No, I didn’t misspell “listening.” I was just trying to be the Southern lady that I’m supposed to be. We “glisten.” We don’t sweat. At 8:30 in the morning, it’s 75 degrees outside with 66% humidity here in Northern Texas. Apparently, I’m glistening big balls of perspiration courtesy of this thing called “menopause.”

We really do get ripped off in a way, huh? Remember back when you got your first period and how, even though it was disgusting and gross and usually led to the next level of “the talk” with your incredibly uncomfortable-about-the-issue mom who was conflicted between “oh, my baby’s grown into a woman” and “Holy, crap! How much DO pads cost these days since I use tampons now and have no idea,” you were excited that you’d reached that point where you were corporeally a woman. Yeah, you had overheard your mom and the competitive lady who just had twins, both of them breech, across the street one-upping each other with horrific childbirth stories until your 12-year old brain convinced you that it was just the female version of a “fish-story” and you simply flushed it away as the embellishments of motherhood. You were stoked that soon you’d have real boobs that were bra-worthy and you could wear something with hooks without Wonder Woman‘s bustier printed on it.

Fast-forward about 10-15 years later and you actually push one of those bulbous headed things out of the ole hoo-ha and you start thinking to yourself (or perhaps screaming it at your husband,) “DAMN! Mom wasn’t lying when she said that that ‘garden of carnal pleasure will one day harvest the fruit of your loins!’ I feel like I should win a prize for growing the world’s largest pumpkin like that dude last year in California!!”

You remember THOSE conversations. But no one ever told you anything about menopause. “Hot flashes” makes them sound somewhat like having “the vapors!” It is SO not like that. It’s not even a “flash”.  It’s days on end of night sweats and changing your shirt 50 times a day and showering twice a day and saying goodbye to white shirts for fear of embarrassing yellow sweat stains at the pits. It is threatening your husband with divorce if he touches even the corner of that blanket on you in the night and it’s running the air conditioner on ARTIC level in the car in December while shouting at the kids, “Put your jacket it on if you don’t like it! It’s STILL illegal for me to drive naked!”

I am grateful that I’m a woman. Regardless of all the stuff we have to endure physically. I wonder sometimes if I should tell my pubescent daughter about this phase of womanhood or not. I think I won’t. Sometimes it’s good not to see what’s coming around the next bend.

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