The Only Way To Celebrate Your Middle-Aged Birthday When You’re Menopausal

The Only Way To Celebrate Your Middle Aged Birthday
Eat healthily!

Peri-menopause is a bitch, or that’s probably how my son Kurt would describe it.

 

THERE! I said the M word out loud – cue all two of my male readers to cough uncomfortably and exit the page as fast as their mouse can click.

 

But it’s a little known fact (unless you already this blog) that the best way to cure hormonal outrage is to shop. And I like to practise what I preach.

 

I’ve always thought that birthdays are over-rated, but if it hadn’t been for my birthday this week, I might have committed first degree murder such was the mindfuckery caused by my level 10 peri-menopause symptoms.I blame my state of psychosis on a) fucking around with my hormone levels in a backfiring attempt to feel less psychotic and b) the Princess sleeping between us in what is already a sauna of a bedroom and hence not getting enough beauty sleep.

The Only Way To Celebrate Your Middle Aged Birthday
Looking attractive all the time, will boost your confidence!

 

But because it was my birthday this week I couldn’t just wallow in the foetal position and rock in between drooling at photos of The Bachelor on my special day; I had to pretend to be human for the sake of the members of my family who were excited for me, (and who have also taken to concealing weapons in their bedrooms for self-protection reasons recently). So I locked the kitchen knife drawer, hid the scissors and photos of the old man, plastered a fake smile and the reddest lippy on my face and actually ended up having a great day.

 

You see the old man believed (wisely, as it turns out) that if he threw enough cash in my face, he could get away with NOT buying me another birthday present that I don’t want.

 

And he was right. Because I really AM that shallow.

 

So off I headed to Pitt St Mall on Tuesday morning and spent an orgasmic six hours trying on every pair of sparkly shoes and LBD in David Jones, interspersed with a very pleasant lunch date with my husband in the Oyster Bar, because I had to make him suffer somehow I felt I should include him, and very soon I began to feel remarkably better about the whole getting older, fatter and uglier thing.

 

I might have mentioned the medicinal values of Champagne before.

 

The Only Way To Celebrate Your Middle Aged Birthday
Brand new shoes, sparkly shoes – better than sex!

I shopped ‘til I fucking dropped and bought all sorts of shit that I don’t really need never usually lavish on myself, like jewellery and lingerie and the most gorgeous pair of super-expensive sparkly FLAT mules, and the day transformed itself into a complete ME-FEST to become undeniably one of the best days of my life!

 

I finally felt complete!

 

 

 

Still sucks being 49, though! Not quite old enough to blame Menopause on my personality metamorphosis or feel completely chez-moi in the plus-size, granny-pant departments of David Jones that I’m strangely drawn to these days. Yet old enough to feel cranky for absolutely no fucking reason, particularly towards that breed of stunning young bitches in white coats who insist on spraying expensive perfume in my eyes in the makeup department like they have some sort of fucking death wish.

The female body, Menstruation and Exercise

Disclaimer: I take no responsibility for shocking, educating or causing the men brave enough and ‘new’ enough to read this post, to projectile vomit – welcome to a woman’s world.

The Menstruation Tent
The Menstruation Tent (Photo credit: GorillaSushi)

I have my most interesting thoughts when I’m attempting to drag my body from one end of the local pool to the other.

If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed that there was a lot of talk about menstruation last week.

I’ve been hyper-focusing on periods a lot lately – mainly because I’m mentally and physically  (should be) OVER them, as I’ve mentioned one or eight times before on my blog (here).

So last week, when even the ‘Neurofen for Abject Misery’ wasn’t working, I asked my followers if there was a teenager out there who might want to ‘feel like a woman’ early and adopt my periods now – in a kind of exchange arrangement.

What’s really making me bitter, twisted and psychotic about periods at the moment, is just how difficult they make it to do certain things. Those adverts about roller-blading and swimming are obviously a gross misrepresentation of what you can actually do during your period – it’s just a way of sucking the innocents into the bloodbath – because the reality is, periods don’t just stop at the excruciating pain and psychopathic mood. They suck, big-time.

I was forced to swim during mine last week.

Normally my timing is much better, but as I’d found (seemingly) legitimate excuses for NOT swimming the previous five days, when an unfortunate window of opportunity became available to go to the pool, menstruation seemed a rather pathetic excuse.

Anyway, it was day 1 – commonly known as ‘the trickle’ – (just before it turns seriously nasty and into the full-blown  ‘tsunami’ of days 2,3,4, and 5).

Do any of you find that the main problem with swimming during your period is the logistics of hiding the tampon string? If anyone holds the secret to concealment, please let me know. I’ve tried everything – up the crack, around the back or in a ball at the vajajay entrance.

Nothing is failsafe.

The ultimate fear of course is that the telltale little white string will work its way out just as you exit the pool and in full view of the lifeguards (that you’ve spent the past 3 weeks perving on) in a ‘DID I MENTION THAT I’VE GOT MY PERIOD?’ kind of moment.

Ever notice all those women frantically groping around their groins at the steps from the pool?

The other fear of course is that the tampon will soak up so much water from the pool, that it will free-fall out of your body with the speed and accuracy of a bullet, aided and abetted by bloody gravity, and then land, a soggy, bloody SPLAT on the steps, scarring for life all those innocent little kindies who have just come to learn how to swim.

When I don’t have my period, I swim monotonously, counting each length torturously down, wishing it were my last so I could already be tucking into that ‘pat on the back’ muffin and Latte. Swimming when I have my period, means that my mind continually wanders back to the whereabouts of that tampon string at any given time, praying to God that it is not in full view of the faster swimmers queuing behind me, wearing goggles.

We women have to put up with so many body issues when we do sport, don’t we?

It must be so much easier for men.

They don’t have to worry about any of this stuff, do they?

  • Aforementioned concealment of tampon strings and unruly pubic hair
  • Non-waterproof mascara
  • Fanny farting during yoga and Pilates
  • Breast jiggling
  • Erect nipples
  • Menstruation Leakage
  • Children in the shower shouting ‘look at that woman’s enormous bush!’
  • Children in the shower looking pitifully at your empty breasts
  • Poor bladder control (aka ‘weeing slightly’) during difficult yoga positions or from resulting embarrassed laughter

Women’s bodies weren’t really designed for strenuous exercise, were they? At least, that’s been my excuse for a while now.

Letter Of Resignation To The Women’s Menstruation Club.

Photo courtesy of urszulakk at www.flicker.com
Photo courtesy of urszulakk at http://www.flicker.com

For the attention of the Director, The Women’s Menstruation Club

Dear Sir/Madam,

It is with no regret that I wish to inform you of my resignation from The Women’s Menstruation Club.

As you are no doubt aware, I have been an active member of the club for the past thirty-four years, and believe that I have taken full advantage of the opportunities afforded to me in that time. However, as I no longer have need of the facilities, I feel it is time to withdraw my membership and cancel your services.

When I first joined the club at the age of fourteen, (at your sister club in Tenerife; on holiday with my father!) I was initially quite naive regarding the services you offered, but having been influenced by other club members I was nevertheless keen to experience the opportunities firsthand. Since that time, I believe that I have taken those opportunities and run with them.

However, upon reaching my forties, I have come to realise that as I am using your facilities less and less, it is probably time to cancel my membership.

I am finding the costs of membership quite prohibitive these days, especially when I am gaining absolutely no tangible benefit from your services. Added to which, I have recently heard of a new women’s club in the area, called The Menopause Club, which may suit my needs better.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been some benefits to my membership and I do not look back on my time at the club with only regret.

I am aware that there are a lot of women who never get the chance to belong to such a high profile club or use the facilities and for that I am eternally grateful. When I first joined the club, your facilities even provided me with the perfect excuse for a break on occasion, a means of avoiding other activities, and more recently, my now irregular visits to the club have provided me with the welcome excuse of not always having to exercise with my husband.

I would also like to add that I did take full advantage of those two special offers you made to me, and although often on occasion, they don’t always seem quite so ‘special’ any more, on the whole they have been a worthwhile investment.

But as you will probably understand, paying for services that are no longer required can cause a certain amount of stress. My husband believes that the responsibility of my membership at the club has recently begun to put pressure on me, and may in fact be the root cause of a very subtle change in my humour these days. Especially since my visits have become more erratic and there is less continuity or community involvement.

I will miss the club for other reasons, of course. Being a member has been a big part of my life and cancelling my membership will herald the next phase; and who knows what opportunities that will bring.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Yours faithfully,

Louisa Simmonds

Panties/Containers for Tampons courtesy of urszulakk at www.flicker.com

10 Reasons Why Menopause Isn’t For Pussies

menopause Urban Dictionary
A special time in a woman’s life when they can’t have babies anymore. They get hormonal, mean, rude, short-tempered, angry, and awkward. Bad time for teenagers to live with their moms.
She was mean because she was going through menopause.

This week I was going to bring you a vacuous post entitled ‘the physical significance of the modern super-hero’ (or ‘why Chris Hemsworth is so f*cking hot’), but then I realized that all three of my readers would probably work out what a pathetic, dyed-blonde sleaze ball I truly am and ditch my blog.

So instead, and partly because I’m still recovering from an outrageously evil assault by some vengeful grass ticks, (resulting in paranoid insomnia from the unrelenting itchiness), I have spent most of this week feeling a tad maudlin. As a result, instead of going into the finer detail of Chris’s pecs, I decided to write a true Midlife Mayhem ‘niche’ post detailing the symptoms of an equally debilitating health issue (even worse than the repercussions of a swathe of embittered grass ticks), eerily often referred to in hushed tones as ‘the change’.

(I’ll just give the boys a few seconds to exit the page).

So anyway, here’s my little snapshot of what I’ve experienced in the first few sacred years of my menopausal Chamber of Horrors:

  1. Admittedly, I’ve always been a bit partial to GRUMPINESS, (even when I didn’t have the abdication of my oestrogen as a valid excuse), but my grumpiness has now become a condition rather than an event. From the moment I wake up these days, I feel irritable, no matter if it’s the weekend,  if I’ve had a good night’s sleep or if the old man has unexpectedly been called away on a five day work trip; and that lack of control over my innate grumpiness, renders me even more grumpy. My tolerance has completely expired. I can and will find fault with everything and anyone and I blow trivial annoyances completely out of proportion. If anyone dares to allude to (or worse, question) my irrationality, they’d better be prepared.
  2. My BODY’S in-built mechanism for the equal distribution of weight (that served me well in my twenties and thirties in helping me deal with those extra calories) no longer seems to function, so it dumps those unwanted calories unceremoniously anywhere it can on my physique without prior consultation; usually around my tummy and chin, but never on my breasts. No amount of energy-sapping nut and fruit grazing seem to rectify this problem. I have been forced to accept friend invites from  ‘bloating’ and ‘swelling’ on Facebook.
  3. My STYLE has been forced to conform to my new skin tones which range from ruddy to sallow, with an occasional pretty grey tinge. I have capitulated regarding my wardrobe and embraced kaftans, voluminous Witchery tent dresses and hideously chunky beads in in-your-face tropical shades to distract the eye from anyone actually looking at ME.
  4. I gain WEIGHT when I eat, and I gain weight when I don’t eat.  The fullness of my boobs veer from empty vessels to over-ripe, sore mangos at varying times of the month. Why the f*ck do I need big puppies now of all times?
  5. My PERIODS have resorted to anarchy. They just appear when the f*ck they like with absolutely no prior warning. RUDE! The only certainty with ‘the curse’ these days is that it HURTS LIKE HELL, which makes them an even more bitter pill to swallow when they no longer serve any purpose.
  6. My MEMORY abandoned ship around the same time as my menstrual cycle. I now resort to lists for everything and find lost objects, (including car keys, the car and the kids), by a carefully orchestrated ‘working backwards’ process. My brain has obviously imploded and become a confused mash of old cells that connivingly trick me in sensitive situations; like at work in the face of my boss and deadlines.
  7. I have more BODY HAIR than the dog and the dog groomer looked uncomfortable when I suggested a two for one deal.  I used to celebrate the European liberation of a bit of leg or under-arm fuzz but now ALL my follicles have joined the party and rogue hairs grow anywhere and everywhere.
  8. Remind me again about the point of SEX? Other than for procreation or as a negotiating tool, obviously. With judgmental teenagers, 24hr fatigue, body image issues and difficulty finding my sexual mojo for the guy I listen to fart in unison with the dog each night, I often sometimes can’t find that precious ‘window’.
  9. My intolerance to ALCOHOL is the real kicker.  Alcohol now screws with my head in a really badass way. I can get a hangover from Tiramisu, and one dangerous glass of cheap vino can escalate my mood from moroseness to a noose. No matter how much I’ve adapted my body to the curtailing infringements imposed by middle-age, giving up this last vestige of my youth hurts the most. Water has become my new best friend.

Tune in next week for the old man’s version of the ‘male journey’ into middle-age. Highlights include: how much is too much hair loss? golf on tv versus sex, imposing nose hair and keeping the weight down by watching lots of sport on tv.

Meet Ms Peri Menopause photo courtesy of mummysam at www.flickr.com