Menopause: 1: the natural cessation of menstruation that usually occurs between the ages of 45 and 55.
Yes, my menstruating friend, I have done it. I have PAUSED. This is a beautiful thing.
My last period was July of 08, so I’m a bona fide NON-menstruator, which makes me menstru-GREATER than YOU because you still do it.
My doc confirmed this event with the help of hormone tests. But not before she struggled for a while against the current of my non-existent flow. I was only 46, you see. Not exactly textbook. When the tests revealed the truth, she scratched her forehead and reluctantly gave in. I rejoiced, skipped merrily about and wore tampons as earrings for two weeks. I did have a ridiculous bout of crying later that night that lasted about 30 minutes, but it made no sense so I stopped.
The first question people ask when they learn that I’ve paused is, “So … just how bad ARE those hot flashes, anyway?” This tips me off to the fact that I’m menstru-greater than them, too, because clearly, THEY are still menstruating – otherwise they’d KNOW that hot flashes are like being smothered to death beneath Satan’s left testicle.
I actually only experienced hot flashes during the perimenopausal stage, which is just another stooooopid phase of a woman’s life that happens just AFTER the first 30 years of cramping, bloating and cranky patches and BEFORE the actual onset of menopause otherwise known as the, WTF is going on NOW stage. It’s during that in-between stage that you’re just a POSER, not a PAUSER because you’re still actually doing it even though you skip periods and everything else about your body becomes yet another female mystery.
Your punishment for posing as a Pauser is hot flashes. It’s dumb but it’s true. In fact, it’s ALL dumb. You can’t win. Don’t try. You’re going to be walking around with a mattress between your legs for approximately 2,163 days of your life.
When thinking on my menstrual history, I have to admit how lucky I am. I started late and finished early. Some things in life are worth procrastinating (like menstruation) while other things are worth OVER achieving (like ceasing the menses). That’s me, the menstrual over-achiever proving once again, that I’m better than you.
Anyway, back to the history part. Menstruation is a rather big deal in the life of most girls and I was no exception. I was the last girl in my little gang of girlfriends to go with the flow. I was 14. I’d been anxiously awaiting my first visit from Auntie Flo, quietly sitting on the sidelines as my girlfriends went about grousing the woes of womanhood and bumming tampons off each other. While they bonded, I wallowed in menstrual self-pity, hoping and praying for the bloating and cramping just so I could be bitchy WITH them and get away with clawing someone’s eyes out. But that moment would never be realized.
The timing for my first period couldn’t have been worse. It happened right after my family relocated to another state. All my menstruating friends who’d been pulling for me to start my menses weren’t there when the big moment finally occurred. I became the lonely menstruator, feeling fat and puffy, all alone with my box of maxi pads as my only friends.
Thankfully, menstruators are EVERYWHERE and in time, I found new friends with whom I could bitch, moan and groan the plights of womenhood. Ahh … good menstru-times.
When I look back, I have to admit, the mensing years weren’t all that bad for me. Oh, I had my share of crooked or lost tampons in the Cave of Wonders and plenty of morning blood baths … and then there’s that dreadful period after childbirth where your guts fall out and they scoop them up and shove them back in and then hand you a baby and say, Oh look how beauty he is. Then you bleed for 14 years. That’s not a happy little flow, either – but a veritable uterine pathology threatening to wash away entire villages and towns. But other than that, it wasn’t too big of a deal.
Fast forward to now, and it’s funny how I’ve almost completely forgotten what it’s like to menstruate after 2 years of NOT menstruating. When my younger girlfriends bring up the topic, I’m like, oh … THAT. I sorta remember that unpleasantness. And then I resist the desire to say, Nanner-nanner, you’re a menstruator and I am menstru-greater than you.
So, how about it ladies? Wanna tell me your menstrual woes?