Since I’ve recently published a daily devotional book that deals with losing weight, healthy eating and conquering self-esteem issues, I’m finding that I think about what’s going on in my body (and to my body) a lot. I’ve been in this on-again/off-again semi-serious dating relationship with Mr. Menopause for the better part of a decade so what’s happening to my body is front and center reminding me daily that I’m not a young woman any more.
While most of what happens to a woman’s body during this special time of our lives (pfftt … like we didn’t hear that lie when we were going through puberty) isn’t a laughing matter, I’ve discovered that if I don’t laugh about it, I’d spend every waking moment hosting a pity party (table for one). Menopause symptoms have a way of reducing me to tears and occasional self-loathing. Some days it’s difficult to leave the house. What is a girl supposed to do?
… She starts thinking that the change of life would be a lot more enjoyable if menopause was a fun place to visit – like Disneyland. If menopause were a theme park, adventure seekers would be greeted at the front gate by Mr. Menopause and Mr. Gravity; the official Menopause Land ambassadors. This diplomatic duo would present you with the official Menopause Land tee shirt that is equipped with a specially designed muffin top that encircles your waistline acting as a personal floatation device. Hold on to that PFD because you’ll need it in the event of unexpected water emergencies that occur with regularity during excessive laughter, sneezing and/or bouts of coughing.
The “adventure” begins with … WOOT! WOOT! ALL ABOARD The Change Train that will loop the park making various stops for attractions and exhilarating rides for thrill seekers. The first stop in the park will be Insomnia Island where we leave the train and board a boat to circle a moat that goes round and round and round with no clear destination in mind. We’re tossed and turned on the wavy moat for seven or eight hours until we’re so tired all we want to do is sleep. Just as we’re about to drift off for a dreamless respite, we’re awakened by ear-piercing alarms and rudely ejected and forced to re-board The Change Train.
A few of the other stops along the train route are: Booty Falls, The Neighborhood of Night Sweats, the Hot Flash Zone, The Hall of Dressing Room Mirrors and Celibate Station. Some of the favorite thrill rides include The Bladder Sling, The Mammo Smasher and everyone’s favorite, The Pap Smear Coaster.
Just as Mickey Mouse is synonymous with Disneyland as the official Magic Kingdom mascot, Menopause Land has its own mascot, or more appropriately, mascots. The mascots of Menopause Land are seven dwarfs named: Frumpy, Bumpy, Lumpy, Grumpy, Weepy, Sleepy and Dopey.
We meet Frumpy dwarf when we visit Saggy Junction. This is the land where you are made to feel as unattractive as possible while sporting your PFD. Frumpy bestows upon you lovely complimentary park souvenirs which consist of saggy breasts, droopy buttocks and under arm skin flab. These “souvenirs” are publicly displayed when you visit The Hall of Dressing Room Mirrors where you’re forced to view your frumpiness from every conceivable angle under glaring lights.
Bumpy dwarf sprinkles you with the fairy dust of Menopause Land which is a combination of liver spots and strawberry colored moles that dot your body from head-to-toe and are lovingly referred to as “old lady moles.”
Lumpy dwarf waves his magic wand and deposits pockets of cellulite helter-skelter in prominent places over your body concentrating on the backs of your thighs, your upper arms, stomach and your droopy buttocks.
Grumpy dwarf beats you with an ugly stick causing you to growl at passersby with little or no provocation which is followed by raging tirades of snarky repartee and cynicism.
Weepy dwarf just wants to give you a hug that makes you cry and you don’t even know why. Sleepy dwarf hypnotizes you and leads you around in a yawning funk teasing you with the promise of a nap that never comes. And Dopey Dwarf just makes fun of you and makes you feel stupid because you can’t remember why you even boarded the train in the first place or what you’re supposed to do while you’re there.
The only way to procure expulsion from Menopause Land is to successfully evade the clutches of the park’s evil nemesis: Aunt Flo and her faithful dog, Spot. If you can avoid any and all contact with this pesky pair for 12 consecutive months you are given a “get out of menstrual bondage” free card and granted immediate release from the park.
If you think you’re too young to worry about being forced aboard The Change Train, beware! Mr. Menopause and Mr. Gravity roam about hoping to catch women in their 30s unawares. They’ve also been known to stalk women well into their sixties. No one is immune!
If you don’t find any of this the least bit amusing and think I’ve slipped off the deep end and am writing utter garbage; in my defense I’ve been triple-teamed this week and am being held hostage by Sleepy, Weepy and Dopey who are forcing me to ramble incoherently while trying to make sense of the hostile takeover happening in my middle-age body.
Perhaps menopause wouldn’t be considered such a depressing malady if we were promised something exciting at the end of the journey. You know … like the perky breasts we end up with once we’re through puberty. Alas, all that we’re left with once we’ve safely navigated our way through menopause is facial hair and saggy breasts that we can conveniently tuck in the waistband of our jeans. If there is bright side though, at least our muffin top will have plenty of company!
As always … Happy Reading …
“A cheerful disposition is good for your health;
gloom and doom leave you bone-tired.”
Proverbs 17:22 (The Message Bible)