Although this article immediately slants on a male curve, it is the most female centered piece I have ever written.
I will also come out of the gates stating that I’m writing facts, not fiction. I am also not complaining, I’m just stating the truth.
With all the disclaimers mentioned: I’M GROWING A MUSTACHE!
Here’s the female curve, bear with me my beloved male readers.
I started menstruating when I was at the tender age of 11. I had no idea what was happening to me. At the time, I was a young girl in a boy’s shaped body. That morning, I was shocked at the sight of blood in my underwear? I thought I was dying. Terrified, I yelled for my mother, “MA!!! MA!!! I’M DYING! I’M DYING!” My sister came into the bathroom, saw my situation and laughed, “That makes sense, and she stinks of B.O. all the time too.”
I didn’t want to go to Grade 6 class that day. I felt everyone would know that I was bleeding. How was I going to manage this? I cried and begged my mother to let me stay home. Being the best mom in the world, she said I could stay home and she would explain what’s happening to me. She said, “By tomorrow, you will be fine and you will know what to do.”
The next day I did feel more confident. I actually liked having this secret. My friends thought I was a real grown up! I sort of had a leg up on maturity at that point.
Years and years and years of months and months and months of menstruating followed. Some non-successful pregnancies, pregnancies with successful births, miscarriages, more non-successful pregnancies, a successful pregnancy, and a final year of crazy hemorrhaging like menstruation… it suddenly stopped!
Just like it suddenly started… it stopped. I was told it was gone for good. No more menstruation. I was happy about this. No more getting caught off-guard as to when it was going to start each month, no more cramps, no more swelling, no more cravings, no more irritations, no more buying period products. I was done, a fait accompli.
Freedom 55, in real time! Wearing white pants never felt so good.
Slowly but surely the “non-menstruation” freedom became clouded with new and different things happening to my body. SWEATS! What is happening to me? Like someone turned on the heat and I have no place to go to get rid of it. Suddenly, standing in front of an opened fridge door seems to be my go to move. CHILLS after the sweats, is that really fair? Come on!
Then reptile like skin? Ewwwww, David! (Schitts Creek reference) I’ve always had dry skin. Drier than the average person. But…Since when does my skin become so dry, I look like a reptile? I’m told to put cream on it. I do! Tons of the really good stuff, but maybe it’s the cycle of sweating and chills which seems to be causing the reptile like skin to appear? I don’t know, I don’t have all the answers to these new body mysteries.
All I know is this is happening to me and, once again, I feel like the 11 year old girl not understanding these changes. However, now it’s a constant.
That’s right; I’m constantly changing in the strangest of ways. I think I’m going back to having a pre-puberty boy’s body.
This would explain all the HAIRS in all the wrong places! Once again, Ewwww, David! Just to set the record straight, I am not a hairy person. It takes me weeks to shave anything. When I was a young teenager, I would shave my legs for no reason. I think it was a rite of passage.
The other day I was looking into my 10X mirror. Something every mid-50’s person should not do! I was looking too closely at all my spots, wrinkles, lines, blemishes, and scars. All the crap I’m willing to accept with my age. Then out of the blue, I captured a dark hair creeping out of my upper lip skin. WTFFFF! That’s it; I’m drawing the line in the sand.
I can accept all the old crap on my face and body. I can accept the sweats and chills. I can accept the reptile like skin. I CAN NOT ACCEPT A MUSTACHE!
That’s the last straw! In a desperate attempt, I got my best eye brow tweezer and pulled that little bastard out! GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE AND STAY OUT!
I’m a very patient person. I can accept all the changes to my middle age body and face. That mustache hair was a declaration of war. Thank goodness for that 10X mirror or the war would have been lost.
I know this is so trivial, especially with what’s going on in the world today. I am simply composing some silly levity reading. But, I’ll be honest; this does mean a little something to me. It’s my pippy personal war with aging, changing and not real acceptance.
I’m certain; there are some readers who can relate to this little personal war with aging, changing and not real acceptance.
With my body in mind, I hear the call from Churchill’s 1940s war speech.
"We shall go on 'til the end,
we shall fight on the seas and oceans.
We shall defend our island, whatever the cost may be.
We shall never surrender."
Share with us your little aging battles so we can support your troops too.
— Suzanne Reisler Litwin