By Wanda Haynes
(50PlusWire) Some things in life aren’t easy to explain or understand, and menopause is one of them.
I began my womanhood at 17, although I’d been telling my girlfriends I began at 15. The reason for this adolescent deceit was to fit in with the girls who had already begun their womanhood.
Who knew 40 years later I would still be competing with those same friends? We compete over which of us has the worst menopause symptoms. While having coffee in our usual spot, we menopause survivors talk about our bouts with this unexplained and misunderstood tyrant.
It isn’t enough to have night sweats; someone has to win the night-sweats marathon. The challenge comes down to which woman woke up sweatier than the rest.
The winner one week told a horrific tale of waking up soaked from head to toe, with her poor husband nearly drowning to death next to her. She was quite proud of herself and knew she had won when no one said a word, and we all just looked on in horror.
Another week, the winner wove an outlandish tale about her 5.0 hot flash. Apparently my dear friend of many years began sweating profusely in public. She was forced to remove her designer blouse and run to a nearby water fountain to splash water on her back. A nearby philanthropist who happened to witness the whole scene said she admired the display of courage and offered my dear friend a ticket to her women’s empowerment seminar.
One week, when it was my turn to speak, I revealed an embarrassing episode of my own menopausal journey. The story involved a strikingly handsome state trooper on a lovely summer day.
I was cruising along the highway when a jolt of sadness overwhelmed me. I had begun my daily crying rampage and pulled over to the shoulder to cry it out. I suddenly heard a blaring police siren and screeching tires pull in behind me. An officer looking like a bronzed god tapped on the passenger-side window.
In a low, smooth voice he said, “Miss, I need your driver’s license and registration please.” I did as instructed, and after thoroughly looking over my documents, he asked why I was so upset. I began telling him about my hot flashes and sudden weight gains and finished the rant with more absurd dialogue. Meanwhile, mascara ran down my cheeks and slobber dripped to my chin.
The state trooper glared in disgust and asked if I had recently escaped from a nearby mental hospital.
I wasn’t sure of the answer at that point in my hysterics. He pulled the keys from the ignition and asked who would tolerate my emotional outbursts long enough to rescue me. I gave him my neighbor’s phone number.
He made the call, and, in a hushed tone, told the neighbor I was having a “middle-aged meltdown in epic proportions.” He asked my neighbor to come take me home.
My neighbor kindly came to my rescue. On the way home I was able to calm down because I was in the presence of a familiar face. I could only imagine what the devastatingly handsome law man told his friends later that day about the lady on the highway in menopausal distress.
My friends declared me the winner for the first time in a menopause tournament. They slowly shook their heads in disbelief and continued sipping their skinny lattes. This was a small victory over my big battle with menopause.
We mature gals support each other with our sense of humor, making menopause seem not so bad. MSN
Wanda Haynes is a wine educator for culinary schools and public libraries via Zoom chats. She loves old movies, travel, numismatics, and gourmet chocolate. She likes to share her sense of humor and knowledge of life lived.