My Alternate Universe

May 26, 2010

hot flashes, menopause

Hot Flashes, raging hormones and menopause

My Alternate Universe

There are all sorts of body types, some people sweat in 50 degree weather and others wear five layers of clothing, two sweaters a winter parka and drape two blankets over them and that’s with the heat on in the house! The latter is me. I generally run cold like tap water in Alaska. So this phase in my life feels very odd to me, like I am making a guest appearance on the TV show LOST – the scenes where they are living in an alternate universe. Welcome to my alternate universe.

I live in the Pacific North West, where nights are cool to cold 350 days a year. I love to snuggle in my warm bed complete with flannel sheets, three blankets and a comforter. I am usually decked out with my wool socks, flannel pj’s and sometimes even a sweatshirt over my pj’s. My partner, Dana, thinks I’m crazy as he is outfitted with merely a t-shirt and shorts.

I finally get settled into the warmth, covering every inch of my body with blankets. My eyes are the only thing you can see, similar to a crab that gets swallowed by an octopus – two eyes barely peeking out from the dark abyss…I gradually slip into dreamland. A few hours pass and then the unthinkable happens – matter collides with anti-matter and with a bang felt more intensely than a sex starved nymphomaniac on a hot date – worlds reverse, where cold people become hot, women sprout chin hair and the cool, calm and collective become emotional wrecks!  I have been thrusted into this new world with a blink of my myopic eye. Heat sears through every cell in my body, dew profusely trickling down my temples and across my hairline, the skin under my breasts become slimy with perspiration, boobs once bouncy and free, suddenly become immobile due to the fact that oil + sweat = glue! I feel like crying, my mind races with insignificant scenarios, and I’m on edge for no apparent reason. A strange odor wafts up to my nostrils, it’s a sort of B.O. coming from my arm pits. I am NOT the kind of person that sweats for any reason, what’s going on? I have entered a new land, it’s called Hot Flashes and it resides on the Planet Menopause!

My plight to cool myself off begins; I have to do something about this blaze of glory flaming through my body.  Without disturbing my partner I take my big toe of my right foot and gracefully sneak it in the sock of my left foot, removing the sock completely with only my right foot. Then I take my big toe of my left foot and repeat the maneuver on my right sock, removing it quietly, without much movement. Ah mission accomplished, cool feet, partner still asleep, and I entertain myself at 3 in the morning with my newly acquired party trick.

Okay, my feet are cool, but the rest of my body is still emitting heat like Mama Leone’s pizza oven. Next I rip off my sweatshirt, then my pajama shirt. Ah chest is cooled off, boobs not sticky anymore. I wait a few moments, I toss and turn, my internal sensors are telling me that I’m still HOT, so I rip off my bottoms, kicking the sheets off in the process, my partner begins to awake as I lie there completely naked with only cold air as my blanket.

“Is everything okay” he asks.

“I’m hot, it’s these damn hot flashes! But I’m good now.” I reply.

“Did you take all your clothes off?” He inquires.

“Yes.” I answer.

I think he might want to get frisky, so I start to get myself in the mood and turn towards him when I hear “ckaaaa, ckaaaa, phooof”, he’s asleep and I’m naked, horny, and wide awake in a neurotic trance on an alternate plane. I start to meditate, hoping it will help me get to sleep, it works. I begin to relax, enjoying the fact that I am no longer sweating like the contestants on The Biggest Loser, when all of a sudden I am plunged back to my world with as much fury as when I was propelled to this alternate state of lunacy! A shiver starts to crawl down my skin starting at my shoulders, moving onto my torso, down my legs, (which have now turned blue) and ending with my frostbitten toes. I have come home again to the world I know and trust. I leap up, put my clothes and socks back on and cover up again with my collection of blankets. My rustling wakes Dana.

“What’s going on, still hot?” He asks.

“No, I’m freezing now. I’ve put my clothes back on.” I reply.

He begins to get romantic, his hands trying to find my body underneath all the clothes.

I stop him, “Sorry Honey, I’m too cold now to get undressed again, but if you wait an hour I am sure to be naked and horny again at that time!”

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My Magic Mirror

July 3, 2010

aging“Mirror, Mirror in my hand, who’s the youngest in the land?” I ask with demure.
“Why it’s you Ms. Maryann!” was the reply of my nearest and dearest friend.

You see, for as long as I can remember, my counterpart in that mirror has retained her youthful glow. She has not aged a bit in twenty years, that’s why I call my mirror my “Magic Mirror”. I honestly believe what my eyes perceive when I stare into my glassy confidante. My mirror is my friend, I trust him, he is my council. As difficult as it is to believe, I think I have found the Fountain of Youth somehow in my forties while for most of my friends it remains amiss. Have I defied Father Time? I believe I have.

Filled with confidence, I walk proudly into the party tent visiting old friends that I haven’t seen in 25 years. I am a twenty year old again. I feel twenty, I act twenty and by golly ILOOK twenty! Most of my friends look very good, but they don’t look twenty like myself. Somehow I have found the secret of youth that everyone searches for. I have found her and welcomed her into my home, while at the same time I feel empathy for my friends who were unable to locate her.

With an air of grace I accept all compliments on how wonderful I look after the passing of all those years, yet I hide my conceit. I repay the compliments, telling the truth, yet secretly thinking it is only I who still looks like she is in college.

The party is over and I fly back to the West Coast. A few days later I see photographs of the event. They are posted on facebook for all to see. I am shocked at the vision before me…that can’t possibly be me in those pictures, I have jowls! Something must be wrong, was there another woman at the party dressed the same as I? I look closer at the photos, I remember the scene, yes that’s me, oh dear, I have bags under the bags under my eyes! I have lines on my face that weren’t there the last time I looked in my mirror. My nose has grown in length and width, yet there is something missing from this picture, I can’t quite put my finger on it, what’s missing from the face that I grew to know? Then it dawns on me, my upper lip is gone, it has disappeared from the canvas and what remains is a faint, dim shadow of what was once there.

I have to look away from that decrepit vision on my laptop, but I really need to know the truth, so with apprehension I decide to look down at the rest of my body as I unbutton and remove my blouse, then my pants, and what I begin to see is not for the faint at heart. I first start with my hands, the blue veins are prominently protruding from underneath my snake-like skin. When did I shed my supple skin and replace it with scales?

I move up my arm…where did those slabs of meat come from? I am a vegetarian so I am certain that I did not order them, it must be some kind of mistake!

Cautiously I move on to my neck with my snake like hands…my neck feels like rows and rows of hemp chokers, and I don’t even like hemp jewelry!

My eyes drop to my chest, but they have to drop a few inches lower than I am accustomed to. Drooping and deflated, my boobs look like last week’s party balloons! Dear Lord, when did THIS happen? I look to my navel, another body part that has basically disappeared. The skin from the upper part of my navel has drooped over itself hiding it from view. Down my legs I scan, oh my poor knees, my smooth skin is gone, and I now have elephant knees. I am afraid to go on, but I must, I need to see the truth. My toes! My toe nails have become hard, yellow and thick. It will take hedge clippers to cut those damn things. The time is now, the worst I am yet to behold…Naked, I turn around, with a (different) mirror in one hand and the bathroom mirror behind me, and the two mirrors coordinate their scheme. They plan to bring me to reality, they shun my Magic Mirror. I am aghast at what I see! Dimples should be on the face, cottage cheese should be in the refrigerator and flap jacks should be on the griddle. None of them belong on my ass! It has happened and I didn’t see it coming…I have “Old Lady Butt”!

I feel so out of place. I am a fish out of water, a snake without its skin…wait, on second thought that skin is on my hands…I feel so awkward in this decaying body. How did I get here? When did it happen? That isn’t me that I see reflected off those mirrors. I look for my Magic Mirror and demand he tells me the truth, “Why have you lied to me all these years?”

He replies, “It is not I who tells you what you want to see, it is you. I am the Magic Mirror because I reflect what lies beneath! No other mirrors can see what I see. Continue using me and you will see your inner youth like no other mirror. But one word of caution: If you decide to venture upon a nude beach, make sure you take along those other two mirrors, and LOTS of sunscreen!”

As I was channel surfing the other night, I ended up watching a live Emergency Room show shot in Portland, Oregon, where I live.  The emergencies being shown that evening were of a young boy who broke both his arms as a result of a fall from a tree swing, a man who was shot in the chest by his crazy girlfriend, and a chronic drunk who frequents the ER so often that he helped himself to the CT scan. Okay, they had me sucked in like a sailor at a strip bar. The hands-down winner of the most stupid person in the ER that night was a man who shot a hole in his penis with a 32 caliber handgun. You see, I am not all that knowledgeable about guns so I can’t tell you whether it was a 32 caliber revolver, a 32 caliber pistol, or a 32 caliber derringer, all that I know is that if I had a penis I wouldn’t be putting a loaded gun anywhere near it! I didn’t even know carrying loaded handguns was legal in the state of Oregon, I thought it was only allowed in Texas, Wyoming, and Starbucks.

Apparently the little buckaroo had just left a shooting range with his buddies when he decided to carry the loaded gun down his pants. Even his friends told him that he shouldn’t put the gun anywhere near Sparky! Maybe he thought it made him look like John Wayne for a moment, however he should’ve remembered one of John Wayne’s most famous quotes: “Life is hard, it’s even harder when you’re stupid!”

Let’s talk about the penis for a moment, shall we? The penis is the little multi-tasker of the male body. It has many purposes from excreting liquid wastes, to procreation, to pleasure. We are all familiar with those hats that it wears, but it’s faithful owners have  other uses for the appendage that are sometimes forgotten, for example it can sometimes serve as a towel rack, it can put out a small campfire in an emergency, and if you tie a string around it you can pretend it’s a puppet.  I could spend all day describing the many entertaining aspect of the penis according to men, but I won’t! Women love penises as well, and for good reason, penises absolutely do not care what we look like in the morning, the penis gives us a damn good excuse for being neurotic, Freud has even diagnosed our neurosis: Penis Envy, and by the looks of it, it’s definitive proof that God is a woman and that she has a sense of humor! Even with the plethora of wonders of the penis, there is another side to it as well, a darker side and I’m not talking about its two neighbors to the south. It makes smart men do stupid things, it makes smart women do stupid things and it makes stupid men use their jeans as a holster.

With all that the penis has going for itself, why would any man stick a loaded handgun down the front of his pants pointing directly at his Pleasure Probe? Well fortunately for the Portland City Cowboy, the bullet only shot a small hole in his penis; it missed the urethra, the testicles, and the scrotum. Had it been a 45 caliber gun it would have blown the Willy right off the Wonka! I can’t begin to try to figure out what was going on in that man’s head that day and what made him entertain the idea that packing a pistol in his pants was remotely an intelligent thing to do. But I can tell you that any guy who sticks a loaded handgun down the front of his pants doesn’t deserve to have a penis!


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You Are Maternally Challenged

Some people think that motherhood comes naturally to women. However, just because you were born with a uterus doesn’t mean that you should have used yours.

There are the Carol Bradys of the world and then there’s you, some mutant mix of the obscure versions of Roseanne Barr and Brittany Spears. Yes, I am talking to YOU, the maternally challenged mother on the block.

Oh, you poor dear, you are probably in denial that you are maternally challenged. Let’s take a look at your children, shall we? Your children never, and I mean never, listen to you, especially in public. Your children get reprimanded by other mothers, store clerks, little old ladies and even other children! Your children cannot go anywhere without having a major meltdown, nor can your children go anywhere without breaking something. Your children’s vocabulary can often be heard at any naval shipyard around the globe. Now doesn’t that sound like your children?

Still not convinced? Alright let’s look at you.  You are the Super Nanny’s definition of job security! You are loving but generally clueless. You are not an unfit mother, you are simply missing the June Cleaver gene. You don’t have it all together, you don’t have the right answers, you are confused and unequipped for the task of motherhood. You pale in comparison to all the great mothers before you and those perfect Maternal Goddesses that grace every neighborhood.

If you are still not a hundred percent convinced that you are maternally challenged then you should take the Maternally Challenged  Quiz:

1)      Are you perpetually unprepared? Is you diaper bag always missing one crucial ingredient, like diapers perhaps?

2)      Do you take all the latest parenting classes given by Maternal Goddesses but nothing seems to work?

3)      Do the grocery store clerks put up child proof gates around the displays of wine when they see you and your child coming?

4)      Does your child call you a Biatch in front of other people, especially in front of Maternal Goddesses?

5)      Does a two hour play date end in, “don’t call us, we’ll call you!”?

6)      Do you find yourself screaming like a Banshee and having tantrum fits trying to persuade your child to get dressed in the morning, while her reaction to your tirade is to lock herself in the only room in the house which doesn’t have a key?

7)      Do other mothers run from you and your child as if you had a severe contagious case of dysentery?

8)      Do you think that the four major food groups are McDonalds, Krispy Kreme Donuts, Baskin Robbins, and Kentucky Fried Chicken?

9)      Do you stress out, get hives and vomit profusely, right before a scheduled play date with one of those “Maternal Goddess” type moms?

10)  Do you consider discipline child abuse?

If you answered yes to at least seven of these questions then I am sorry to say that you are destined to live your life as one of those deplorable creatures. But it’s not all that bad I assure you, there are always Maternal Goddesses out there to help you along. They are always prepared, they have extra diapers, extra wet wipes and blankets to lend you. They are always first in line to discipline your child on the playground so you don’t have to, and they will always be there to point out that they could write a book entitled “Pathetic Parenting” based on your set of parenting skills. Look on the bright side, you could be famous!

Now that you have transitioned from the denial phase to acceptance, my recommendation to you is to start a support group. You could call it the Maternally Challenged Mothers Club. There are thousands of you scattered across the country my Dear. I bet if you go to your local Walmart you could find all your members in one full swoop!