Menopause: the Pause That Can Be Used as a Defense for Murder

or at least manslaughter.

Sorry Man Readers, you can feel free to skip this one if you want.

When I was 22, I lived in Boston. My Mom came to visit and we drove up to Rouses Point, New York (her hometown) for my grandmother’s birthday. Rouses Point is on Lake Champlain, sandwiched between Vermont and Montreal. In November, it is really freakin’ cold there. One night we were cooking dinner in the old house that my mom grew up in; and she kept going out on the screened sun porch and fanning herself because she was so hot. I was squawking for her to close the door because I, like a sane person, was freezing. It was 1987, my mother was 47 years old and in menopause.

Now, I’m the 47-year-old woman in the throes of menopause.

I was perimenopausal for years; which means I had BO, mood swings and night sweats yet still had the good fortune to get my period!  After more than five years enjoying sweating through my pajamas in the middle of the winter and slamming my car door so hard in a tantrum over forgetting the dry cleaning that now the car window rattles if it isn’t all the way rolled up…. after five years of that, I believe I am now in menopause. I haven’t had my period since August 2011. My naturally oily skin and hair isn’t so oily anymore which is really great because I don’t have to shampoo my hair everyday if I don’t want to. I also look younger than my years. My acne keeps me looking youthful.

That’s right! There is another bonus to menopause (NOT another one Maggie! Our middle-aged woman cup overfloweth!) Oh yeah, I thought the zits were gone for good but they’re not. Nope, they are back and they are cystically new and improved.

A week or so ago, Annie and I went to Macy’s and had our brows waxed at the Brow Bar, which is splendidly pink.

The Pretty Pink Brow Bar should not be a place for discussing cystic acne.

Sara or Stella or Sally or whoever was waxing us, asked me if I had a good acne medicine —  probably because of the boil on the side of my nose. Yes, yes I do Stally and thank you for asking. I told her that I have found that old age acne is different than the acne I remember from back in the glory days of tetracycline and Buf Pufs. Now I get bumps that I think will be zits but nothing really happens. The bump appears, gets really big and red and noticeable; then after a month or so dies down and goes away. Stally says, “You mean they’re more cystic.” I don’t know, is that what I mean? Apparently yes, I have more CYSTIC acne. Isn’t that a pretty adjective?

Cystic, adj.: Of, relating to, or characterized by cysts.

My face is of, relating to, or characterized by cysts. That’s yummy.

I don’t know if I have mentioned this but I am the oldest person in my office. There are seven of us and I’m the oldest. My boss is the next oldest and he just turned 40. The youngest was born in 1988, which is a ridiculous year for an adult to be born. How can I be working with a man who was born after I graduated from college?!

I’m telling you that… to tell you this: Last winter, some of my coworkers didn’t like it when I opened the office door to the 4th floor hallway to get some circulation going because I was so damn hot. Some of my young coworkers would express dismay at the door being open. They would recover quickly and say it was okay; that they would just shut their doors if they felt cold. I will never be a good poker player, my face makes it very clear when you shouldn’t fuck with me.

I got home from work this evening and felt the beginnings of a hormonal funk coming on. Hormones. I am concerned about one of the kids having a rough time with her grades. I quickly went from teary to bitter to angry to barely controlled seething rage finally collapsing in hopelessly fat. If any of my gentlemen readers have made it this far; running through that range of emotions took me about 90 seconds.

I didn’t want anything for dinner because I had a big lunch like a fat ass. You know what? I’m not even going to eat dinner. I’m going to eat some of these chocolate covered espresso beans and I don’t even like coffee. And I’m going to chase those with some graham crackers covered in Nutella!  That will show me to be a fat stupid old lady.

You know what the cure for all of that is?

Out of the blue, have a 4-year-old tell you he thinks you look pretty.

Better than hormone therapy!

40 thoughts on “Menopause: the Pause That Can Be Used as a Defense for Murder

  1. I feel your pain. Wipe the sweat, rant, rave and curse. Then cry, scream, laugh hysterically and do it AS MANY TIMES AS NEEDED. You’ve earned it. Perhaps put a little Tom Jones on (She’s a Lady, whoa, whoa, whoa, She’s A Lady) might ease/alleviate these ailments for a bit. You are the MOST EXPERIENCED one in the office, frack the age thing. BTW, your little one is uber, uber-cute. :).

    1. I’m going to have Tom Jones stuck in my head now! And I have cried once at work today already over another blogger’s post. Matt is darling but I cannot claim credit….he is my nephew. Sister Molly and hubby get the credit. If I had a 4 year old at this point in my life I would be even more of a lunatic than I currently am!

  2. Hysterical! I really enjoyed the hell out of this post. Sorry for taking so much pleasure in your sweaty, cystic pain. 🙂

    While I’m not actually in my sweating-in-the-wintertime years yet (I’m 38), I have watched a few women go through it. My best friend (who is 17 years older than me), used to say, “If you see a bead of sweat on my forehead, just walk away.” And my mom used to stand at the sliding glass doors in the back of her house, fling open her robe (sans anything underneath), and just stand there to catch a cool breeze. My stepfather once said to her, “The neighbors must love you.” (their yard is only about 50-feet deep). My mom can also recall a time when she almost killed my stepfather because he didn’t set the table correctly. She was yelling, “The fork goes on the LEFT, THE LEFT!!!” I think it showed great restraint that she didn’t stab him with one of the utensils.

    I was complaining to my mom about being overly forgetful recently, and she told me that I might be heading into the perimenopausal stage of my life. But then a couple weeks after that conversation she saw a news story about pot, and the long-term side effects (one of which is memory loss), and she called me up and said, “I thought you might be perimenopausal, but then I saw a story on TV about the dangers of marijuana, and I realized that you probably just smoked too much pot in college.”

    1. hahahaha
      I’m going to turn into your mother and poor Derwood will be scared to set the table.

      I can’t blame pot for my memory loss, Pinot Gris yes. Pot No. 🙂

  3. Oh, Maggie … Maggie …. lol! I am so grateful I am now 10+ years beyond all that! I had an easy time (though it lasted forever, it seems) – either bursting into hysterical tears for absolutely no reason or laughing at the incredulity of having “personal summers” every 20 minutes some days. I just got used to sleeping on tip of the sheets and taking showers in the middle of the night because the insomnia kept me away anyway … Lord love a duck, whatever did we do to deserve this experience?

    The upside is … when all was said and done, sex got way better …. and I finally got a confidence in myself that I’d never had before.

    Hang in there … and invest in fans! We do survive it!

    Happy weekend!

    1. It’s funny (funny piss me off not funny haha) that I either have hot flashes or mood swings, it alternates from month to month. I guess that makes it more exciting to be me!

  4. lisa

    Hit it early (44-45), thought I was losing my mind b/c of a turbulent separation/divorce and the stress was making me fat/skipping periods. Who knew? Unlike Jill Kinmont, it IS better to be on the other side of the mountain…both of them, actually. Leave the gun and keep the 4 year old. One of your best, Mags.

  5. unfetteredbs

    awesome post…I enjoyed “I will never be a good poker player, my face makes it very clear when you shouldn’t fuck with me.” the most..

  6. Been there and done that 😦 Trust me, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You will start to feel good again soon and by your 50’s you will be ready to conquer Everest 🙂

  7. OK, if you say soooo….if it doesn’t get better you will see me on the news: “Menopause Murderess Had Enough of Comcast Customer Service, 3 Die in Blaze”

      1. sweetopiagirl

        You are welcome Maggie, my blog is very serious, it’s something that I am very passionate about and I want to share it with as many people as possible. 🙂

  8. This made me laugh out loud – sympathetically. I have walked that path also and it is not for the faint-hearted. My blog on the subject was “Change Management”, although as we both know, that’s not possible. Loved your blog, I’ll be back again to read some more. Congratulations.

  9. Love Miss

    I’ve had pesky skin from puberty onward and it has become increasingly challenging with the onset of peri-menopause. I’ve used expensive retail products and Proactiv for approximately 6 month intervals, but found it would stop working for me and leave me with eruptions that it could no longer control.

    I tried Clinique, DHC, Tea Tree products etc. during those times when Proactiv was not working for me. FINALLY, I tried this natural brand called Citrus Clear after researching online – this was 2 years ago when I had a major eruption. I’ve been using Citrus Clear products ever since. In addition to Citrus Clears ability to CONTROL my acne, it also has an option to help MAINTAIN my clear face. And its all natural and doesnt burn. I love that I have an option of which face wash to use, depending on the day.

  10. Diane

    Many thanks to you for your post. You have described my symptoms to a “T”. I am 50 and have been told I am in menopause, after being pre for several years. The doctor put me on birth control pills which have taken care of the hot flashes completely!. The acne still lingers and the mood swings take place during the week I do not take the pill. So the doctor told me last week (as a result of a near murdering hormonal meltdown) that I am to take the pill on a daily basis. The mood swings are the worst part of this curse. it’s as though I’m 16 again and my life is ending because my mother won’t give me the keys to the car to seem my friends while a snow storm rages outside. I thought I did my time when I was a teenager. It feels so ridiculous to go through it again =(. Thanks for the smile – I needed it!

    Diane in Virginia, US

  11. Deborah

    I just came across your article today when I googled “perimenopause” and “homicide.” I am 45, and besides being hot ALL of the time, I think I have become the bitchyest person in the world. I am so easily annoyed at certain times that sometimes I look at the person annoying me and think, “I wonder what you would look like in the trunk of my car.” Don’t worry…I wouldn’t ever lock anyone in the trunk of my car…mostly because I can no longer remember where I parked it. Thanks for posting your article. It made me feel less crazy and more hopeful.

    1. Wow! I can’t believe I come up on Google! How exciting! Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Stay strong. I’m now 49 and back to being a pretty normal person. My 43 year old sister is now in the throes of it and kept pronouncing words incorrectly when she was at my house a couple of days ago. I asked if she was having a stroke but she said she thinks it’s hormones because she has so many weird things going on.

      Love the trunk of the car image, makes me think of Goodfellas 🙂

  12. Pingback: There’s Something About My Parenting Post | Misc. Maggie

  13. Beth

    Funny….. I’m 45 and this came up when I was googling murder and perimenopause too lol Althought I was joking with my husband if anyone has used it as a defense successfully (they have btw). Great article, I can relate in ways I hadn’t even thought were menopause issues. Enlightened.

  14. whaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa ugh.

    thank you
    I was reamed out by a phone caller 70 ol’ lady right before 5 yesterday, got a jury summons, my best friend left for the summer, my blood sugar # was high, maxed out all my diabetes doses and had a giant sobbing watery meltdown at e.o.d. Then today Aunt Flow visits.. all related?
    I am better now, coping with sh#$t. What a difference a day makes. Thanks for your article. You saved a life today!

      1. Kw

        I went to the doctor on an annual checkup. He asked if I felt okay. I said this is rather odd but I can’t get Tom Jones songs out of my head! I asked the doctor is that normal? He responded “no, but it’s not unusual”.

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