Friday, March 18, 2011

Moonlight and Menopause

Since the full moon tomorrow is going to be the largest visible in the sky since 1993 and the effects of such a moon on people are documented and accepted by modern science, I though I'd run a post that appeared here on the day this blog was born. It received about 35 hits that day and since my readership has grown (thank you all so much!!), I'm sending it out--in honor of the "perigee moon," today:

Moonlight and menopause. It sounds like some sort of a twisted song title but it’s not.

It’s my life. And, specifically, it was my life last night. 

I hope if any men are reading this, you don’t huff around in front of the screen, muttering about “damn women and their damn issues” because, honestly, your lives have never been more at risk…if you must interact with a women experiencing the throes of menopause, that is--a wife, sister, boss, bank-teller, etc.  So, read on.

I could not sleep last night. My husband, after snoring for about an hour—head back, mouth open, in his  recliner—shuffled off to bed at ten and proceeded to promptly fall asleep again in a cozy bed.

I simply gripped the clicker tighter, glared at the cat savagely and continued my mirthless trip around the dial….forensics on nearly every channel, some news, then sports, more news, old movies. Nothing good. The rage is building.
Next step. Desire for carbs. I look up, head tilted towards the fridge upstairs, imagining the contents within. I have specifically altered my shopping to include a minimum of temptations and the pickings are slim.

Yes, there is another human living with me. Does he deserve a bowl of ice cream or a few Oreos dunked in milk? Certainly. Do I care? Not a bit.
Continuing on. Television gets turned off. I have watched an infomercial or two and am almost convinced that I do need a complete set of military marching music or a griddle that makes waffles in the shape of Barack Obama in basketball shorts. I turn off lights and stagger upstairs where I load the dishwasher, water plants, check that the windows are locked, refresh the top-coat on my pedicure and tackle several crossword puzzles.

Reminder:  Mr. Innocent is snoring happily under the covers. 

 I fear for his life not unlike the fabled Wolfman who was known to fear for his victims prior to ripping them limb from limb.
It is now seriously late. Panic rises as I realize that I must soon face a new day. I am retaining water from eating salty snacks (I couldn’t get rid of everything now could I?) and I make a horrible face at myself in the mirror. I decide to risk it and get into bed. 

It’s about 55 degrees in the bedroom but I am sweating.  The husband is huddled under the covers, shivering but soundly sleeping. I snap on the bathroom light, wash my face and slam the moisturizer jar around a bit for sport. 

No reaction.

I then rip the covers back with a flourish and hurl myself into bed. Husband bounces upward in fetal position and, upon landing, resettles into continued slumber. I then punch the pillow viciously for about 20 minutes, sigh loudly and smash my head down, jaw clenched.
Here begins a comparatively new symptom of this phase of female life, the crawling skin and restless leg portion of the evening.

To combat the nerve endings in my limbs sending electrical impulses up my legs at an interval of roughly every 15 seconds, I flip around like a dying fish for a bit. I then pedal an imaginary bicycle, swear audibly and creatively for another few minutes before finally surrendering, despondent and broken. 

It is now that I notice that there seems to be a light turned on outside.

I go to the window and see that the world is illuminated.  An eerie, beautiful glow has made it almost possible to read a newspaper on the deck. The shadows are deep amidst the trees and a round white disk in the sky stares back at me. The man in the moon says that he, too, is having trouble sleeping tonight. 

Not for the same reasons that are keeping me up but because it’s his turn to light up my little town. 

I feel a little less alone and take a moment to check my palms for hair. Nothing. Seth is safe.

One of my sons once said that he thinks women go through menopause because it’s our way of repaying God for the privilege of having children. Having, at the time, chased him through the house waving a meat tenderizer, I now pondered this arrogant but somewhat profound assessment. 

Could he be right? 

I smiled as I looked towards his future: a wife, children and, after a few years, a werewolf wearing moisturizer sharing his bed, enduring twitching legs as he sleeps beside her. “Just wait” I thought to myself, evil laughter echoing in my head, “Just wait….”
Find either a man in sunglasses or Judy Garland in this full moon.


  1. How can I be the first to comment???? I knew this would be a good one just from the title. I was eating my turkey sandwich, that at one point, sprung from my mouth and chunks stuck to the computer screen from laughter. Embarassing. Happy Friday! :-)

  2. and I thought it was just me.... :-)

  3. I'm so glad I popped by. I needed a good laugh. Good night kiddo.

  4. Maria! I am so happy to have made turkey chunks spring from your mouth--thanks!

  5. Nope, Janet. Definitely not just you.

    Note the time of this post...I can't sleep.

  6. I'm so glad you popped by, too, Michele. Glad I could give you a laugh---especially after the week you've had!

  7. i freaking love you! lol. this was awesome..and i can't wait for the full moon tonight!

  8. Susan, a bit late to the game but having spent many a night as frustrated as you describe for the same reason.....I discovered a product at Costco ( I know you go there! ) that has been wonderfully helpful, almost magical, it is quite simply called Sleep Aid and aid in sleep it does. On most occasions. For me, it has been mine and my husbands savior on many a night and I am not left with any residual stupor the next morning. If you choose to try it I hope it helps you as much as it has me. Good luck! And I hope your continued posts have more reasonable time stamps on them. ;o)

  9. Getting worse and worse and I've just started. I have a fan in my window all winter long. Take Benadry or I would never sleep. The damp sheets, all along knowing it's only going to get worse. Hubby already sleeps in a different room.

  10. Mary,

    Somehow, I just discovered your comment--thanks so much for the tip. I frequent the aisles of Costco on a regular basis (far too regular, actually) and I will look for this product. The fact that you specifically mention that there is no "residual stupor," in particular, interests me as evenmelantonin makes me feel drugged in the morning. Thanks for the suggestion and for stopping by!

  11. Hey, BA! Thanks for reading---read the comment from Mary...maybe you'd benefit from that product, too.

    Hang in there, their must be a light at the end of the tunnel.....I hope.

  12. Yay! I can't wait until it is my turn to experience all these wonders of womanity. Popped over from the Weekend Spotlight.

  13. Hi, Mollie! Thanks for coming! Don't let all my belly-aching scare you. It's great fodder for blogs.

  14. Another great article about menopause and I am so lucky that I have a chance to read this one. The article has useful information that can help understand menopause better.

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