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Clothilde the charming pink chicken greets me of a morning,
With Porque squeaking a cheery hello to brighten up the cold
(which he is not accustomed to).
Hermie nestles next to Milo, their spikes mingling companionably,
While Henrietta and Captain Jack
lean against the wall, seductively oozing rubber sleaze.
A single gull flies captive within the white and
turquoise of the room, keeping a weather eye over me,
as he did over my Father for years and years.
A pair of baby seals snuggle atop the dresser,
While Bun Bun and Mommy’s Bear warm the bed,
Rudolfo prickling in the covers at its foot.
“They” lie in wait between the windows,
and I drape myself in baby ducks each morning.
a very full
and lovely bedroom.
Racing across the field
Snouts to the wind,
Hooves kicking up the dry Kansas dust,
Note: I’m a late starter to NaPoWriMo, so I’ll have to catch up by writing a couple of extra poems in one day!
So, I was doing a Google search on a medical symptom yesterday – because of course, when you have a medical symptom, you look at the Internet instead of going to an actual doctor – and while I found some reassuring answers to my symptom, Google also suggested that I might find the following searches pertinent:
Why can’t I own a Canadian?
Why is there a dead Pakistani on my couch?
And apparently, from the image below, I’m not the only person this has happened to.
Just wanted to share…
His Wife’s Idea, No Doubt
His red suitcase -
A color chosen to make it stand out
amongst a sea of black bags -
and now like all other red suitcases
chosen to be outstanding -
Has a garland of fake
silk flowers wrapped around its handle
a surefire way to identify
it emerging from the bowels
of the baggage carousel.
He is completely secure
In his masculinity
Since even his bag
Has gotten leied.
Warning for some: TMI ahead.
Perimenopause. The prefix “peri” is from the ancient Greek, and means “near”. Near is a relative term. I am near the Caribbean when compared to someone in Juneau, Alaska at this moment, but that does not make me as near as someone in Miami, Florida. “Near” is a hedge word.
However, if we check in with our friend Wikipedia, the word “Peri” means the following:
In Persian mythology, the Peri are descended from fallen angels who have been denied paradise until they have done penance. In earlier sources, they are described as agents of evil; later, they are benevolent. They are exquisite, winged, fairy-like creatures ranking between angels and evil spirits.
I like that definition of “Peri” much better. And it really describes who, how, and where we perimenopausal women are.
The highs and lows of perimenopause are meni and veri. See what I did there? Yea, get over it.
I say “Get over it” to myself many times each day, as I am perpetually awash in a slippery tangle of hormones.
This thing they call perimenopause – in laywomen’s terms, pre-menopause…do you mean it’s actually WORSE once you hit ACTUAL menopause? I’m still technically not menopausal, yet I have all the symptoms – and I try to view them as positively as possible. Hot flashes are just short private vacations to a tropical island. Mood swings are experiences of the rich depths of my mercurial personality.
Based on my research, I fail to see where the actual differences between perimenopause and menopause lie, except that I guess you never get a period again, instead of having one that lasts three days once or twice a year. Or one that lasts twelve days when you are on a vacation in the islands. Maybe that’s part of perimenopause – your body has gotten smart enough to wait to release the deluge until you are in the exact place and time when you don’t want said deluge to occur. Perhaps your body is giving a giant Bronx Cheer or having a last hurrah before your reproductive system gives up the ghost altogether.
Regardless of it’s motives, it feels like my body is not playing fair.
Don’t tell me to “own it”, to gracefully accept this change in life. I DO own it. I’m not treating my body as separate from me. In fact, I’m totally on board with this change of life. Let’s just go ahead with it, okay? No more of this dinking around. Right now, my body is like, “Oh, okay, I’m done with periods. (Significant pause.) JK! LOL! LOVE YA! “
I’m in a pretty happy place these days. Got a wonderful love, got a cozy house, got a decent job, got an amazing daughter. But the unpredictable tide of hormones can have me going to bed smiling, and waking up in tears, wishing I could just stay in bed all day eating Slim Jims and sugar cookies with a bottle of rum, watching Jerry Springer.
MKL and I will be celebrating our one year anniversary on Friday, and I feel for him. It must be hard for a guy who has been single for a while to find himself involved with a woman who has several different personalities. He never quite knows who is going to show up. In the olden days, couples had been together for a long time before the peri/menopause days hit, and so the man knew who the woman was, and could recognize “the change” as an anomaly in the woman he’d lived with for years. In a new relationship, I imagine it’s more along the lines of the old game show “To Tell The Truth” – will the real Seasweetie please stand up?
I am blessed that MKL has the wisdom to look beyond the mood swings, and see the true me. I am blessed that he just hugs me when I’m having “one of those days” and asks if I want to talk, but doesn’t insist on it. He doesn’t try to talk me up or down or out of wherever I am. He just loves me, steadfast and true and stable. (OK, enough gushing about MKL.)
As (almost) all women do, I just have to wait until this plays out. I have spent my life (as many women do), blaming my hormones for a variety of moods and behaviors. I don’t know why I’ve been blaming my hormones, as my hormones have been fluctuating since I was 13, so really it’s just my normal state of being. I guess I expect that once menopause hits, my hormones will calm down. But I think the only way that could happen is if they went away altogether, and they’re not going to do that – and if they do, I think someone would give me drugs to simulate them. And besides, if they were completely gone, or if they were simulated, that would just be another thing for my body to adjust to. It all just doesn’t make a lot of sense.
It comes down to “I am who I am” and there is no need to make excuses, blame internal or external factors, or expect change to follow some logical, predictable, orderly sequence.
I can just be here, right now, somewhere between angel and evil spirit, waiting for the next deluge that may never come.
6:00 – Shower.
6:15 – Step on cat lurking under the edge of the tub as you get out of the shower.
6:20 – Finish apologizing to cat.
6:30 – Put contacts in.
6:50 – Finally finish putting contacts in because one feels like you’re putting broken glass in eye.
6:55 – Realize you have to skip breakfast in order to catch bus.
7:00 – Try to find frozen food to take for lunch.
7:05 – Watch one pound of frozen shrimp fly out of freezer and crash-land on special cat-milk-saucer brought carefully from 1000 miles away.
7:10 – Finish cleaning up shattered remnants of saucer.
7:11 – Wash floor with tears.
7:12 – Realize you’ve missed bus; drive to next Park n’ Ride.
7:20 – Find out you’ve been standing in the wrong bus line as correct bus is about to pull away.
8:10 – Arrive at destination bus station.
8:20 – Get coffee and ginger cookie on way to work to reset the crappy start of your day.
8:30 – Spill coffee on pants.
8:31 – Drop ginger cookie on floor.
8:33 – Eat crumbs of ginger cookie from carpet.
9:00 – Experience first hot flash of the day.
9:30 – While in bathroom, discover that you’ve put your underwear on inside out.
10:30 – Realize that your hair is sticking in out multiple directions – apparent bun failure.
10:31 – Take hair down.
10:32 – Discover you don’t have a hairbrush.
10:33 – Fluff hair hoping it will look fashionably tousled, instead of uncombed.
10:34 – Realize you forgot to put make-up on one eye.
10:35 – Wash make-up off other eye, resulting in appearing like you are sick or tired.
10:45 – Drop cell phone.
10:46 – Drop office keys while trying to recover cell phone.
10: 55 – Step on untied shoe bow while walking downstairs.
11:00 – Erase all memory of morning by snuggling into loving arms of fiancé.
I’m ready to start the afternoon.
Setting: The local WalMart (yes, I know, but the prices can be pretty good and not EVERYTHING is made in China – you just have to look closely.) Peanut butter aisle.
MKL does not like WalMart. He only goes to surreptitiously snap images for the People of WalMart site and hates going there without me because it is just….wrong.
Me: I think I need to get you some crunchy peanut butter. The beast within you has eaten all of mine.
MKL: OK. And I’ll pick up some smooth peanut butter for The Boy.
MKL takes my crunchy peanut butter in one hand and a jar of smooth peanut butter in the other hand.
With a sudden adeptness heretofore unknown in the annals of peanut butter history, the smooth Jif starts to slide from his hand, while the crunchy Jif takes a flying leap towards the cart. As the onlooker, I would say that both were fully self-propelled.
MKL yelps and clutches his leg.
The crunchy Jif has attacked him in the kneecap. While this should have just been a bounce, it wasn’t. This unprovoked assault resulted in a cut, a huge bruise, a swollen kneecap, and a staggering significant other. Being the helpful partner that I am, I just laughed hysterically at the idea of him being so severely wounded by a plastic jar of peanut butter. (I should say here that MKL is a strong dude with strong legs who, as a former weight trainer and fourteener climber, now routinely lifts cars just for the fun of it.)
He blames WalMart.
I am still laughing.
This is one of those phrases I never thought I’d hear myself utter. Much like the phrase “Don’t feed the possum, Mother,” which was a classic from six years ago. But utter it I did,
I generally think of myself and of MKL as peaceful people. We both strive for a chill alignment with the universe and to be essentially messengers of love and light. So pardon my surprise when he revealed, during a trip to our local Jax, sporting goods/farm equipment shoppe extraordinaire, a strong hankering for a Glock. And we’re not talking Glockenspiel.
Nope, he wanted a gun. He grew up in the wooly wilds of Kansas and learned to shoot at age six. He’d owned guns before but hadn’t had one for a number of years, as he has been busy raising kid(s). Well, the kids are all grown except for one, The Boy, who is 17 and so can be classified as nearly grown. So MKL, perhaps emboldened by my trusty companion Jimmy, decided it was time to take the plunge again.
After all, the couple that target shoots together….well, it’s a togetherness activity that we share.
Since the prices at Jax seemed a bit steep, we decided to wait a couple of weeks until the Tanner Gun Show.
I’ve never been to a gun show before. In fact, I’m not a big gun fan. I didn’t grow up with them. I know they are dangerous, especially with kids around and especially especially should they fall into the wrong hands. But I’ve gotten past that, and I’ve enjoyed target shooting. It’s self-challenging and exacting. So off we went to Glock shop.
I couldn’t take pictures inside the show, which was held at the lovely Merchandise Mart in Denver. I’m not sure why, but I wasn’t really pumped to test the rules of security at a gun show. Perhaps the folks there value their privacy more than others. I have to say they were certainly the most polite bunch of folks that I’ve been crammed into a ginormous room with, ever. Pondering this later, it makes sense. Because almost everyone there was already armed, so pissing off strangers is not a good idea.
MKL did find the Glock of his dreams and the ammo to go with it, and bought me some ammo for good measure. I was intrigued by a rose-gripped 38 Special and an engraved snub-nose 354 Magnum, but I think there are cash priorities for me these days that supersede firearms purchases.
The pepper spray that not only disables your attacker, but turns him or her a glowingly bright shade of green for 21 days was a serious temptation, and is a 95% certain future purchase.
The vintage army/navy surplus clothing reminded me that somewhere, in some trunk, I own a wool navy sergeant’s middy in perfect condition that I bought at the Salvation Army in Durham right before I moved out here.
And I coveted the small taxidermied cobra, who would have been a perfect companion for Dude the Armadillo.
Then, there it was. The pistol of my dreams. A pearl-handled Colt Lightning revolver from 1877. When I held it in my hand, I knew that I had held this exact gun sometime else, long ago, before. It melted into my palm as if it were just an extension of my arm. I gazed at it in amazement. The price? $1500. What does that mean? On this day, when my job and future income was hanging by a tenuous thread? You guessed it – a forced parting. Oh, but I longed for her (and yes, she was a her).
I didn’t think I would ever have such an immediate (or any) attachment to a gun. But life surprises you sometimes. Since I have seen that she is out there, I suspect our paths will cross again someday. And since I couldn’t take a picture of her myself, here’s one that’s the very image of her.
I think her name is Rose. But I’m not quite sure yet.
We concluded our day by driving Kelsea and her BFF to a fancypants dinner at the St. Julien Hotel. You will note that they looked most elegant in their little black dresses, although watching my teenage daughter walk into a hotel in her short, tight, black dress made me utter something else that I never thought I would and that will not be published here.
Note: I’ve had a lot of posts that I’ve written in the past sort of lying in wait, so instead of keeping YOU waiting, I’m going to start posting them. You’ll be out of sequence in my life, but no worries, so am I.