News Flash: I'm Having a Hot Flash

I’m getting hot flashes. (If you’re anything like my daughter, this will gross you out, so stop reading.)

I’m not totally sure about this, since my hot flashes are not anything like other women who have described in detail their hot flashes. (What is it about girls and our desire to share this information?)

I’ve heard more than one person say you’ll know you’re having a hot flash because it’s way different than when you just have a big heavy sweater on and you’re in a senior citizen’s condo where the heat is turned up to 85. A real hot flash, they tell me, starts down in your callousy feet and climbs up your saggy body until it hits your turkey neck and then there’s a little puff of heat, like a gas stove is being turned on and the pilot light catches.

My hotness is not like this, which might mean that I’m just hot. The heat in our house may be turned up too high, the house iswell insulated . . . I don’t know. I’m not convinced I’m actually experiencing menopause, since I’m not having any other symptoms. Which is to say I’m not bursting into tears when I look at my daughter’s shoes and realize they’re bigger than mine (“My baby is all grown up!! Bwaaa!”), and I have no more hair on my upper lip than I’ve had for the past five years, nothing a Nair-tweezer-personal-shaver cocktail won’t knock out in about 10 minutes. Plus, I’m really, really, extremely young.

If you go to the Project Aware Web site you can read 35 signs of menopause. Immediately afterward you’ll want to go Google “suicide options” or “sex change operations” or look up Dr. Kevorkian’s number,  because the symptoms make testicular cancer look like a skip in the park. Anytime you see “itchy crawly skin” and “flatulence” together on a list, you’re gonna want to try to avoid getting that.  

The symptoms include the usual: You know, mood swings, crying, irritability, sudden bouts of bloat; and then there are these added bonuses:

“Hair loss or thinning, head, pubic or whole body; increase in facial hair.” Taking the hair you’re losing on your head and putting it on your face is God’s way of taking the Eve punishment thing just one step further.

“Electric shock sensation under the skin and in the head.”

“A whooshing sound in the ears.”

And here’s the best one – “exacerbation of existing conditions.” In other words, if something was nagging at you before – an allergy, a craving for Orange Crush, cold sores, a tendency to laugh at inappropriate times, it’s going to take over your life now.

This explains lots of things to me, as well as lots of people I’ve known. This is why old people are so flippin’ quirky. Shaking off a head shock and itchy crawly skin while trying not to fart, well, that’s going to set you apart in almost any crowd. This could be why older women have such a hard time getting hired in the corporate world. A woman in full-blown menopause will be lucky to get hired at McDonald’s. 

Maybe I should go get that big corporate job I’ve always wanted, now, before menopause sets in and my existing conditions go exacerbatingly haywire. 

“Do you want fries with that?