The estrogen has left. It’s packed it’s single suitcase and moved to Las Vegas to serve whiskey sours to hen parties.
If you are old enough to be paying your own taxes, you didn’t get this information from your father as a teenager with a manly pat on the back. Your grade 9 health teacher didn’t separate you into boys and girls and get out the banana to distill this information, so sit the hell down.
And you, ladies. The one who calls every older, opinionated woman “Karen”. Yes, you. The one smashing the glass ceiling at twenty-nine. The one who just found out you are pregnant with your third. Grab your bubble tea and sit down. Consider this the sexual education that no one even thought to include in the damned health curriculum. I’ll give it to you right here, for free.
You didn’t realize how uncomfortable my ovaries made you until I told you they don’t work anymore.
You’ve never even learned about a whole woman.
Menopause. Say it out loud. Bleeding is gross, but STOPPING bleeding? Now that is grotesque. That is for your grandmother. Say it again. Menopause. Louder. Sir, do not look at your wife. She didn’t tell you about it because a medical symptom of menopause is not giving a damn about how you feel about the reason for her numerous, irrational outbursts over the scorched noodles at Dumpling King.
Your wife? Your sister? Your cool friend who likes to dance on Thursday nights and keeps turning down dates with b-list celebrities? It’s going to happen to them. They will go through up to fifteen years of heinous discomfort and uncertainty. They will have anxiety about a wide variety of symptoms that may or may not occur to the next woman. It’s like Russian Roulette except not nearly as much fun, and not featured in action movies starring Robert De Niro.
All this because of the damned egg production.
It’s simple economics. You run a factory. The equipment fails. It’s outdated. There are better companies doing the same work for a better price. You’ve stopped earning a profit. You shut it down. Your body says, screw that, thanks for the memories, hope you got a few of them fertilized. Do you have multiple tiny shoes scattered in your front hallway? Wonderful. You don’t? Hope you didn’t want any because this liquidation sale is ending. 90% off and everything’s got to go.
You lay off most of the estrogen. There’s a fucking strike in your body. It starts as a work-to-rule. They’ll do only some of the jobs, bare minimum. Wanna feel rational? We’ll give you a week per month. Then it moves to full-blown strike; picket lines and protests; call the press. Your body will make the proverbial signs out of cardboard and parade embarrassingly up and down the bloody freeway:
No More Muscle Tone!
Cry for No Reason!
Sex Like Sandpaper!
Worry about the Worry and Google Insomnia!
I’m Hot and Not in a Good Way!
And then it’s gone. The estrogen has left. It’s packed it’s single suitcase and moved to Las Vegas to serve whiskey sours to hen parties. Hormones are veritable bitches; they will snub you at your own birthday dinner and share a cab home with your husband, hand on his thigh, while you watch, clutching your pearls.
But here’s the thing, boys (and smug girls in the back. I see you; you and your follicular ovaries can post on instagram later), Menopause doesn’t even wait till you are old. This is prime of your life stuff. This is sexy, strong woman stuff. This is why acronyms like MILF were invented.
Fertility shouldn’t categorize us anymore. The patriarchy has been smashed; women are handy in so many ways other than birthing babies and presenting the over-cooked roast beef on Sunday afternoons and hand-stitching dragon costumes.
The fertile woman is now celebrated on magazine covers. How beautiful! How spectacular! Look at all the estrogen. Behold her reasonable levels of follicle-stimulating hormone. Keep going, lads, we’ve almost celebrated a whole woman.
I have a dream, fellows, gather around. We’ve embraced the periods, the PMS, the breast-feeding. Now is the time for menopause. Now is the time for women who are in the transition and haven’t yet killed anybody. Here is to the women who have made it to the peace on the other side. These are the women who should be running our countries and amalgamating our companies. Menopausal women have made it through the war, fellows. They are veterans.
Sit down. See us. All our eggs are hatched. We have an empty basket. We don’t even carry a basket. We carry Birkin bags full of wisdom and calm and reason.
We, without any estrogen, are magnificent.
Stephanie Wyeld made her writing debut in grade eight when the teacher read her story about the Titanic aloud to the class with the lights off for effect. She has a B.Sc.(Kin), an M.Eng, and a penchant for volunteering. She has recently given up the prestige of counting money for the PTA and is now on the executive the of the Canadian Author’s Association - Toronto branch, and the Writer-in-Residence at Heliconian Club. Her first novel is currently out on submission. While she waits she bites her nails and writes her next book. Her words can be found in Sammiches & Psych Meds and Huff Post Funniest Parents. She is on Twitter, @steph_the_twit and on Facebook.
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