Laughing between the mood swings…
Why I Reported Menopause to the Police
By Donna Highfill Posted: 06/06/2013 3:07 pm
Menopause is a thief, and I recently reported the crime to the criminal division of our local police department. I figure that menopause must be an accomplished con and sociopath, since we seem to accept it so willingly into our homes. Menopause is nobody’s friend, except maybe the moisturizing industry.
Coming in like a lamb calling itself “Peri,” menopause dances around the possibilities of a robbery. It takes things from you for a while, and then returns them just when you start to panic. Like the kleptomaniac kid in your neighborhood, menopause knows how to gain your trust and rob you at the same time.
Then, one night, it goes for the big heist and you wake up a different person. And nobody believes that you used to be civil, and that you didn’t always flip off 80% of the drivers on the road and smell like sweat. Nobody believes you.
Tired of it all, I filed a report. Below is the information as taken by the officer.
Case Number: DH Meno/PauseU/7Bit/8ch
Reporting Officer: W. H. Officerwhohadbettertakethisseriously
At about 0600 hours on 5 June 2011, I met with Ms. Donna Highfill of 41 Hotflash Drive regarding a series of robberies committed by a suspect named Menopause.
The first theft that Ms. Highfill reported was the loss of her sense of humor. Ms. Highfill said her humor used to meet her every morning after her coffee, but failed to show up on the anniversary of a year without menses.
Ms. Highfill described her humor as sparkly in color with a slightly dark underbelly, and always reliable, sharp and on-time. Since the robbery, she has had to muddle through with faux humor that has a much darker underbelly also known as angry sarcasm. She reports that her faux humor is dark enough to scare children and pious people, and is often accompanied by language she doesn’t remember learning.
She mentioned that her language offended a teenager on twitter who described herself as a “whore with an attitude.” She also upset a sailor in Norfolk.
At or about 0600 hours on 5 June 2011, Ms. Highfill also lost her naturally blonde hair. Correction, she lost her dark-ash blonde hair that hasn’t been natural since 1982. She says that menopause came as a thief in the night and took her thick hair, replacing it with something gray and wiry and thin that makes her look like the child of Einstein and Phyllis Diller. She now has more hair on her bathroom floor than she does on her head, and wants her natural hair returned as quickly as possible.
At this point in the investigation, Ms. Highfill left the room momentarily to get a tissue as she began to tear up for no apparent reason. She quickly reported that since the robbery, she cries at movies like Beaches and Love Story. It appears that this is unacceptable to her.
She returned to report additional losses, occurring on or about 0600 hours on 9 July 2012. She started with the loss of her waist. While she says that her waist was not in tip-top shape when it was stolen, it was still a waist and she misses the ability to snap her pants. She states that menopause fooled her by making her think that her waist was going to be left behind, but one year after the initial robbery, menopause slipped back into her house and took it overnight. She went to bed a 3-hour glass (she is willing to admit that her figure was bigger than an hour) and woke up an apple.
Ms. Highfill also would like to have the moisture in her skin returned that was taken by menopause around the same time. She reported that she spent many years fighting acne and survived only because she knew the excessive oil in her skin would allow her to age well. Menopause came in and took all of her precious oils, causing her to start wrinkling immediately. She describes her skin as looking like that paper upon which the Declaration of Independence is written.
This new skin is the reason she cannot get the tattoo of her grandmother’s smiling face that she has always wanted. She fears the combination of thin, loose skin and gravity will cause the face of her grandmother to droop, make her look less like Nanna and more like the character portrayed in Edvard Munch’s painting, “The Scream.”
Most of all, Ms. Highfill would like to have her memory returned. It took us in excess of four hours to fill out this report because she kept interrupting the process with the following questions:
“What was I saying?”
“What is that word for the stuff on the top of your head that is like blonde, brunette… you know!”
“Why in the world was I telling you about my high school prom?”
“It has impacted my family, especially my son and daughter, you know, those two, they were born a while back, I forget their names but I can describe them. Will that help?”
“I’m sorry — why am I here?”
Ms. Highfill is tired of menopause getting away with robbery. She calls it the “Grinch Who Stole All of My Shit.” She followed that statement by saying, “See? I used to be clever. Now that’s the best I can come up with. The Grinch Who Stole All of My Shit. Effin’ pathetic.”
It became apparent that at this point Ms. Highfill was becoming extremely agitated, verified by the fact that her face grew a deep shade of red. I left the room to get her a cup of water. As I handed it to her, she threw it on her face, slammed the table with her fist and quickly regained control.
I had a doctor give Ms. Highfill a physical and psychiatric exam so that we could survey the crime scene, but found no items of evidence. I saw no sign of a break-in, nor did there seem to be anything of material importance missing other than her waist, which is definitely gone. At one point we did determine that it might be hidden under her breasts, but even after lifting her breasts to their pre-breastfeeding position, her waist could not be located.
Once Ms. Highfill rejoined us in the interrogation room, we informed her that she did not have enough evidence to prosecute menopause for robbery.
Her face turned red again, and she looked up, infuriated. She then replied, “What am I doing here again?” and asked for a piece of chocolate.
I’ve heard that age is a state of mind, and for the most part, that’s been true for me. As I have ‘matured,’ I haven’t felt old – at least not mentally. Even in my forties I still felt quite young. And through my forties and fifties, I’ve mentally yo-yoed through time. Sometimes I’ve felt like an insecure teenager (which lately seems to happen more often than not). Other times I’ve felt like an optimistic and energetic twenty-something, ever the idealist and romantic, and somewhat naive.
But, mostly, I’ve felt as if I were still in my thirties, when I was most sure of myself, confident I guess; I was at my peak, and mentally, I’ve never really progressed beyond it.
One of those things is seeing one of my own children in their thirties! How can my kids be the same age as me?!? As a result, I’ve come to dread their birthdays more than my own. And I can’t help but ‘see‘ my children as still in their teens or early twenties.
Another thing that makes me feel old is seeing myself unadulterated in the mirror, before putting on my makeup, with all the blotches and lines than can’t truly be camouflaged.
I’ve never been attractive, but now my face has become a work of art – specifically, Dali’s Melting Clocks. In the past several years, I’ve witnessed my face slowly begin to melt downward as it lost muscle mass and volume, creating gaunt cheeks and the beginnings of droopy jowls. And the rest of my body has that same Dali quality – with a touch of Ruben around my midsection and rear end. At this rate I’ll soon be positively priceless! Now, if I could only find myself an art lover…
But probably what makes me feel really old is how invisible I’ve become, especially to men, as their eyes gravitate towards the twenty-something girls.
It’s depressing how society reacts as women age and lose their youth and attractiveness. It’s like we have to be ashamed for something that is not our fault. Something that is the natural result of aging and loss of estrogen. We become androgynous non-entities.
And as we women lament the loss of our youth and looks, we also tend to accumulate a bunch of useless platitudes to make ourselves feel better. Here’s one of them: true beauty comes from within. The problem, as we all know, is that men can’t handle the truth. Why take the time and effort to find and appreciate that so-called ‘true beauty’ in older women, when there is so much instant gratification available to them from attractive young women?
So, no matter how young I feel, whether in my teens, twenties, or thirties, reality is always there to knock me on my butt. But I’ll keep getting back up. I guess the key to maintaining that youthful feel is to avoid men and mirrors. And pretend your kids are your younger siblings. :)
Well, here it is – ta-da – the revised menopause game! I’ve made lots of additions and changes that I hope you all like; I’ve managed to find enough pictures to fill in all the empty board spaces and I think it looks so much better. I want to thank all of you who have contributed suggestions, they were greatly appreciated. If any of you have any more suggestions, feel free to let me know.
I think the layout is full-size, so if any of you want to print out the rows and tape/glue them onto an old Monopoly board, you probably can play with it. I had lots of fun making this and I hope you enjoy it, too. :)
February, phew, what a month! What was I thinking? It all started when I thought I’d treat myself on Valentine’s Day – not with roses, chocolates, or a candlelit dinner, but with waffles. Why waffles? Because everyone wants love on Valentine’s Day, and for me, love is warm waffles, with all the holes filled in with trans-fatty margarine, and the whole thing drowning in sugary syrup. Mmmmm, pure ecstasy. Better than sex.
Since it had been something like 10-15 years since I last ate waffles, I figured I had denied myself far too long; all those years ago, I had forced myself to stop eating this heavenly treat because they were sooooo fattening. And since I had other treats to turn to at the time, it wasn’t too hard to give up.
But, after eons of avoiding waffles – and Valentine’s Day – this year I decided I was going to thoroughly indulge myself. After all, who was I saving my waistline for? Oh, so delicious! Happy, happy serotonin levels! Mmmmm, more, more, more! That was the problem. I ended up indulging every day after that – inhaling about 4-5 waffles a day (I managed to eke out a little will-power) – for the next two weeks.
And if that wasn’t bad enough, I also started adding other artery-clogging items to my diet like sausage, mayo and more butter; it was as if waffles became the gateway drug to worse things. I also made a huge pot of pasta salad (something else I hadn’t had in a long time) – extra heavy on the mayo.
It wasn’t long after I had finished eating up all that pasta salad, that problems began. I awoke at 4:30 in the morning having trouble breathing, and it wasn’t asthma. A couple of hours later my left arm was tingling, and it continued to tingle, on and off, the rest of the day. Um, wait, aren’t these symptoms of something bad – like a heart attack or stroke?
The next day, the tingling finally stopped, but my heart started to do these little shudders, or stutters, for a few seconds at a time. And this happened every few hours. Uh-oh. I guess I became a little worried. Maybe I had pushed my dietary luck just a bit too far.
Then, wouldn’t you know it, I began feeling this somewhat persistent pressure in my chest. The,n little stabbing chest pains. Now, maybe I was a little anxious (picture Fred Sanford clutching his chest and hollering, “I’m comin’ to join ya, Elizabeth”). OK, definitely time to cut out the waffles, etc., cold turkey.
Well, it’s been several days now and I’m still alive, so I guess I was just being a hypochondriac, silly me – although I still periodically feel some pressure and/or chest pains.
I guess it has, at least, motivated me to cut out all that junk and to eat a little bit better, though. At least for now. It’s really hard to stick to. I am really struggling with cravings for more waffles – and other fattening foods. Anyway…
*sigh* No more waffles, no more happy serotonin. To make make matters worse, my jeans are so tight, I can’t even button them anymore.
And all this extra weight has totally exacerbated my hot flashes, and that’s the last thing I need. I guess I’m never too old to do something stupid. So, that was my Valentine’s celebration. My last one. Lesson learned(?).
But, unfortunately, it is all in my head. And I don’t think it’s going to go away any time soon.
I have a constant ringing in my ears. I first noticed it several years ago, however, it wasn’t all that penetrating then – practically a whisper. But the sound level steadily increased, and then, became markedly pronounced last year for some reason; it’s noticeable even with the TV on. And, OMG, is it ever loud when everything else is quiet, like when I’m in bed – and covering my ears doesn’t block it out.
At times, it interferes with my sleep – only to compete with the neighbor’s dog that barks half the night – all making me quite tired in the mornings. Which leaves me feeling just a wee bit cranky sometimes. Just another sign of aging, I guess.
It must have been all those decades of noise, starting with disco in the 70’s. Unlike other teenagers, I wasn’t fond of ear-splitting ‘music.’ Those extreme decibels really bothered me, but I certainly wasn’t going to stay home just to avoid it – that would have been a real bummer, after all, girls just wanna have fun – which happened to be anywhere the boys were.
.Let’s see… then there were hair dryers, vacuum cleaners, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, chain saws, and a variety of power tools over the years. Yup, I did it to myself, and now I’m paying for it. If only I had done a lot less vacuuming…
So, now I’ve got this inescapable, constant, annoying, ringing in my ears. (*sigh*) Actually it’s more of a high-pitched electronic whine or hum, rather than a ‘ringing’ – like from those TV test patterns.
Oftentimes, the ringing in my ears reminds me of a certain song: ‘Wichita Lineman‘ by Glen Campbell, who then starts crooning in my head:
I hear you singin’ in the wire
I can hear you through the whine
And the Wichita Lineman is still on the l-i-i-i-i-i-ine
I don’t know why, but it’s a soothing diversion; just my brain trying to make the best of a bad situation, I guess. It’s certainly better than, when at other times, the ringing triggers memories of the intro to the old ‘Outer Limits’ TV show: ‘There is nothing wrong with your television set,’ etc. Geez, that TV test pattern sound was annoying!
But back to more pleasant distractions: ‘ I hear you singin’ in the wire…’
And even though the season has passed, another comforting song occasionally pops into my head for relief: the Christmas song ‘Do You Hear What I Hear?’ :
Aaaah, so much better to have loud ringing countered by pleasant music. So it’s not all bad – yet. Fingers crossed. Now if I could only find some small relief from that dog’s constant barking…