Menopause Killed My Inner MILF

Price-Drop-on-Frozen-Foods

Google “Benefits of Menopause,” and you’ll get 8,570,000 possible links. Over 8 1/2 million articles written on how menopause makes us stronger, sexier, more confident, and more at peace with our bodies and our sexuality. Not to mention the exhilarating freedom from periods, bloating, cramping, PMS, and the constant worry about pregnancy, however slim the chance.

What they don’t tell you in those same posts is that all that zen is achieved after menopause is over. It’s the prize at the end of a rather bumpy ride, during which you’ll start questioning whether you’ll ever be sexy again. Or if you’ll ever care.

Like most women, I like feeling attractive, sexy, desirable. I’ve spent more money than I probably should’ve towards that goal over the years, and although yoga pants and no makeup are my norm, I do clean up fairly well (which admittedly takes longer with each passing year). I have a tiny, but persistent, inner hot chick that still likes stilettos, little black dresses, and the appreciative looks from Hubs at my efforts. Menopause crashed my hotness with a thud heard in three states.

Suddenly I was more “Ma’am” than MILF. Men stopped whistling at me from the street and started helping me through the crosswalk. People no longer commented “You look so much like your mother” and started assuming we were sisters. One unfortunate store owner in town asked me if I was my son’s grandmother. (As soon as I figure out how to hide the body, he’s going to die.)

In retrospect, I’m amazed that Hubs made it through my menopausal years. He married a reasonably confident, arguably normal woman, and woke up one day to an overheated, moody, questionably sane female sobbing uncontrollably over the sudden appearance of cankles. My MILF was gone. How menopause killed it:

1. Hot flashes. We were out at our favorite romantic restaurant, and instead of the coy flirting of our early years (“Gee, Big Guy, is it hot in here or is it just you?”), it became “Is it hot in here or what? I’m hot. Is anybody else hot??” Repeated requests to the uncooperative waiter to turn the thermostat down finally ended with a screeching “Can’t you turn the freaking heat down?!? It’s TOO FRIGGIN’ HOT IN HERE.” Hubs dragged my sweaty body out of the restaurant, and we haven’t been back since.

2. Metabolism changes. Actually, mine didn’t change. It stopped. Weight maintenance was now limited to one Fruit Loop and a Diet Coke per day. Weight loss required colonic cleansing and fasting. And if you like wine, no carbs for you. Ever. Carbs plus wine make you blow up like a puffer fish, so you have to choose. I haven’t had a carb since 2009.

3. Fatigue. I was tired all the time. Bedtime went from 10:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., effectively eliminating boogie nights on the dance floor, since it’s virtually impossible to find a band that starts at 5:30.

4. Night sweats. Yeah, nothing turns a man on more than being whacked on the arm at 2 a.m., to “Get up” because we have to change the cold, wet sheets. Again. After the first six months, we both got used to just tossing beach towels over the sheets and crawling back into bed. Take that, sex life.

5. Day sweats. I quit going to the gym after realizing my clothes would be soaked, with visible sweat pouring down between my boobs and my butt crack, and I’d only been on the treadmill for 3 minutes. It took me longer to wipe down the machine than it did to work out.

6. Incontinence. I’d laugh. A little squirt. I’d sneeze. Another little squirt. The actual need to pee? Now I’d be clenching my Kegals while I waddle-ran to the nearest bathroom, praying there wasn’t a line and fully prepared to bust into the men’s room if necessary. By the end of the evening, I smelled like Eau de Pee, sitting in wet undies, and wondering what the hell had happened to my life. Hubs, not surprisingly, was still not turned on.

7. Mood swings. Some days, Hubs would come home to find me sobbing over yet-another Hallmark commercial about the son returning home at Christmas to his adoring little sister and happy, teary-eyed parents. Other days, any and all comments directed at me, from anyone in the room, on any subject, were met with “What the hell is wrong with you??” accompanied, when the stupidity-level warranted it, by a smack up ‘long side the head. Hubs claimed later that every day was a crapshoot.

8. Physical changes. Under-arm twaddle, boobs headed towards my knees, and hips widening, irrevocably eliminated anything sleeveless or low-cut from my closet and would forevermore require military-grade underwear. Menopause underwear is designed to git ‘er done, by pushing, lifting, and shoving defiant and migrating body parts back into their original shape and place. We no longer care about lace edging or cute bows. We need Kevlar underwire and the Spanx company on speeddial.

9. Body heat. More consistent than hot flashes, I was basically just hot all. the. time. We had the front door open year-round, and unless it was raining, I had the top down on my car. In December. I turned the house heat completely off every night and opened all the windows. Hubs repeatedly complained that he couldn’t perform in a meat locker. I reminded him once that it’s a bad chef who blames his utensils, but apparently he didn’t get my humor. Yeah, nobody got any that night.

10. Hunger. Suffice it to say that I was always hungry. And somehow, I have no recollection of craving carrots. I do remember threatening to bludgeon Hubs to death one night for eating the last of my Milk Duds. To this day, he’s never eaten another Dud.

11. Evening conversations tended more towards chronic menopausal-induced IBS than our mutual plans for our next vacation through the wine country. Hubs, who’s never seen me pee (not once in 15 years) because I want to maintain a modicum of mystery in our marriage, looked a bit stunned one night when I bent over and hiked up the back of my dress, asking “When I bend over like this, can you see cellulite on the backs of my legs?” He laughed so hard, he fell off his chair, but was smart enough to leave that question untouched.

Now, at the end of the tunnel, I’m approaching inner peace. But it was a humbling and often mortifying ride. And occasionally, when I’m doing my morning prayers and meditation, my thoughts will free-fall back to those years and I’ll ask God, “Really?? REALLY??”

I’m still waiting for a response.

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Comments

  1. says

    Oh, you make me laugh! What a funny post to read first thing on a Monday morning. The picture caught my notice too, as I do that ALL THE TIME at my local grocery store when I’m having one of my many hot flashes of the day. Thanks for starting my week off with a laugh.

  2. says

    Oh my gosh! I totally get #1, #2, #3…yea. Every. Single. One. I’m right here with you, sweating my ever increasing ass right on through to the estrogen free zone. Great way to put a fun spin on this aging thing.

  3. cate says

    Jowls! What’s up with these jowls!! Seriously…..
    As always Vikki you made my morning a little bit brighter!

  4. says

    Oh lord this is me! Please tell me it ended without jail time or being divorced? I am supposed to be leaving on Wednesday for a romantic weekend (mom’s at her sisters for 8 days!). I don’t remember what romance is anymore. I want to sleep with an ice bag and a fan, not him! I hope I make it through the other side smiling (without holding a number up on my chest)!

  5. says

    You totally hit it out of the park with this one, Vikki. It’s hilarious. But I’m afraid. Very afraid. I’m 51, but other than being hot all the time, it hasn’t started for me yet. Should we get pre-menopausal marriage counseling?

  6. says

    If it will make you feel any better, I still have a few years before menopause bites me in the ass but people have been calling me ma’am for a couple of years now and “manang” which means older woman in our language. Ugh.

  7. says

    Oh crap. So this is what I have to look forward to in another 10-15 years or so? Damn.

    Well, my arms already jiggle and the boobs are approaching the belly button so I’m already SOL there. Cranky? Moody? Yea, depression will do that to ya. See? I’m already a hot mess and I’m nowhere near menopause!

    • says

      Kim, sounds like fun, doesn’t it? :) It’s kind of like childbirth (only it lasts much longer), which has a beginning and an end. Just remember, “This too shall pass.”

    • says

      Carol, I don’t dwell on them much (or didn’t, at the time), but they were there for several years! I think it’s great that you don’t give them any thought or power. :)

  8. says

    Vikki, at 55 I admit I enjoy being able to skip an entire aisle at the grocery store, though. So there’s that. The feminine hygiene section is now like a trip down memory lane.

    Love your posts!

  9. says

    I was laughing maniacally at your list (with my door closed) when my kids checked on me quite concerned–they thought it was another mood swing. I said “No, this woman is hilarious!” They were relieved. Anyhow, I am known as “Little Miss Menopause” at my humor blog and wrote out a special food menu for women like us that I think you might enjoy perusing.
    I’ll Have The Menopasta With a Side of Heatballs, Please! | Once Upon Your Prime. . .
    https://thequotegal.wordpress.com/2014/01/08/ill-have-the-menopasta-with-a-side-of-heatballs-please/

    And I love that you won’t kill that storeowner until you know where to hide the body… Lol.

  10. says

    OMG…you just made me glad to be old! Seriously! Thank you for the good laugh. I will have to admit that I do occasionally do the bending over with the skirt up for husband to check the cellulite thing. He does NOT laugh anymore.

    b+

  11. says

    Oh, Vikki, how I love this post! I have just now begun having hot flashes and have already been found in the kitchen with my shirt thrown off onto the counter. (How long do these #*%^* things last anyway?) I understand that cutting back on caffeine and sugar can help…sure, take away my only joys left why don’t they?? And let’s have a conversation about jowls…ugh!!
    Thanks for putting a funny spin on this for all of us “mature” women :)

  12. says

    I was telling Anne Bardsley that I found a growth on my chin today. Upon further inspection, I discovered it was hair! Hair I tell you! I’m 40. It’s going to be a long, furry road. Love this, Vikki!

  13. says

    Menopause started for me at age 32! Doc & I decided a hysterectomy was in order–did that & was fine until 45 or so. Then it happened. All of it– just like you described! I would stand out on the deck, buck-naked in the snow to get relief! Lloyd would sleep in the other bdrm to stay dry! I think now at 66 it’s done evn tho every now & then a hotflash will raise it’s hot little self just to let me know I’m not really in charge of my body!

    • says

      Me too, Cheryl! Just when I think it’s finally over, I get a surge of heat. At least the night sweats are gone, so I’m good. Thanks for stopping by and commenting! :)

  14. Mac says

    So funny, loved it. I didn’t know what MILF meant so I goggled it and received a lot of porn info. referencing milf but not what it actually stood for. Then I asked my 17 year old son and he refused to tell me and was mortified, which is always a bit of fun. My son did recommend urban dictionary, we have a winner… mothers I liked (to) F*ck. Learn something new everyday. :)

    • says

      Mac, my son had to tell me, too! He couldn’t believe I was asking. Apparently mom isn’t even supposed to know about s-e-x. I asked him how he thought he got here? :) Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

  15. says

    Mom’s been going through menopause for about 15 years and I don’t think she’s done yet. Complaining that I’m freezing constantly, people keep telling me “Just wait until you hit menopause!” Yeah, I can’t wait. To be warm once in my life will be a blessing. Since my metabolism is already in the dumps, I have boobs to the floor at 30 and arm waddle like nobody’s business, I don’t think much is going to change.

  16. says

    Ohhhhh girls, ain’t menopause a mess? I’m sixty and still sweating like a self-basting turkey. But take heart, menopause causes your wisdom to commence oozing out for the benefit of others. Write on, girls, write on!

    • says

      Victoria, yes it is! I keep thinking it’s all behind me, but those pesky hot flashes still come around every now and then. I must be getting very wise! :)

  17. says

    Ya know, I stay with the wine over the carbs, too. Very funny post! I just wrote one on how our bedroom transformed due to menopause. So glad we are in this together! Thanks for the laugh! :-)

  18. says

    Oh Vikki! Why do we have to battle the crashing metabolism and ravenous hunger at the same time! God bless the men that ride it through with us and know when to shut up.

  19. Barbara Smith says

    I look forward to your posts with glee. I am 46 and in full blown menopause. I thought I had bypassed the hot flashes until recently, when I find myself in the local Quick Stop Walk In Beer Freezer. I smiled to myself in true happiness. Thanks for the confirmations that I’m not alone in this hot new world.

  20. says

    Vicki, this made me laugh so hard I almost fell off my chair. I started experiencing symptoms at around 42-43, and I’ve just been told I’m through it at not quite 46. Not sure yet how I feel about it, but I think laughter is going to be a big help. Nothing like driving through a New England snowstorm with the sunroof open to get relief from the hot flashes. Glad I’m not the only one! :-) Thanks for this post!

    • says

      Thanks, Gailyc! I always love hearing that I could make someone laugh, especially about something that often doesn’t seem very funny! :) We’re all in this together!

  21. says

    I’m just creeping up on it now at 46. Not complete flashes yet but nighttime I don’t even want to be next to myself, much less anyone else! And as for the leaking, I nearly laughed till I leaked! My son even recognizes the knees together shuffle to the bathroom! He actually stepped widely out of my way one day and said “Look out, there she goes!” If I hadn’t had to pee so bad, I would have cuffed him one!! I never was a stiletto girl but a nice tight pair of jeans and a slinky top was my speed, till the boobs started threatening to hang out the bottom of the slinky top!!

  22. says

    My poor husband is in trouble. It hasn’t hit me yet, although I have some of these “symptoms” already…sneezing issues for one. My gyno told me not to run so soon…I believe his exact words were “don’t come crying to me when you need Depends when you’re 40 because you started running again too soon.” Too late for that now.

    • says

      Michelle, Hubs prefers the expression “WE went through menopause.” He has a point! Thanks for stopping by and commenting. LOVE your summer drinks post! :)

    • says

      Thanks, Darcy! Yeah, the only band we can find that plays that early is the Wayne Newton impersonator at the local Senior Center. I’m seriously considering the Friday night Bingo tournament and dance-off next weekend! :)

  23. Sue says

    Hey Vikki, thanks for the laugh. My husband too remembers the crap shoot! I can just remember him opening the door a crack, and peeking in when he came home from work, to see whether it was the mad axewoman or the cry me a river woman who was home! Funny thing was that until he opened that door I never knew either

  24. Deborah says

    oh this is too funny and yet so true we really live this stuff and when you get that answer from God please let me know his answer :)

  25. says

    Funny! You know I had a surgical menopause at 30 and have been on hormone replacement ever since. I fear the day I will have to face the inevitable inferno. Hopefully never!

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