By Virginia Burke
Editor's Note: Being the good entrepreneur that I am, I sent out a questionnaire after the release of Issue No. 1 to get feedback from the women who were actually reading it. I asked what topic they felt was left out of the issue and several women responded with menopause. I realized that I absolutely had a blind spot for this major transition because I’m still trying to figure out how to not get pregnant. Trusting in the power of crowdsourcing, I sent an email asking for submissions on menopause. I’m not kidding when I tell you that a half an hour later, I had this essay in my inbox. Virginia provided exactly the voice I was hoping for: honest, thoughtful, and incredibly funny.
I thought I would embrace menopause. I thought I would be grateful having no need to buy tampons or thong pantyliners. It is really hard to find thong pantyliners.
I am on the fence about the whole thing. I stopped getting my period at around age 45 (Rule of Thumb: according to my midwife, one whole year without your period grants you access to enter the club).
Prior to this comes perimenopause, a sort of partial menopause; yay! You still get your period BUT experience menopause symptoms at the same time. Yippee! You experience those damn hot flashes too.
When I first stopped getting my period, it was okay. No big deal. Then I became evil and impatient. I started to wake up frequently throughout the night. Did I say I was evil? I began to SWEAT. Not dainty girl sweat, but sumo wrestler sweat. No deodorant was enough...I stunk. Did I say I was evil? I started buying clinical strength deodorant. I still sweat copious amounts, but I do not stink as much.
The hot flashes cause me to panic. I MUST get cooler NOW. My beloved coffee does not help but makes it worse. Drink coffee, become panicky hot. As I write this, I have an air conditioner
blasting frigid air on my head. I wake up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat, my hair soaking wet. My wet hair gets stuck in my armpits increasing the
impatient, evil factor.
I have a more noticeable muffin top, too. Maybe even a busted can of biscuits belly. Could be the beer I drink, could be the large babies I gave birth to. It is probably a combination of menopause and beer and large babies. Who knows? My bikini days have been over since my third child.
Do I embrace menopause? Maybe. Do I miss buying feminine protection supplies, NO! Why are they so expensive? Why are these not covered by food stamps? Another rant, another topic. The weight gain, the hot flashes, the evil streaks are not fun. The plus side is I am braver, more honest, and maybe even more mature.