I mentioned my age here the other day, which has never been a secret. I’m 58. So those of you who have read some of the pamphlets Hillary was talking about on “Between Two Ferns” probably suspect the truth, and I’m here to confirm it: My baby-makin’ days are over. I’m past menopause. (I can never remember: If you’re “menopausal,” I think that means you’re going through it. But once you’re one year with no periods, you’re…what? Post? Whatever. It’s in the rear-view mirror now.)
The biggest shock was how little a shock it was. I recall picking up Kate at a friend’s house on the coldest day of the year, the kind where every house feels chilly, when you wrap yourself in fleece and wool and rub your hands together a lot. The girl’s mother opened the door in a tank top, sweat beading at her forehead, veritably steaming. I guffawed, but she wasn’t amused by hot flashes at all. I don’t think I had a single one. I also didn’t go crazy enough to be institutionalized. I didn’t get old and crone-y overnight. My sleep got a little dodgier, but that was it.
For this, I can only credit genetics and luck. And so far, I can’t say being a crone is bad at all. Now I only feel like crying when something tragic is happening on my radar screen, not because the kid at the deli didn’t see me standing there for 10 minutes, or because someone cut me off in traffic. My keel is even most of the time, my sails unbuffeted by hormonal storms. Which reminds me of seeing a lactation consultant when I was a new mother, trying to figure out nursing, and I said, tearfully, “These hormones! They’re like drugs!” The nurse looked at me kindly and said, “Honey? They ARE drugs.”
Other things are happening, to be sure. I won’t go into the details, because if you’ve been there, you know, and if you haven’t, why wreck the surprise? Hint: It involves eyebrows. Seriously. EYEBROWS. I wake up in the morning and see Andy Rooney looking out of my bathroom mirror. I hate this.
Here I’ll put in a word for exercise, again. If there’s one thing that really does help almost every aspect of physical and mental health, it’s self-care, and especially self-care that includes regular exercise. I don’t want to be a bore about this, but seriously — fountain of youth.
So the other day I found myself killing time at one of my favorite shops, and I saw this dress. Tried it on. It fit like a glove, and I looked at it with a strange mix of emotions. It’s the very definition of what I was talking about the other day, the too-young dress for a matron of my age. Not only is it tight and sexy, the print is covered with cherries. If there’s ever a fruit with a lewd connection to a woman’s sexuality, it’s cherries. Maybe peaches, too, but definitely cherries. Wearing a tight dress covered with cherries is sort of a dirty joke on the hoof, isn’t it? What about an old bag wearing one? As Tom and Lorenzo might ask, “What message is this dress sending?” Is this a Girl, That’s Not Your Dress dress, or what?
Reader, I bought it. It was on end-of-season sale, big-time. Haven’t worn it yet, because I don’t live a cherry-dress-every-weekend life, but every so often I’m invited to an event where it could come in handy. I have a mix of business/party dresses in my closet, and when I was 30 pounds heavier, they were all black. I love me a black dress (got a new one of those, too), but life is indeed a bowl of cherries, and this little retro number stole my heart.
I’m just dreading having to get the I AM WEARING THESE CHERRIES IRONICALLY tattoo across my collarbone. But looking forward to the red heels I ordered to go with. Because you always need another pair of those.
A little bloggage to start the week, as the countdown to the debate starts.
The Narcan backlash. It turns out that when addicts are saved from death by Narcan, they don’t wake up and say, “Hallelujah! Point me to a rehab center!” They go out and get high again. A problem.
There have been many times in this campaign season that I’ve felt amused, felt disgusted, felt astonished, but the moments of actual queasy-making nausea have been fairly rare. I felt it when Donald Trump surrounded himself with Medal of Honor-wearing soldiers, and I felt it this weekend, when he said he was going to invite Gennifer Flowers to the debate. She won’t be there, but is there a truer measure of this man than that reality-show blurtage? It’s almost literally sickening.
OK, then, time to pack it up and map out my week. Hope yours goes well.