The Thing About Mental Pause

Posted: January 19, 2009 in Uncategorized

Warning: This post contains information that might not be suitable for impressionable minds. Reader discretion is advised.

Ya know how they say getting older is nice and other such crap?

I am here to tell you: Bullshit.

Ok, I admit it’s not all bad; at least I no longer turn into a raving lunatic once a month.

Instead I turn into a raving lunatic 5 times a day. PMS? Pffft piece of cake, this is full time. One minute you’re fine the next… raving lunatic is just too nice a description. God people get annoying when you hit this age. Personally, I think they should all be shot. At the very least.

Have you heard the joke? Why did the menopausal woman cross the road? To kill the chicken. That sums it up pretty well actually.

Of course you have the ubiquitous hot flash. Take a match and light a bonfire. On the inside. I gotta tell you, my first one took me by surprise. Burning up. From the inside out. It’s… well actually it’s just freaking bizarre. Perhaps a touch better than feeling like ripping someone’s face off just because they’re standing there in front of you, but not by much. It’s actually extremely disconcerting to feel you absolutely must strip off all your clothes in the middle of the office. Most of us, luckily manage to hold off. Naked menopausal women are not something you want to see running around the office. Because afterward… well, just so you know: We’d have to kill you. Slowly. Just for the fun of it.

You’d think hot flashes would be a great thing during the winter, keeping you all toasty and warm. No such luck. They never strike when you’re standing on a street corner freezing your ass off waiting for the bus. Nooooo that would be too easy by far. They always strike at the most inappropriate times: meetings, sex – and seriously, I hope you’re not doing those two at the same time. If so, you’re a way better multi-tasker than I.

Then there’s the anxiety. A diffuse anxiety that sticks around for an hour or two for no other reason than it can. You have absolutely no reason to feel anxious of course. Your life it totally under control – as much as it can be when you want to kill every third person you see on the street. So why the anxiety? Because it adds just that little je ne sais quoi to the hot flash you’re experiencing.

Then there’s the fun fun world of formication. No. Not Fornication. FOR-MI-CATION. That bug you can feel crawling up your leg. It’s there. You know it’s there, and yet it’s not. Insanity? Perhaps. The itchiness that scratching until you bruise won’t get rid of, the nasty sensation of not fitting into your skin anymore. It brings a whole new meaning to the phrase “my skin was crawling”.

That body you’ve been comfortably (let’s just leave body image issues aside for now, we really don’t need that thrown into the mix) living in for the past 45 years? It’s gone. It’s been taken over by aliens. Menopause is better than a Stephen King novel. By far.

The keys, the names, the phone numbers that just disappear from your brain. Of course, this only happens because my brain? It’s too full of important information to keep track of trivial things like where I left the car, who I’m meeting for dinner, my husband’s name and that pesky three digit emergency number.

Who needs this information? Besides, have you any idea how much exercise you can get wandering around a mall parking lot desperately searching for the car???

It’s actually a good thing I have no cell phone. It would probably disappear on such a regular basis that it would be totally useless anyway. Course, when I did have it around, I could always call hubby to ask him what his name is… and mine while I’m at it.

At least my life is surprising me in new and mysterious ways every day. And I have to admit it’s great to have a period that’s two months late. And at the end of it? I’ll never have to Have A Happy Period** again!

Of course, men have it tough too. What do they get to deal with at this age? A new sports car.

Is it just me or is that totally unfair?

** Dear People at Always: Which moron thought up that particular slogan? There is no woman, anywhere in the world who has “a happy period”. Get a new ad campaign going, please. And fire the stupid git who thought this one up. Or I’ll have to kill you. Like that chicken across the road.


  1. Gnightgirl says:

    This was a hilarious post, coming from someone who hasn’t hit menopause yet. I’ll bookmark it though, and come back and apologize for laughing in about 7 more years.

  2. Big Brother says:

    Lil’ sister I am so not going to go there…

  3. Dumdad says:

    That’s the condition when men o pause before saying something to their other half, afraid of having their head bitten off. The Frog Queen is going through this too. Help!

  4. Jazz says:

    Gnightgirl – Laughing is the only way to make it through I think.BB – A wise man you are. Mrs. BB taught you that, eh?Dumdad – No help here – and no sympathy either! Bwwahahahahaha! Suffer!!!!

  5. geewits says:

    My transition into menopause was smooth only because I’ve had spontaneous rage and hot flashes my entire life. As a matter of fact, when I was 9 or 10 I read an article about Spontaneous Human Combustion and felt sure I was going to die that way. Now the only annoying part is when I wake up burning hot, throw off the covers fall back to sleep then wake up freezing.

  6. I hate that ad, too!I have never had any PMS symptoms, so I can’t really imagine menopause. I’m hoping it is equally uneventful for me!

  7. Ian Lidster says:

    This is brilliant and so descriptive it staggers me. Having been married to two menopausal women — not at the same time, what am I, suicidal? — I am fully cognizant of what you are writing.

  8. Maddy says:

    It’s the ‘peri’ part of menopause that still has me mystified. I had no idea that there was yet another phase. Love the chicken cartoon too.Cheers

  9. XUP says:

    I went through this really early and just kind of sailed through the whole experience without any of this horrible stuff. If it gets intolerable there are always “options”, both natural and chemical that women say make a world of difference. Try to keep focused on how great it’s going to be when it’s all over and you’re free, free, free.

  10. pinklea says:

    All the women in my family sailed easily through menopause in their early forties. All except me. Even my cousins 10 years younger than me are all done! In twenty years, I’m sure I’ll be the only 70-year-old in the world still buying tampons. And suffering from cramps. And zits.

  11. Jocelyn says:

    Jeebus, honey, how can you get through a damn day?My mom swears she never had a moment of anything resembling menopause. She did have a hysterectomy in her early 40’s. Should I be considering surgery? EEEEEK.

  12. That’s just brilliant in thought, execution and illustration.

  13. Jazz says:

    Geewits – Wow. That’s way bizarre. And yeah, the hot/freezing thing is annoying.Citizen – Here’s hoping.Ian – Two of them? You poor dear. Maddy – Technically menopause is when you’re through it, when you’re done with the period and stuff. Perimenopause is the process. I should have written perimenopause but I was too impatient…XUP – Actually my sister recommended something for the hot flashes that really works well: sage. Having that aspect under control helps a lot. It’s not so bad that I’m considering hormone replacement yet.Pinklea – Damn. That’s just wrong!Joce – Well c’mon now, that’s not really a day in my life! Actually most days are pretty uneventful. Besides, a sense of humour about the whole mess helps immensely.David – Thank you!

  14. VioletSky says:

    Well, this is so much funnier than my little draft post on this! Mostly though, I seem to be sailing through in spite of the all day night sweats and the hot flashes that turn my face beet red. But strangely, I am becoming calmer about most things and I’m never freezing anymore and I’ve always forgotten things like my keys and even what colour my car was and and and thoughts and stuff …

  15. Rachel says:

    Omg this is one of your best rants ever. I laughed so hard through it all. I’m sending my mom this way too–she’ll totally pee her pants laughing.

  16. Jazz says:

    VioletSky – Funny enough, I’m becoming calmer about a lot of things too. Maybe because I don’t have the energy to get hyper anymore unless it’s life threatening.Rachel – I take it your mom is at this age too?

  17. ArneA says:

    Love this Line:At 47 I still kick ass, I just do it in more expensive shoes.and I am still drinking beer at 61

  18. Ive been up since five oclock…any reason why? Yeah, it was the hotflash from hell…I relate, man how I relate to this post…congrats on Post of the Day mentionSandi

  19. Jeni says:

    At my advanced age (64) I should be well beyond the menopausal stuff and for the most part, I am. Except for those freaking occasional hot flashes and of course, the memory thing. (I’d forget my head if it weren’t fastened on and some days, I think it isn’t or wish it weren’t.) But you are so right about the damned hot flashes never, ever showing up when it is cold, freezing cold. Nope! They are hell-bent to come visiting when you were already nice and toasty warm, comfy, as it were, and this then sends your body heat well over the boiling point. Wish they would just go away completely and leave me alone!Great post and David at Authorblog really knows how to pick ’em, doesn’t he?Peace.

  20. jinksy says:

    This will make Pinklea wince – I’m 67 and yes, still buying tampons at six monthly intervals (approx), but I ask you – is there no end?

  21. Poutalicious says:

    Dang girl you’re scaring me; sassy yet beautifully done. Gratz on the POTD reference.

  22. AZ says:

    Does it end? It has been over 10 years of crawling skin, hot flashes, night sweats, me standing in front of the fridge with no idea what I came to get, can’t count change correctly, sudden and absolute brain malfunctions, and my all time favorite, skin that has forgotten what “elasticity” means.

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