Rip Van Uterus woke up today from an 11-month sleep.
I blame Crabby McSlacker because she posted this:
And as I watched it, I thought – in that cocky sort of older-lady kind of way – ‘Yeah…I’m so over periods. Still get hairs on my chin, but hey. Savin’ money on the tampons. Woohoo for menopause!’
Then I got home this afternoon after taking 2/4 grandchildren home. Last night, when I asked Mae and Luca what they wanted for dinner, neither of them screamed, “PASTA!” which is sad, because that’s what was screaming inside my head. They totally ignored the neon sign above my head that flashed, “With a side of toast!”
They wanted peanut butter instead.
So back to when I got home this afternoon. I got out of the car, after driving for an hour, and I had that “you-know-what-I’m-talking-about-ladies” feeling down below, and sure enough…
Thank god I hadn’t given away my entire stockpile of Always.
That’s as much physical TMI as I’ll divulge. (Guys, you can open your eyes now.) But man…the emotional landscape I’ve been playing on for two weeks looks like this:
If I could be more uncertain/forgetful/bitter/happy, I’d get locked up, I’m sure of it.
I know many of you reading aren’t in this place yet, this abyss of pads/no pads/pads/is it done yet?/cry at every cat video your friends posts on Facebook.
But for those of you who are, and for the people who love us, we deserve some slack. This was NOT in our 6th-grade Modess-sponsored film. That day came at us like a mushroom cloud. Girls were ushered into one room. Boys were hustled to another. The boys watched “a film,” which I’m convinced was a recap of the 1973 Super Bowl, and we watched a film about a day in the life of a pretty brunette, age 15, who took showers during her period, went swimming during her period, ate healthy meals, and brushed her spectacular white teeth.
And she smiled the whole damn time!
One of the girls in my class asked the school nurse after the film, “Where do babies come from?”
“Ask your mother,” she said.
So the girls went to recess having NO idea there was a connection between our monthly “friend” and having babies. The boys congregated around us, wanting to know what we knew that they didn’t know. We were still processing. Between playing four-square and jumping rope, we didn’t know a whole lot more than they did.
I’m a smart woman. I know my body pretty well after 50 years. It’s bossy and demanding. But today…? I’ve rolled my eyes so many times I’m pretty sure they will permanently face backwards.
The same educational mandate that forced us to watch “The Film” in fifth grade should require we watch Ellen Dolgen’s video when we turn 40. You know, to prepare us for what is to come.
Don’t get me wrong. We all know menopause is coming. But when we get to “That Age,” it’s like we learn about that time of the month (or 11 months) in reverse. Ending our periods is as much of a mystery as it was when we started: Moodiness? Check. Boob issues? Check. Weird hair? Check. Issues down below? Check.
How about this: After the initial film in grade school, girls could sign up to watch a perimenopause film at age 40. Maybe the Office of Perimenopause could send them a reminder postcard every five years or so? Then, at age 40 (or whenever), they could report to their nearest Office of Perimenopause and watch the video.
I’ve had 36 interesting years with my uterus. But I’m no longer in need of her services. I want her to shut down like a retired nuclear energy facility.
Obviously, though, being a body part, she gets the last (hopefully?) laugh. This is her last (hopefully?) hurrah. I assure you, however, that today, I am not smiling like the 15-year-old in the Modess film. I am determined to overcome the desire for pasta, bread, sugar, and all things unwholesome. Except for, maybe, a piece of dark chocolate. And maybe a bagel. And perhaps a piece of pizza…
Oh good GOD! Shut up, uterus! Go back to sleep!
Ugh. Those of you who know what I’m talking about…leave a comment. Please. Especially if you have a memory of that “film.” It’s OK. Here, there is safety in numbers.