Daisies © lynette sheppard

Daisies © lynette sheppard

When I read Anne Bardsley’s guest post, I laughed so hard I peed. Which happens much less often since I started doing my Kegels. What I’m saying is that she takes a hilarious look at Menopause and aging – I can’t wait to read her new book. Thankfully, it’s available now so I won’t have to wait long. I’m sure you’ll agree. Oh, and go to the bathroom before you read any further. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Oh Man, Oh Man, This Menopause!

In my thirties, I never thought about aging. I took for granted that I’d be youthful, toned, and moist my entire life. Before I officially entered menopause, I thought the most I had to look forward to was vaginal dryness. That’s enough to cheer up any gal! Little did I know, the other symptoms would be life-altering, to say the least.

My mother never complained about menopause. She also had a child on Halloween and went back to work ten days later. We hadn’t even eaten all of our Halloween candy! I come from strong and crazy stock. I’m not one of those women who suffer in silence. I’ve been known to yell “Hot Flash!” the very moment I start to swelter. This could be at work, church, or grocery shopping. I have fanned myself with gossip magazines, church bulletins, and ads for the Big Blue pill. If it’s nearby, I will confiscate it and turn it into a fan.

The memory loss has been the most debilitating for me. I now carry a notebook in my bra to write things down. It works well unless I have a hot flash. Then I end up with a bunch of smeared papers and blue ink on my breasts.

I have no memory of a single important fact. I can, however, tell you that peanut butter is on sale, and I know the names of my dogs. Last week my husband walked in and I told him he looked vaguely familiar. He offered to re-introduce himself to me. I told him I didn’t like fresh men. He said, “Oh yes, you do!” But I couldn’t remember. He did have a nice smile though.

Passwords are also a nightmare. I have to get very basic, yet creative.
My bank account is now: “Where’s my damn money?”
My pin number for my debit card is 5678 because it sounds like a dance routine. I even do a little disco when I punch in 5678. If you snap your fingers it has a real nice beat to it.
I use code for my doctors, too!
My physician’s office is: “Eat More. Be Happy.”
The gynecologist: “Get out of there NOW.”

Sleeping is a challenge. I sleep under a ceiling fan with the A/C cranked extremely low. At precisely 2 a.m. my husband rolls over yelling, “For the love! You’re burning my skin again.” Big sissy.

At precisely 2:30 a.m. I go into a deep chill freeze. I have condensation all over this poor body of mine. With all the shivering, you’d think I’d shake off a few pounds. That has yet to happen, but I am ever hopeful.

This brings me to my biggest malady. Where did this belly come from? I never had a belly. I had hip bones that stuck out like fish bones. Now it looks like I swallowed a fishing boat.

I’ve tried being nice to it, “Good morning, Big Belly. I love you.”  I do some effleurage and stroke it calmly. It knows I’m lying. It seems I have a big intelligent belly with a high emotional IQ. She weeps until I feed her cinnamon buns. Poor Belly!

I’m convinced there will be a new miracle treatment for women in this stage soon. I suggest it be in the form of a chocolate martini with some gingko sprinkled on top, a splash of fiber, and a mild sedative. I want to keep my emotionally intelligent belly sedated for as long as possible.

Happy Hot Flashes!


Anne Bardsley is a humor writer, blogger, and author of How I Earned My Wrinkles: Musings on Marriage, Motherhood, and Menopause. Over the years, her work has appeared in several publications. More would be available if she was not so busy pondering ways to firm her thighs. This uses a huge amount of her already limited brain cells. She barely survived raising five kids. They were all worth the labor pains in the long run and have given her wonderful grandchildren. Anne currently lives in St. Petersburg, Florida with her husband of thirty-five years and two spoiled cockapoos.