HERE IS absolutely no reason to despair should any of you be approaching the once-dreaded Big M, or its adorable cousin, Peri-M. Since so many menopausal symptoms are uncannily similar to the pre-teen adventures of Puberty, we at Happy Woman hereby make this official, scientifesque announcement:
Menopause is really Puberty Part Deux! Based on our careful research of the phenomenon, (and by "careful research" we mean three coconut martinis and a male stripper named Rod), you are now free to revisit all of the coping mechanisms with which nature endowed you at the tender age of, what was it, 12? That's right, it's once again time for:
Artistic Mood Swings
In Puberty, we learned the art of shouting "I hate you, I hate you!!!" and slamming our bedroom door shut. Now that we're big, we can install locks on those doors! But not before stocking up on popcorn and vodka for that marathon of nostalgic DVDs. Don't forget to call in sick (big people often have jobs!), because one little weekend is usually not long enough for the Artistic Mood Swing.
Just remember that when you finally emerge, you don't owe anyone an apology! This according to the infallible Rules of Puberty Part Deux, which state that simply no one understands you. How could they? You are just too complex for words.
In the old days, we had difficulty keeping our dates straight "Is it Johnny on Friday and Billy on Saturday, or the other way around? Or is this just my premature fantasy because I'm only 12 and Mom would kill me if this were real life?"
Now it's banging your head all day trying to remember the word for those two rubber dealies that you turn on when it's raining to clear the glass thingy that you look through when you're driving. What are those dealies called? What's that glass thingy? There's a "d" in both of them, right? When your brain is occupied with genius thoughts, mundane vocabulary must take a back seat in the whatsis.
Mandatory Self Absorption
Once upon a time, you could spend literally hours staring at yourself in the mirror, deaf to your parents' repeated calls to the dinner table. In the mature female this condition is known as "Adult Acne."
Righteous Indignation over Being Carded
But it's for your AARP card, which hopefully you don't really have, because that is so totally old and disgusting that you should definitely walk, like, ten feet behind so that no one can see us together. omg.
Inspired Flashes of Intuition
Natural Impatience with the Status Quo
It's not just our blooming young selves who could see that things were definitely NOT okay as they stood. We now know with the clear intuition of saints that every room we enter is at entirely the wrong temperature setting for a normal human being. Even the thermostat of Nature Herself is not what it should be. It should be hotter or colder, depending.
Limitless Energy Followed by Complete Fatigue
Much like an all-night slumber party followed by 15 hours of makeup sleep, the mature woman embarks on the first ten minutes of her ambitious plan to start a French restaurant and tops it off with a two-hour nappy. Only the activities and time periods differ, otherwise you can't tell them apart.
Plans of Greatness Thwarted by Barbarians
Similar to when your limitless musical talent was frustrated by ignorant parents who just didn't understand the virtues of atonal composition, your mature, groundbreaking piano stylings require an ear that hasn't even evolved yet.
Just remember this: when a friend or family member tries to undermine your awesome creative process, you are freaking Chopin in slippers.
© 2009 Kate Heidel