of sunglasses, telling my husband that "You can never have too many pairs of sunglasses."  I have been known to lose mine, sit on them, or have them cracked by an over-eager grandchild.  After the next garage sale, I returned to the car and realized I didn't have my sunglasses with me.  I returned to the sale and found them mixed in with some clothes on a table.

It was as though the universe were confirming my decision to buy the glasses at the previous sale.   I took that as a good sign.  After all, if I'm in tune with the universe, maybe I am not falling apart at such a rapid pace!

I look for signs in all sorts of things.  I haven't read tea leaves yet (probably because I don't drink tea), but I have felt for bumps on my head (phrenology) to try to "read" my future.  I also look at astrological charts.  None of this helps, of course, but I figure it can't hurt.

That is the philosophy behind much of a menopauser's effort to stave off the passage of time:  it won't help, but it can't hurt.  Now, if youi'll excuse me, I've got some head bumps to feel!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Day 118, September 18

Have you ever considered the word "Menopause?"  It is a misnomer.  When we hit the BIG M, we do not pause in our menses.  We stop.  Period.  (No pun intended.)

Usually, when we stop something, we take up something else in its place.  In the case of menopause, my body decided to take up several things to replace what it had stopped.  First, there was the water retention.  (I retain water like a camel trudging through the Sahara.)  Then there is the weight gain.  I have only to look at a carb for it to attach itself to my stomach, thighs, hips, and even my earlobes.  Let's not forget the mood swings.  When I direct "The Look" at my husband, he runs and hides.  (And well he should.)

This is far from a comprehensive list.  More to come later.  For those not yet in menopause, have I filled you with anticipation ... or dread?

Monday, September 17, 2012

Day 117, September 17

Age spots--or, as Maxine terms them "mature freckles"--have crept on to my body like a plague of locusts.  Rather than devouring crops as the locusts did with the Mormon pionners, my age spots are devouring my skin.  I have a theory that if theyare  proliferate enough, they will all grow together and I'll look like I have a tan.

For someone who has been cursed with pasty white skin, the idea of having a tan is an appealing one.  But, still ... Do I want to get that tan by having my age spots "multiply and replenish the earth?"

Sometimes, when I'm bored silly, I try connecting the dots on those parts of my body that I can reach.  I challenge myself to find a star, a square, a circle, a buffalo, whatever  comes to mind.  There's only one problem with this:  it's hard to write on wrinkled skin with a pen.  So I switched to a magic marker.

Note to self:  do not, I repeat, NOT, use an indelible marker!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Day 116, September 16

I don't know about you, but I'm tired (make that really, really tired) of Housewives shows.  There are the "Real Housewives" of New Jersey, Miami, and Palm Beach.  There are probably more, but those are the ones that stick in my mind.

Have you taken a look at those housewives?  They don't look like any housewives I've ever seen.  For one thing, they are always in full make-up.  I go for days, if not weeks, sans make-up.  And I sure as hell don't wear false eyelashes around the house.  Another thing:  these so-called housewives are all fashion-model thin and dress like aforementioned fashion models.  In addition, they must all have wonderful feet, as they are always in stilettos.  My feet started to go after the second pregnancy.  By the fourth, they were gone and I resigned myself to the "comfort shoe"aisle of the shoe department.

I'm not sure what this has to do with menopause, other than that menopausers have earned the right to rant and rail.  Or so I tell myself.  The next time you see a "real housewife," be sure to ask her for her make-up secrets.  She's bound to have a bunch.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Day 115, September 15

Do you ever wonder about the fashion advice that is handed out by style magazines?   One such magazine featured a Washington power woman, calling her "an icon of style," calling the wide belt she wore over an argyle sweater as fashion-forward and daring. 

Unless a woman is Twiggy-thin (you have to be of a certain age to know who Twiggy is), she ought not to be wearing a wide belt, or any belt for that matter, over a sweater.  It's tacky.  It also serves to emphasize droopy breasts, poochy stomach, and hips big enough to have their own zip code.

Since I boast all the above attributes, I make sure I don't wear a belt over anything.  Ever.  I try to de-emphasize those particular areas of my body.  (In case you're wondering what I do try to emphasize, it's my collarbone.  It's one of the few bones in my body that I can still find.)

Such advice causes me to wonder about the style sense of the fashion editors.  Do they really know any better (or even as much) as the rest of us?  I doubt it. 

I say, wear what suits you and be damned to the style mavens. 

PS  Maxine agrees with me.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Day 114, September 14

Do you know who I want to be when I grow up? (No, I'm not at all grown up. I'm as childish now as I was 50 something years ago.) I want to be Maxine.

Perhaps if I give you some Maxineisms, you'll understand my delight in this indomitable lady:

Know how to prevent sagging? Just eat till the wrinkles fill out.

They're not age spots. They're very mature freckles.

I've still got it, but nobody wants to see it.

At my age, checks are the only things I've got that bounce.

I'm getting into swing dancing. Not on purpose ... some parts of my body are just prone to swinging.

Let's party till the early evening.

I cleverly disguise the tiny lines around my eyes with huge wrinkles.

I'd get a face lift--but then it wouldn't match my body.

Maxine has it all figured out. Now, if only I could find a pair of glasses like hers ...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Day 113, September 13

You know you're over the hill when younger people refer to you as "Ma'am" or "My dear."  Lately, I've been "my-deared" a lot.  My hip surgeon (who looks like he is still in middle school) calls me "My dear."  The other day, another doctor called me "My dear" as well. 

I didn't mind it so much from the first doctor because, as I said, he is about the age of my grandchildren.  However, the second doctor looked to be not too much younger than myself.  And I was "my-deared" by him.  From that, I deduce that I must look more ancient than my husband, children, and grandchildren assure me that I do.

I know what you're thinking.  I can hear it now:  Hey, "My dear" isn't so bad.  I beg to differ.  It falls in the same category as "She doesn't look half bad for her age."  It's a case of damning with with faint praise. 

Ah, well.  I suppose I should be grateful that I'm damned with any kind of praise at all.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Day 112, September 12

For today, let's return to the subject of questionable taste in advertisements and commericals.

The other day, I was subjected to a prolonged commercial on television about incontinence.  Okay.  Incontinence exists.  We get it.  But do the manufacturers of various pads have to go on and on (and on) about it?  Give us credit that we can find our own way to the incontinence products aisle of the drug store and leave it at that.

Around the same time, I stumbled onto a commercial for "mesh relapse" corrective surgery.  This was sponsored by a lawyer who wanted to represent anyone who had had their mesh relapse.  Seriously?  If I wanted to go to court for redress for my relapse, I would not choose someone who advertised in such a vulgar manner.

Finally, I ran across a commercial for a product guaranteed to cure "feminine itch."  Once again, give us menopausers some credit for taking care of our own itch.  Don't broadcast it on television while I'm watching a program with my grandchildren.

Okay.  There you have it.  Vulgar advertisements for sensitive conditions that should remain private. 

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Day 111, September 11

The other day, I realized that I'd let the battery on my cell phone run low.  A message on it to "recharge" had me hooking it up to the charger.  It charged all day.  Or so I thought.  It turned out that the charger wasn't plugged in to the wall socket.

I attribute this to my increasing absent-mindedness. 

But it set me to thinking.  (Once again, have you noticed that the strangest things set me to thinking?)  Why can't we menopausers have a charger (assuming, of course, that we remember to plug it in)?  I can see it now, women hooked up to some kind of energy-boosting device that would keep us going for hours, if not days, at a time.  And, no, I don't mean chocolate.

With all the government money that is wasted on ridiculous studies (for example, the study that proved that men and women are different--well, duh!), why can't the government spend a little on energizing middle-aged women?  Given our experience and wisdom, we could be a force to be recokened with.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Day 110, September 10

Women need friends.  The older we grow, the more we realize how much we need our friends.  We need friends of different seasons and for different reasons.  And we need different kinds of friends.  My own friends range from the bawdy to the gaudy, from the pensive to the expensive ... and everywhere in between. 

We have witch friends.  (I substituted a consonant here.)  Witch friends are those to whom we can whine and complain.  I have a friend who helped me tear apart a particularly insensitive gift and burn it in the fireplace after one Christmas.  (Oooh, that felt good.  As we did it, we said incantations directed at the giver of that  nasty gift.)

We have weeping friends.  These are the friends with whom we can cry and unburden ourselves and know they will understand.

We have rejoicing friends.  These are the women whom we know will celebrate with us over a good fortune.

We have friends whose eyesight is failing so that they will not notice our sagging boobs and drooping eyes.

We have friends who don't judge us, no matter what inane or insane thing we say or do. 

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Day 109, September 9

Have you noticed the proliferation of commercials and magazine advertisements for physical conditions that used to be mentioned only in hushed tones or in a doctor's office?

There's vaginal dryness.  (Always of interest to menopausers.)  Now we can hear about the heartbreak of vaginal dryness when we're watching television with a group of friends. 

Then there's gas.  It always cheers me up to hear about others' gaseous problems.  Again, it's especially lovely to come across a commercial for gas relief when watching  TV with friends and family.

And let's not forget erectile dysfunction.  Now, women don't suffer from this problem, though our husbands might.  I particuarly like the warning that "if you have an erection for four or more hours, seek medical help."  No kidding!

Is nothing sacred any more?  Is nothing private?

Apparently not, as here I am blogging about these extremely intimate matters.  Ah, well.  They say the mind is the first to go.  I guess that includes inhibitions!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Day 108, September 8

"Just because my life began in the bargain basement doesn't mean I can't take the escalator up to Fine Crystals."    from PATTY JANE"S HOUSE OF CURL (a novel).

Don't you love this quote?  I do.  It makes me think I can do better than I have.  It makes me want to do better than I have.  Occasionally I allow menopause to rob me of my drive, my desire, my need to do better, to be better.  I grow complacent, accepting thath what I am is all that I'll ever be.

Then I come upon a quote like the above and remember that the only limitations on me are those I place upon myself.  Menopause be damned.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Day 107, September 7

Did you ever feel that you're always a day late and a dollar short?  I do.  I can't seem to keep track of the days any more as they run together in a continuous blob.  (Or is that blog?)  I've heard this is a symptom of getting old.

I remember, years ago, looking at my grandmother, whom we called Mamaw, and thinking "She's old.  She's really old."  The trouble is, Mamaw, at that time, was the same age I am now.

Yes, I know.  I've heard all the hype.  Sixty is the new forty.  Forty is the new twenty-five.  And orange is the new black.  If we keep on that track, I might convince myself that I'm only fifteen and that orange is as slimming as black.  Once more, we have a problem.  You see, sixty isn't  the new forty and orange will never be as slimming as black.

Still, we menopausers buy into it.  Why?  Because we are desperately trying to find a way to not feel old.  So we have Botox injected into the wrinkles between our brows and Rejuvederm stuck in our laugh lines.  (Well, I haven't done it yet, but I'm tempted.  Really tempted.)

If you don't believe me, take it from Maxine:  sixty isn't the new forty and any self-respecting 40-year-old will tell you so.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Day 106, September 6

I don't believe in ironing.  There.  I said it.  I don't iron.  Such an admission is practically anit-American.  At the very least, it is anti-Mormon.  Good Mormon women iron. 

This does not bother me much as I never claimed to be a good Mormon woman.   Don't get me wrong.  I have admiration for all those women who practice the art of ironing.  However, I have good reasons for not ironing.  If I ironed all the wrinkles out of my clothes, it would only emphasize the wrinkles in my face, neck, and arms. 

I figure God gave me those wrinkles for a purpose.  (I'm still waiting to find out what it is.)  In the meantime, I need to honor that by making certain my clothes match the rest of me.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Day 105, September 5

Menopausal women will pay any amount for a good bra, something to keep the girls in place.  Our breasts have migrated south.  In my case, the girls went on vacation to Florida and forgot to take me with them.

We are no longer looking for a "wonder bra."  Instead, we're looking for a "wonder where they went bra."  No more "cross my heart bras," when what we need is a "cross your belly bra."

With gems like these falling off my tongue, I'm looking in to a career in ad writing.  What do you think?  

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Day 104, September 4

Maybe you've noticed the same trend I have:  women of all ages are getting tattoos.  Tattoos on young, firm, nubile bodies are fine.  When bodies are no longer young, less than firm, and nubile is just a thing of the past, tattoos start to look like a baby scribbled on a piece of old leather.

As usual, Maxine gives us the skinny on the subject:  "I'd get a tattoo if I had any skin tight enough to draw on."

What skin (of mine) isn't sagging is so wrinkled that any tattoo would disappear in between the crevices and canyons.  Who wants to draw on that?

Personally, I don't want to draw attention to those lines.  I think I'll try some Silly Putty and fill in the cracks.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Day 103, September 3

Menopause, bless its soul, is no discriminator of persons.  It attacks all women, regardless of race, religion, or economic status.   At times, I have tried to buy it off, to bribe it to go away.  I have even given it names of people whom I don't like, to cast its nasty spell over them.

Alas, the Big M refused to depart.  It nested in my deteriorating mind, took up residence in my sagging breasts, found its way into my thickening middle, and made friends with my wobbly thighs.  In short, it would not budge.

I have worked to make peace with menopause.  Mostly, we rub along pretty well.  I try to ignore her; she refuses to be ignored.  And we agree that we might as well get along 'cause ain't neither of us going anywhere.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Day 102, September 2

A couple of weeks ago, I had the experience of going through airport security, my first time since my hip replacement surgery.  I was a bit apprehensive.  Would the TSA agents want to see the scar?  (No, I didn't have a medical card saying that I had replacement parts in myy body--my doctor told me that any self-respecting terrorist has such a card.) 

My hip and I sailed through security.  Or so I thought.  Then a TSA agent pulled me over and told me that she would have to pat me down.  Somewhat smugly I explaiend about my hip.  She waved that away.  "It's not your hip that's the problem.  It's your leg."  She proceeded to run her hands over my lumps and bumps until she reached my calf and gave a triumphant "Ahh."

"What is it?" I asked.

"Your pants have a wrinkle in them."

"My pants have a wrinkle?" I repeated her words like a parrot.

She nodded  solemnly.  "A wrinkle."

I could only stare in stupefusion (stupefaction and confusion).  My pants had a wrinkle?  There are real terrorists out there and the TSA decides that I'm a threat because my pants have a wrinkle?  A middle-aged grandma with bad feet, artificial hip, and dyed hair is a threat to national security? 

I wanted to tell her, "You want to see wrinkles?  Let me show you my neck!"  But, wisely, I remained silent.  I didn't want to make the airlines' no-fly list.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Day 101, September 1

It shows how far my mind has deteroriated in that I hadn't realized that I'd neglected to write yesterday's blog.  What can I say/  Life got in the way.  Or my mind took a vacation.  Or something.

On this occasion, I plead "extenuating circumstances."  You see, my daughter just had a hysterectomy.  She came through it fine.  In fact, she did better than I did.  Her blood pressure remained at a low and healthy 109/64, while mine skyrocketed.  Do you want to feel old?  Have a daughter old enough to have a hysterectomy.  It puts you in your place age-wise.

In an effort to be helpful, I have her two children this weekend.  They have determined that their grandmother is decrepressed (decrepit and depressed) and ridicupissed (ridiculous and pissed).  And they're right:  I haven't been very patient. 

Again, what can I say?  Menopause has me by my dyed roots and won't let go.