Archive for December, 2011


December 18, 2011

Adrienne Parks

Menopause. What does it really mean? Without running to Webster’s or Merriam’s for the precise literary derivation, I’m going to tell you what this Boomer thinks it means.

Men-o-pause. The creator’s way of telling mid-life women to lay low with the dudes. Doesn’t say “Chocolate-O-Pause” or “Galpal-O-Pause.” It doesn’t say caffeine-o-pause or bowling- or housework. In fact, I think vacuums are clearly still in the active state. It clearly says men.

Now “O.” That could mean, Oh? Or Oh! Or even Ooooo. The extra vowel interruption in the flow of syllables is intended to slow down us Boomer gals. Some famous last words. “Slow Down.” Whoopi Goldburg’s character’s ex-husband’s last words in “Corrine, Corrina”: “Slow down.” Often Joy Behar used the phrase on her show. Many in Congress have been accused of going too slow. The rapidity in rise of both Internet and iPhone and SmartPhone apps is anything but slow. They are overwhelmingly fast. So this origainl “O” does not apply to them.

Now for “Pause.” Can’t get more clear than that. Temporarily cease, halt interpersonal communication with the others. Chill. Count to ten. For some, count to one hundred. Take the time to re-think you life until now. Regurgiate bad memories. Purge from grey matter. Start again.

Which leads us to “why” men-o-pause exists for women but not men? It would have to be “Women-O-Pause” for straight guys. Could still be Men-O-Pause for gay guys. We all know the drill. What do the signs mean anyway? I don’t buy anything wool or with long sleeves anymore. It’s too darn warm. At outdoor events, I hand off my jacket to some forty-nine year old who is freezing. I haven’t been cold in so long I’ve forgotten what cold is. I go skiing with my warmly bundled friends who live in Patagonia-North Face-Marmout-Goose Down-Gortex, wear mufflers, caps, lined gloves.

Hot flashes must be the creator’s fluttering yellow lights. Take note! Take note! Commencing internal organ failure. Sagging. Wrinkles. Drooping. Cholesterol spikes. Triglycerides off the wall. Blood pressure hits new hghs. I always thought LDL had something to do with the Mormon Church.

For boomers still with ovaries and uteruses, which should probably be referenced as uteri, we look forward to potential partial hysterectomies. For those already minus, we look forward to herbal or big pharmo- hormone replacement therapies which have been shown in certain studies to cause: breast cancer, uterine cancer, heart attack, and stroke. Not in any particular order.

One of my friends, Judy, just started hormone replacement therapy. She had excruciating migraines until she told her physician who said, “Well, stop taking them.” The Big Pharmas are experimenting with alternative elixirs. All of which will be very expensive, held up by the FDA, and co-payed at the top of your insurance plan. Another pal is a fatalist. Still another turned down estrogen treatments for fear of increasing her breast cancer odds. She suffered the night flashes and got breast cancer anyway. Fortunately, in its very early stages. We’re all determined to ride it out for the duration. Thus, the collective opinions of these Boomer women:
When do we get over this? Never. When do the hot flashes stop? Never. When do we ever get a good nights sleep? Never. When do we get to take ourselves out of the pause mode? Anytime. It’s not going to get better by itself. Think herbal remedies. Exercise if only to beat it out of you. Make it sweat out your pores. Warn the partners and significant others. Install an overhead fan. Or carry one with you. Don’t be afraid of sticking your head out the window for fresh air like your dog. Get used to it. You’re in it for the long haul.

Hormonally challenged Boomers ahead.