Women make eggs from puberty until middle age, like hens, except our expelled eggs don’t make for good eating. For years we are in the human-production zone. Sex has a biological purpose whether we let it express itself or not.
My human-production facilities are packing it in, a moment I have been waiting for for years and I want to CELEBRATE!
So the first thing I wanted to do was announce the news that I’m perimenopausal through the gramophone of social media so that everyone would know. I’m not embarrassed to discuss life stages. Why should I be? People announce their pregnancies constantly expecting everyone to be EXCITED and JOYFUL and CONGRATULATORY because it’s such a great moment (if it’s a moment you actually want in your life.) Everyone is so happy for you (unless they are crusty old baby-hating Angelinas*). Everyone cuts ribbons and pastes puffy hearts to your name. I can count the number of times I’ve heard people announce that they are beginning to go through menopause.
Big fat fucking ZERO times.
Why? Are women embarrassed to tell others that their womb is shutting its doors to make room for other possibilities in their lives? Do they think it’s too private an event? As though announcing that you had sexual intercourse that resulted in the creation of a fetus in your womb isn’t super private? I guess if you can’t hide your pregnant state you may as well announce it to everyone but since menopause doesn’t give itself away we should be silent when it comes?
A friend of mine pointed out that many women don’t make their menopausal state public because they’re up against agism when seeking employment. She makes a good point that deserves validation. I can respect a woman protecting her ovarian status if it might hurt her opportunities. There are few enough of those for us as it is.
But I say that being at this stage of life makes us more valuable assets to practically everyone and to hide ourselves under a shimmering ambiguity of age is a crime.
I say FUCK THAT STUPID SHIT.
Menopause is PUNK
I want to throw a menopause party.
I guess there is this idea that when a woman goes through menopause she loses an essential part of her womanly power – the power to make babies. I find this perplexing. My power isn’t really anchored in my ability to make babies. I made one single baby and I’m happy that I did because I love him best of all people but he is not the thing that defines who I am. He is an important part of my life but isn’t what makes me purposeful, full, or complete.
I make myself complete. Period.
I have resented and hated having periods since the very first one on my 14th birthday discovered by some girl in the Junior High locker room while I was changing into my gym clothes and later amplified by my parents who may as well have announced the arrival of my menses on the local Ashland radio station.
I have referred to my “MEN – STRU – A – TION” as being “on the rag” for as long as I can remember and someone was recently shocked when I used that expression. What?
Oh. I’m SORRY I don’t like leaking blood. Rags is what women have used to soak up the flow for a couple thousand years until we got industrial. Most mammals don’t drip blood during their reproductive cycles anyway. How have humans not evolved to do this thing better?
I have been looking forward to the end of my cycles for exactly 29 years, 5 months, and 28 minutes.
Menopause is PUNK
I’m only at the very beginning of it all. When I was 15 I planned to kill myself. The thought of turning 30 seemed mystical and improbable because I mapped my death as carefully as a cartographer measures mountains and valleys. I wasn’t even going to see the windy side of 20. I think suicidal ideation can be a gift. It teaches you things if you live through it. If you live through it again and again. It teaches you the impossible. It teaches you the power of hanging on. It teaches you detachment from outcome when the chips are melting into one heap of toxic plastic in the devil’s barbeque. Every day you don’t kill yourself has the potential to be a blessing.
To have been a suicidal 15 year old and become a 43 year old peri-menopausal woman is something to celebrate. To have experienced suicidal ideation at the age of 41 and 42 and once again manage to wait out the darkness long enough to still be alive is something to celebrate. Having to grapple periodically with suicidal fixation gives me a detachment from living that is sometimes uncomfortable but has the side effect of giving me an appreciation for very small details. I don’t live for large concepts, I live for the sound of mourning doves on warm mornings.
Once you’ve skirted suicide for several rounds it’s hard to believe menopause has real teeth.
I’m the one with the real teeth.
Young girls have nothing on me.
Menopause is PUNK!
*This Angelina loves babies as long as they aren’t hers and though she understands you continue to be excited every single time you give birth, she just can’t get worked up over any baby but your first because she is pretty much PURE EVIL.