Dude! I am actually wearing a sweater today. (A jumper for you British readers.) It’s bright red and knit with acrylic yarn and it was a gift from my bonus mom. (She likes me to wear bright colors and thinks I wear too much black. It matches perfectly with my black scarf with the red and white skulls on it. 😉
So I had been faking the Fall is here mentality by making soups and stews during out 897th day of July earlier this week, but then we had the most spectacular and wonderful storm (complete with hail that probably will bring that asshole door-to-door guy who refuses to understand that I will NOT repair hail bumps on my car.) And the temperature outside now matches the one I hold dear to my soul.
And I sat down here motivated to write, took a big swig of hot coffee and the hotflashes kicked in. *augh* It’s a conspiracy. I shut off the air, embraced the cool weather, wore a sweater, got kicked in the middle-aged hormones. GAH! I am hoping it goes away quickly this time. I don’t want to be sweaty all day but I also don’t want to take off this snuggly sweater either. I feel Autumn-y and why should’t I? I tolerated this ridiculous heat for 2.5 Seasons. I actually turned the A/C on back in April and I usually make the kids wait until the furniture melts. Sweat has been pouring off my head, back, and boobs for literally more than half the year, I deserve to feel the coolness of Autumn.
Hotflashes are not just feeling a little warm. My menopausal sisters can confirm that it feels like someone has set fire to the inside of your head and it rapidly spreads downward through your face, into your chest and spreads to back, armpits, and arms. I literally sweat through my shirts (I go through at least 3 a day, perhaps my sweaty Irish heritage goes beyond red hair and freckles) and some days cool showers and ceiling fans are just not enough for relief.
Conversations with curious Christians who ask menopausal Muslim women who wear hijab ridiculously inconsiderate questions when it is 104 degrees Fahrenheit outside, such as, “Aren’t you hot in that?” makes our internal thermometer elevate by at least 3 more degrees of hot flash to about 115.
“Well, I am NOW!” Notice that this question is never asked during the winter. Conversations with climate change deniers is also similar. “Well, this was a mild Summer compared to last year,” said a baby-boomer to me that I love. “The fuck it was,” I answered in my mind. “It wasn’t 117 this year but it DID get to 112 for three days in a row soooooo, uhm doesn’t count as milder, especially when hot flashing on top of that.”
See, here’s the thing: Being a girl/woman is hard. We have to develop boobs and that hurts. And then we get periods and that comes with cramps that can hurt. And then we have all the emotional shit that comes along with boobs and periods (read: boys) and that hurts. And later when we end up having relationships, sex, babies, more hurts. And these are just the things that we ACTUALLY get told about (most of the time) by older women in our lives. But no one pulls you to the side to tell you about the black wiry hair chins, how the acne doesn’t really go away, the hotflashes, the night sweats, and the handle bar mustache you’re going to develop when your estrogen resigns from its duties. If there is any doubt that women are the stronger sex, re-read all of this paragraph. Men could not hang.
At any rate, I am going to enjoy my Fall. I will wear sweaters and mop the sweat off my head and just not wear blush because it looks like I’m having a heart attack when my whole face turns bright red and my cheeks are even rosier as my body fights its way deeper into middle age. And yeah, I’m complaining BUT it sure beats the alternative.