That is who I am.
My whole life I have been known to have a “way with words”.
That is a nice way of saying “I have no tact at times when tact is needed”.
I would never have done well in olden times.
You know, when women were to be quiet and discreet.
Seen and not heard.
I would not have done well with that AT ALL.
I can actually hear my grandma laughing from Heaven at that comment.
I have always been loud, obnoxious at times, I walk with purpose, I belch at inappropriate times, I laugh boisterously and even snort at times and I talk about personal things in public.
That is why I am perfectly suited to write a blog.
And possibly work for Depends at some point.
Feeling off, not quite Kari-like, it has come for some time now.
But I was telling myself that it’s too early; my mom told me, my friends told me, everyone told me.
I am only mid-forties, menopause is far, far away.
I joked about it in my Listen to Your Mother piece, never thinking it was imminent.
Just a distant funny thing.
But come fall, it wasn’t so much funny as it was puzzling.
Why am I such an asshole?
I mean, I am a raging jerk one week a month every month since 1984 LIKE CLOCKWORK but this was assholery like I had never experienced before.
Then came the melancholy.
I thought I needed a job.
Then I thought I needed a dog.
Then I thought I needed a job AND a dog.
Then came the migraines.
Then came the meds.
Then came the mood swings.
Then came the OMG I NEED TO HAVE ICE CREAM!
Then I thought I needed things like a new front door color.
I even wrote a post about needing to have a John Hughes Museum.
WHICH WE STILL TOTALLY NEED.
But I dropped the ball and didn’t “make a plan” or find a “starting point” even though my friend gave me a lead and everything.
Because foggy brain and busy painting a blue door and googling teddy bear dogs and eating ice cream for breakfast and being an asshole to my family.
I’VE BEEN BUSY PEOPLE, OKAY??
Meanwhile, I have children living at home.
WHILE I am going through “life changes”.
Most women who are going through “life changes” have grown children, so this has been hard on them and me, not gonna sugar coat it.
Add in one child with ADHD and the other child with a schedule that is killing my soul, a husband who is never home and I literally said the other day to no one in particular, ” I QUIT! I AM PUTTING IN MY TWO WEEKS NOTICE! LOOK AT ME! I AM TAKING OFF MY NAME TAG! PACKING MY STUFF UP! TAKING THE BOOKS OUT OF MY LOCKER!”
I am not lying.
I said it to no one listening.
Because no one listens any more.
So when I went in for a scheduled appointment with my gynecologist recently, I should mention the appointment my husband begged me to make because assholery on my part, she showed me numbers on a chart.
She listened to my symptoms and she said, “well your numbers in the fall showed you were in peri-menopause so you are probably in it now”.
Apparently you can still get your period while “in” menopause, ladies.
This I did not know.
It takes us YEARS to jump off the proverbial hormone cliff, so yay us!
The joy will keep going on and on and on.
BEING A WOMAN IS SUCH A MIRACULOUS THING.
(Cue the Kimmy Schmidt theme song, FEMALES ARE STRONG AS HELL ….mmmmm DAMMIT)
She did an ultrasound, found some “things” and said, “yep looks like we are starting menopause”.
I might have said to her, “We???? There’s no “we” in menopause!!”
It’s okay, she gets it.
But then I had a moment of WAIT WHAT?!?!
Don’t get me wrong, I am happy to get rid of the old hag, Flo.
I am not at all going to miss her but just, really? Is it already time??
She did say, “you are really young to be starting, when did your mom start menopause?”
My mom and grandma didn’t start young, I won’t divulge as they were ladies, unlike their daughter and granddaughter who shares everything with the world on a blog.
So then she asked about my dad’s mom and it hit me as I said, “I don’t know”.
Because she died very young, before her history was to be played out.
I found out later, she died at age 41, so my genetic ties may be linked to hers and as I sat on the table with the crunchy paper gown over my legs, I felt very linked to a grandmother I never had the pleasure of meeting.
The day I found out I was in menopause, it was 70 degrees and sunny.
I drove home with the sunroof open and blasted Pump Up The Jam by Technotronic and cried loudly.
The day I found out I was in menopause, I registered my youngest daughter for second grade, made the best spaghetti of my life and wrote a really hard email to her teacher.
The day I found out I was in menopause, I didn’t go to my oldest daughters soccer game because I was really upset at her, the first time in her life I have ever done that. Because assholery.
And then I went to bed at 7:30, but I didn’t actually fall asleep until 9.
I have been quite a joy to live with this year.
Yesterday was Mothers Day, in case you weren’t sure.
I stayed off of social media for the most part because it was too much, honestly.
I have my mommy still, thankfully.
I called her first thing in the morning and we had a great conversation, long distance.
I hate that we have to do that, but thank God I have her on Earth.
We talked about the old days, its been a good ten years since we have lived near each other and could spend Mothers Day’s together.
I miss her on these days so this year, when it was 50 degrees, rainy and foggy, AND I was in meno-hell, it was rough.
Plus she wasn’t feeling well, so I thought this day was going to suck, plain and simple.
But God gave us a crappy weather day and you know what?
It was a gift.
Oh what a gift it was.
Because yesterday, we stayed inside and I got to introduce the movie, Pretty in Pink to my first grader.
Who, by the way, loves Duckie now.
I got sweat to Just Dance with that same first grader and laugh like I haven’t in months.
I got to sit, legs intertwined with my 15-year-old on the couch while she asked me opinions about things like clothing and dating….sigh.
My husband made his famous chocolate chip cookies while the girls and I giggled in the family room and talked about how Ellie will “never have children” and then I listened to my girls who normally fight incessantly, actually get along.
HOLY SHIT, THEY ARE GETTING ALONG.
Then right before dinner, a dinner I didn’t have to make or set the table for, Ellie said, “you know what, when we are grown up, I am bringing my kids over to your house for Mothers Day….” and we all laughed because she got caught.
YOU SAID YOU WEREN’T GOING TO HAVE KIDS!!!!
And then she said, ” I am not! I will just drag my husband to your house mom because I will always want to spend Mothers Day with you!”
Then my teenager who never wants to show that she needs us said “I do want to have kids so I will always bring mine “.
I don’t care what Anne Lamott says, I love having my kids bring me flowers, I love that they love to love me on Mothers Day.
I needed this damn day.
And someday, it’s okay if they don’t and they have their own families.
I will go to them.
But this menopausal mommy, needed the hell out of that foggy, cold, day in May.
I love you, my beautiful girls.
I am really sorry for this year.
Thank you for yesterday.
I will cherish it for the rest of my every day’s.
- 10 Reasons Why We Need a John Hughes Museum in Chicago
- Channeling Mr. Hughes