In the heat of the moment

    First of all, I have to set the information straight from last week’s column.
    My laugh lines are not funny, the bags under my eyes aren’t welcome, and double chins should have been left OFF the list of things that happen to women as we age (not to mention the host of dark hairs that sprout there after the age of 40).
    And while we’re back on that score again, I’d like to add hot flushes to the series of unfortunate events that I’d like to see gone from this menopausal galaxy.
    As if the female species didn’t already have enough to deal with, having stopped doing laundry and vacuuming long enough to bear children, carried the “Buddha” reminder ever after, survived on three hours’ sleep for the next 18 years while raising said children through brat-hood, the immature teenage years, and on into “adulthood,” wherein mom’s pocketbook still carried no money because the $20 bill that was in there was perpetually loaned to offspring.
    And then, after all the little chickens have flown the nest and we overworked and underpaid mothers find ourselves again, everything suddenly heats up at the wrong time and in the wrong place.
    The internal barbecue ignites at the most inconvenient time of day when we are standing in the vegetable aisle among strangers in the grocery store and are possessed with an overpowering urge to rip off all our clothes and run naked into the lake.
    And why do hot flushes also have to burst out of you like on the movie “Alien” during that one night a month when you are deep into sawing logs and lying there on your side of the bed in a Tutankhamen-like sleeping position?
    And to our poor husbands, who awaken to the sight of us ripping off our pajamas and taking fast shallow breaths—and then realize this is not going to be the night of their dreams—we apologize.
    Or not.
    To head off hot flushes at the pass, I gave up pajamas before I hit the pillow—jumping into bed in my birthday suit until I realized that my husband thought my new look was carte blanche on a seven-night-a-week love boat.
    To make matters worse, when I told Pete that I thought this was it and that “the big menopause was inevitable,” he started bringing a roll of duct tape to bed with him.
    When I asked him what it was for, expecting that perhaps it meant we were going to embark on a new love adventure on the one night a month I was in the mood, he shook his head.
    The duct tape was there in case menopause struck at the full moon and he needed to secure me to the basement wall so that I would hurt him.
    But he won’t have to worry about doing that, I reported. Before he knows it, the lunar lander—with Pete duct-taped to one of its jet engines—will have delivered him to the moon.
    Hot flushes would be gratefully accepted by moi if all that heat would burn off the little roll around my middle and the calorie intake from the cold beers thoroughly enjoyed over the last two weeks of warm weather.
    And like clockwork, the tops of my ears turn beet-red at 2 p.m. every day thanks to Mother Nature’s little play on my evolving womanhood. I don’t even need to wear a watch anymore. As soon as my ears light up, I know it’s time to the put the coffee on for the afternoon break in the work day.
    Maybe I could harness these internal heat blasts into energy capsules and use them to run my truck or keep my house warm over the winter. Heaven knows, I can heat up the bed to the boiling point in the time it takes to flick on a light switch.
    And if I could just figure out how to channel it, I’d also have—at a moment’s notice—my own fuel source for the space ship.

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