Think you might be experiencing the onset of menopause? While hot flashes and hormonal mood swings aren’t exactly a party, it doesn’t completely suck. Most women start to experience symptoms of “the change” in their 40s. Here are four reasons not to completely dread it.
My grandma always talked about the “change of life” in hushed tones. When 7-year-old me asked what that meant, I was abruptly told it meant no more babies and that the woman would no longer get The Curse. To 7-year-old me, this didn’t sound too bad: I had a little brother, so I knew good and well that babies were a pain in the ass. I wasn’t sure if The Curse was a spell cast by an evil witch or a naughty word that would get me a mouthful of soap, but either way, this change of life sounded OK by me.
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We’ve come a long way: from having whispered conversations about our vaginas to prime time television commercials for sexual enhancement drugs … you know, Viagra for women. These commercials feature cougars (or leopards or whatever feline we’re comparing frisky gals “of a certain age” to) doing the come hither slither, frolicking with sexy silver-haired eye candy with that “do me right now” gleam in their eyes. Television wants us to think menopause is hot, sexy and glamorous.
And why not? Here’s how I’m rocking my own personal menopalooza:
1. Nothing Embarrasses Me. Two words: chin and hair. And when I say “chin hair” I mean neck hair, ear hair, and nipple hair. My 40s brought a pesky visitor in the form of a recurring hair that grows out the side of my neck. I check for it often, but it shows up out of fucking nowhere. A male coworker mistook it for string once. The joke was on him when he learned it was attached. And did I mention said male coworker was smokin’ hot? Of course he was.
So yeah … after that, my threshold for embarrassment is pretty much nonexistent. The only other time I had such a surge in unwanted hair growth was when I was pregnant, so this must be some kind of sick hormonal joke. This is clear and convincing proof that God is a man.
2. You Can Kick “The Curse” To The Curb. No more unwanted monthly fiesta with good old Auntie Flo. Say “buh-bye” to cramps, surfing the crimson wave, and trying to pretend everything is super peachy while you’re walking around with a blob stopper wedged in your hoo-ha. And don’t start me on maxi pads. Sure, feminine products have come a long way, but any way you look at it, stuffing a stack of winged cotton the size of a Barbie mattress in your pants once a month is about as fun as licking a bug zapper.
Menopause means getting to bypass that certain aisle at the supermarket … unless you are experiencing light bladder leakage, which is a whole other story. And while there is a sense of freedom that comes with no more periods, the bitchiness, mood swings and the overwhelming need to eat an entire bag of frozen chocolate chips are things that stay with you. Sorry girls. You can’t have everything, but wearing white pants any time you want kind of makes up for it.
3. I’m A Hottie. Speaking of smokin’, I’m feeling hot-hot-hot 24/7. Salsa dancing hot. Sahara desert hot. OK, so I’ve never been to the Sahara, but I have a good imagination and it sounds pretty freakin’ hot. If you haven’t experienced a hot flash, think human barbeque grill. Your body temperature spikes to about 2,347 degrees in three seconds. And don’t ask if that’s in Fahrenheit or Celsius: it’s damn hot, bitches. If I’m in a place where I can start shedding clothes and loosening up my buttons, then all is good. Instead of being traumatized by my menopausal sideshow, my husband kind of digs it all, because he interprets any undressing as foreplay. Of course he does.
4. Sexier Sex! Yes, really. Maybe it has to do with my cute new habit of randomly shedding clothes. Maybe it has to do with the fact that my crazy hormones have made a certain product that comes in a tube a part of our bedroom repertoire (hint, it starts with the letter K and ends with a Y.) We’re definitely rocking quality over quantity, but that’s OK.
I wonder what grandma would think of my views on “the change.” Would she be shocked at my loud and proud stance on chin hair and other things not suited for polite company? And, while I am not going to go so far as to claim menopause is hot, sexy and glamorous, I know I sure as hell am.
Menopalooza all the way!
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