I have been driving around the indoor parking lot at the shopping mall for about twenty minutes. A couple comes out through the door and walks toward their car. I am parked in the middle of the lot waiting to see where their car is. They walk past me and up to the next parking isle. I quickly put the car in drive and whip around the corner to get to their spot. I am patiently waiting another five minutes for them to leave. Just as they pull out a little red car pulls in my parking space! I am sitting there thinking "You saw me waiting!"
A young blond woman gets out of the car and I say "Excuse me, you saw me waiting for that spot." She smiles and gives me the middle finger then walks away. A dark force takes over my body and I am pretty sure this is what an out-of-body experience feels like. My face is blood red and there's steam coming out of my ears like a cartoon character. That scene from "Fried Green Tomatoes" comes to my mind. The one where Kathy Bates is in the Winn Dixie parking lot and the two girls in the red Volkswagen takes her spot. They say "Face it lady were younger and faster." Then she slams into the back of their car over and over again and says, "I am older and have more insurance." I put the car in drive, take a deep breath....and think about doing it. Then I realize my daughter is in the car with me and that wouldn't be setting a good example for her. I drive away. But in my head I ram the back of that car a dozen times screaming "I am older bitch and I have more insurance!"
It's menopause and there's no pause in menopause!
Irritability, mood swings, sudden burst of crying. They're all part of this new phase in my life.
The number one symptom... Hot flashes, cold flashes and night sweats. God damn that Eve for eating the apple. I thought he was a merciful God. It's been centuries, how long can you hold a grudge? We bleed and cramp for half our lives and then we change over to menopause! What the hell do men get? Bald? Really? Bald is a punishment? How is that fair? Men go through menopause buy sports cars and date younger women. Then pretend no one notices the 30 year age difference. Women get menopause and get an early taste of hell!
I am standing in the checkout line at Walmart. There's twenty checkouts and four open. There's a lineup at every one of them. I finally get up to the cashier. I am next in line. It's uncommonly hot outside for St. John's and very hot in the store. A hot flash hits. The sweat is dripping from my forehead. My hair is soaking wet and turned into a mass of curls. I could drown a small child between my breasts. The lady in front of me puts her items on the conveyer belt. She picked the one golf shirt that doesn't have a tag. I give her the evil eye but it seems like the most important thing in her life is buying this golf shirt. The cashier pages someone from the men's department. Then waits. In my head I am wrestling this woman to the ground screaming "I got your tag right here!" She pages the salesperson again and we wait. Still no one. I am ready to start stripping in the store. My T-shirt is drenched. I am loudly tapping my fingers on the shopping card and humming a death march while the cashier is looking nervous. She pages the salesperson again and we wait.
So I take the phone from her hand, hit the button and say, "Will the incompetent fuck in the men's department who is ignoring the pages grab the $7.00 golf shirt and bring it over to this God damn bitch."
Luckily I only did that in my head not in real life. But I wanted to. It is all part of the mood swings and irritability. Two other symptoms, fatigue and trouble sleeping.
I am so exhausted I can barely get up the stairs to the bedroom. I fall in the bed. It's 11:30. Then it's midnight. Then it's 12:30. Then it's 1:00 AM. Then a hot flash hits. Hubby has his sleep apnea machine on and he is happily snoring away. I want to smash the clock into his face. I decide to turn on the ceiling fan instead. I pull the chain. Is it one pull or two pulls to make the air cool? I can't remember. One pull doesn't seem to work. I yank it again. It's faster but I think it's going the wrong way. I yank it again and it stops. I yank it again and it goes in the other direction. I don't feel any cool air. So I yank it again. It goes faster. I think the first way it spun was the right way. So I yank it again. It's spinning out of control, rocking in the ceiling like it's going to take flight at any moment. I am like a downtown hooker, I can't remember how many yanks I pulled! I am tired, irritable and now my hair and nighty are soaked in sweat. Hubby wakes up to find me standing on the bed hanging from the ceiling fan. The look on his face is sheer terror. I look like Linda Blair in the Exorcist. My head does a 360 turn and my demon voice says "Fix the fan or you're going to die!" he gets up and yanks the chain and it magically works. He sleeps with one eye open for the rest of the night. I just levitate above the bed.
Welcome to menopause. You have to change your underwear every time you sneeze and you can't remember what you were ranting about five minutes ago. I don't know why the armed forces don't recruit women going through menopause for front line duty. Can you imagine an army of us with submachine guns and tanks? "Ya I got your peace talks right here Mr. Taliban! Bring it on."
When does it end? Research I found says it could go on for five to ten years! But I know I am not the only one. Through my research I found the following news story from Sarasota, Florida. I say, "Go sister!"
This is a true account as recorded in the Police Log of Sarasota, Florida: An elderly Florida lady (over 55) did her shopping and, upon returning to her car, found four males in the act of leaving with her vehicle. She dropped her shopping bags and drew her handgun, proceeding to scream at the top of her voice, "I have a gun, and I know how to use it! Get out of the car!" The four men didn't wait for a second invitation. They got out and ran like mad.
The lady, somewhat shaken, then proceeded to load her shopping bags into the back of the car and got into the driver's seat. She was so shaken that she could not get her key into the ignition; for the same reason, she did not understand why there was a football, a Frisbee and two 12-packs of beer in the front seat!
She tried and tried, and then it dawned on her why...A few minutes later, she found her own car parked four or five spaces farther down. She loaded her bags into the car and drove to the police station to report her mistake. The sergeant to whom she told the story couldn't stop laughing. He pointed to the other end of the counter, where four pale teenagers were reporting a car-jacking by a mad, elderly woman described as white, less than five feet tall, glasses, curly white hair, and carrying a large handgun.
No charges were filed. If you're going to have a Menopause Moment, make it memorable!