Subourbon Mom


Crossing the Shaky Bridge to Middle Age

Women of a certain age joke about menopause all the time.

“If I had a dollar for every time I get distracted, I wish I had some ice cream.”

“I don’t have hot flashes, I have short, tropical vacations.”

“Menopause – it’s a thin line between love and homicide.”

This happens…that stops happening … and thank God THAT doesn’t happen anymore (you can Google the symptoms – it’s not secret knowledge, despite what our mothers’ generation thought).  I always thought that knowing those things made me have a pretty good handle on it, mentally.  My kids are grown and I’m definitely ready to kiss the whole period/PMS thing goodbye.

So, when mine stopped happening, I diligently started counting down the months until the magical 12-month mark with no period – then it would become official.  I’d be in a new stage of life that didn’t involve trips to the store because I ran out of tampons and packing extra underwear to take to work and on vacations (just in case).  I was looking forward to emotional stability, sleeping through the night and becoming the wise old matriarch I am destined to be.  I was even getting used to this new, fatty swim ring permanently hanging over the top of my pants, no matter how many sit-ups I did.

And then, at 11 months and 3 weeks – I got it again.

Are you freaking kidding me?

I was at the finish line, looking official Middle Age in the face and she laughed, said “Bitch, please,” and drew another 365-day line in the sand.

A couple of nights later (and one emergency trip to CVS for supplies), I dreamed I was pregnant (I’m not).  And in that dream, I was very upset.  I cried and wept, feeling angry and betrayed and trapped. I remember wailing “I don’t want to be 70 when my kid graduates college!”

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It took me a few days to process what was  happening with that dream. I finally realized that even though my body decided to have a last laugh or last gasp, whichever way you want to look at it, in my mind I had already moved on.  I’ve raised my two wonderful daughters and experienced  the joys and agony of watching them go through the ages and stages. I am ready to start a new phase of life.

That’s something the OBGYN, memes, Facebook and even your friends probably don’t talk about – the mental and emotional adjustment of menopause. I’m sure most women feel it is liberating, devastating, or some combination of the two, but we just don’t talk about that part of it.

Memes are way funnier, let’s be honest.

But eventually you either embrace or resent this new phase of life, this new you. You come to terms with it, or if you don’t, society will most likely not be very kind to you. There will be a lot of pursed lips and head shaking when you show up in your Daisy Dukes, 4-inch wedges and bikini top at age 60, no matter how in shape you think you are.

On the surface I was annoyed, but deep down getting my period again shook the fragile estrogen bridge (made of HRT pills and a secret stash of Midol) I was clinging to, as I tried to cross the chasm between youth and middle-age.

Bridge1When I look behind, I see a thinner version of me chasing my children, arranging play dates, juggling work and parenting and a busy social life, and generally burning the candle at both ends without a thought. I see Hubby working hard and picking up the slack, leaping into the chaos when he got the opportunity, and juggling the same crazy things.  It’s a busy, almost frantic life back there, and I get tired just watching them. When I look forward, I can see the other side, at least what we’re told is there: great, worry-free sex, wisdom, acceptance of certain physical flaws and changes that actually celebrate the life of a woman.  I see Hubby and I standing together watching our girls make their own way in the world, their own families, their own memories.  I see us figuring out this new existence together and connecting in a new way.  I see us being the team we were in the beginning.

And I realize that I’m looking forward to getting over this bridge, despite the bottles of Aleve, the moments of missing what used to be, and the memory losses that are already starting to peek around the corner at me.

So, another 365-day countdown begins. Now, if only I could remember where I put my calendar….

 

 



Hit On By A Woman

I’d rather be hit on by a woman than by a man.

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Let’s face it – a lot of women, when it comes to the fashion choices of their peers, are judgy sometimes downright bitchy.

Yep, I went there.

Maybe men are too – I just don’t know enough about that species, even after living with one for decades, to make that call. (I have my suspicions, but I figure this post will irritate enough people in one go.)

You can go ahead and get uncomfortable and deny that you and your friends are like that, and that it’s a sexist thing to say.  But I’ll bet you’re denying it while wearing some kind of socially acceptable clothing that isn’t made strictly for comfort. If you’re naked or wearing a onsie, I apologize for lumping you into this ridiculous generalization and salute you.

Now, if you’re out hunting in your local bar and your Cha Cha is hanging out there for all to see, then by all means, get those kudos from the guys – you probably don’t give a crap what other women are thinking anyway. Fist bump for setting a goal and going after it.

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But let’s be honest – most of you have been out with your friends at one time or another and some girl walked by looking slutty, overdressed, underdressed, dressed too young/too old or just too different.  Take your pick. And, someone in your group shook her head, pursed her lips, and said something mean about that girl behind her hand. If you’re in the South, she might even say something backhanded, like, “It must be nice to have enough confidence to go without a bra after nursing four kids.” So yeah, mean and bitchy. (I have no doubt there are men who do this too, and women who don’t – but if I talked about them, this wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.)

Don’t get me wrong, I like having men hit on me, too. It’s good to know that if all the rules in the world, my ethics and my love for Hubby were different, I could get a piece of that – it’s a powerful feeling. And having Hubby hit on me after 25 years of marriage is super-gratifying – I mean the man has seen me throwing up and giving birth to two kids.  There’s not a lot of glamour left.  Having a woman hit on me simply carries a different kind of weight – the same way someone telling you your dog is cute at the dog park might not be as satisfying as having an American Kennel Club judge tell you your dog could win the next championship. There’s a level of knowledge that makes the compliment mean more.

Sooo… another woman is going to get what went in to making all this awesomeness happen:

  • the hair products to make your locks smooth/curly/shiny/smelling good and every color of the hair rainbow
  • the blow-drying/straightening/curling so it looks like you didn’t blow dry/straighten/curl it
  • the makeup that’s just the right amount so it hides your flaws but doesn’t make you look like a ’ho
  • the clothes that say you’re not on the pole, but that still show off all the good parts (which by the way, aren’t necessarily the same for men and women)
  • the lengths you go through to not show panty lines – which leads to:
    • no underwear at all, a la Britney Spears back in the day (Millennials, think Kim Kardashian);
    • an uncomfortable thong that shows off all the cellulite; or
    • Spanx, which pushes all the fat into one place and looks like your grandma’s undies

images-3My guess is most men don’t really want to know how we Goddesses of Love and Lycra got this way. I love bologna, but I don’t want to know what it’s made of or how it got into those perfect, round slices of deliciousness. That’s what dating is for – to get beyond the packaging and, if you’re in your 40’s and lucky, the ingredients will be better than what’s in bologna.

Sadly, women don’t often openly and positively comment on other women, especially ones they don’t know.  Shame on us.  And, more often than not, it seems to me that women dress for other women, not for men – and it’s because we’re scared.

So the next time you’re out, no matter who you’re with or whether you know the person or not, send a genuine compliment out there – we are most critical of ourselves, and you never know what kind of day or week someone has had. Putting on a clean shirt or a bra may have been the best they could do that day.  Saying “Hey, I like your shirt” or “Your hair looks good today,” or even better, “I think you’re funny/kind/smart,” may make someone’s day in a way you never expected.

 

 

 

 



There Should Be National Trainer Day
October 10, 2017, 5:27 pm
Filed under: Exercise, Misc. Humor, Sports | Tags: , , , , , , ,

There are several health care jobs I know I could never do, mostly because they’re just gross or dealing with negativity – dentists (scared patients), ear-nose-throat docs (green noses make me dry-heave), and gynecologists (just…eeewww), to name a few.  But one of the most underrated jobs has got to be exercise/gym trainer.

Before you roll your eyes and say, oh please, they make their own hours and get to play in a gym for their job, let me point out a few things:

fat trainerGym trainers have to look good every day to sell their product. Slapping on some makeup or pricey cologne and throwing on a cute dress or fancy suit after a blurry night out aren’t going to do it.  Trainers have to be perky (almost annoyingly so) and looking fresh every time, like they just stepped out of a fitness magazine or off the beach after a refreshing jog along the waterline – they’re selling a body and motivation. No one wants a fat trainer lazily leaning against a stack of weights telling them how to not be fat and lazy.

sports bra 2Trainers have to exude motivation, even when they’ve been up half the night with a vomiting kid, or are regretting eating that entire Chipotle bowl.   An object at rest tends to stay at rest, and lots of clients feel like they have already produced a herculean effort just to get to the gym in the first place. For some, that includes just trying to get their sports bra on.  They’re not happy about getting out of bed at the crack of dawn or leaving the office after a crappy day of work and heading to a place that makes them alternately miserable and euphoric.  But trainers have to somehow make these people exercise until they sweat, hearts pounding and bodies straining with every lift, curl or push – and they must do it in a way that doesn’t make their clients hate them.  At Orange Theory,  the gym I go to, Hannah and John have mastered this – God bless ’em!

Trainers who teach the early morning classes are a special breed.  Not only do they have to look good and be cheerful around a bunch of sleepy, grumpy people who have desperately fueled up on coffee in a pitiful attempt to make it through the class, trainers endure hours of garlic sweat (don’t be that guy), morning breath and general B.O. (because why bother if you’re just going to shower before going to work?).

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So be kind to your trainer. Say thank you after class, even though yes, you are paying for it. Appreciate that they got out of bed even earlier than you so you could get to your 5am class, and they never said a word to you the day you came in smelling like PF Changs.



Cleaning Up the End Zone

Apparently Gwyneth Paltrow, life guru to…no one, really…is touting the energizing and cleansing effects of something called the “Vaginal Steam.”

Yeah, you read that right.

It seems there is a new spa option that allows women to sit on a throne-like chair, and let steam infused with an herb called mugwort…cleanse the End Zone.Unknown-2

I’m not a medical expert, and the research I did (which consisted of talking to some friends) raised a few questions in my mind.

First of all, according to WebMD, one of the many uses of mugwort is as an energy tonic, which I suppose is why Gwyneth thought it might be “energizing.” Among many other things, Mugwort is also used for “worm infestations” and to “stimulate gastric juices and bile.” For worm infestations and gastric juice production, I refer you to a professional—especially if they’re in your End Zone.

WebMd also says Mugwort “might stimulate the uterus.” Um…to do what? Unless I’m pregnant and days past my kid’s due date, I don’t want my uterus doing much of anything, thank you very much. When you’re in your 40’s the less End Zone upheaval the better.

As far as I know, most people steam their bodies for three reasons: to relieve a sinus infection, to ease sore muscles, or to try and reduce the signs of age, sun and smoke damage.

If your End Zone is having unusual drainage, steaming it at a spa is not going to help. Chances are, you’ve had a few too many touchdowns in your End Zone and you need to see a professional, who hopefully has a quick antibiotic-related fix.

If your End Zone has muscles so sore that they need some time in a sauna, you need to re-think the level of play you’re allowing on the field. And by the way, the End Zone is already kind of its own personal sauna, don’t you think?

If your End Zone has sun or smoke damage…I don’t even know what to tell you. Maybe steam cleaning will be your thing after all.

I have no idea what the signs of End Zone aging might be, other than the grass changing colors, images-1but I’m pretty sure that unless you’re okay with altering your End Zone using Botox, lifts and chemical peels, you might not want to steam down there either. If you really are concerned with the visual appeal, you can always repaint the lines, and get a new team logo.   Unknown-1

So thanks, Gwyneth, for making me aware of something I now can’t ever forget exists.



Drive-Thru Mammograms: Moo-Thrus

I was reminded the other day that I am way late on getting my mammogram done—y’all, getting older sucks.  Seriously, there’s got to be a more comfortable way to look at our mammory masterpieces.  Thanks to Obamacare (which I think has done great things for people with pre-existing illness, by the way), I’ve been counting my pennies and choosing carefully which medical events are most important. In my field research, I’ve found more inexpensive ways to get a mammogram done.

The best way is to drive to your local library and use the mechanized drop box that looks like an ATM. Our county’s libraries recently got new ones—here’s how they work. When you drive up, the shelf is exactly at the wrong height, no matter what kind of car you’re in.

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If you’re in an SUV, you have to hang your body half way out the window because you have to be so far away to accommodate the return book conveyor belt. Then you smush your chest on your window as you reach for the buttons to operate the damned thing. If you’re in a sedan or God forbid, a hybrid, you have to climb like a monkey up to the right height, squishing your chest on the drop box ledge to get your books up there.

Side note: Someone please tell me—why is it an option to get a receipt at the library? Are there people who don’t want a receipt in case there is secret information that someone might use against them to rack up a bunch of late charges?  Just print the thing off without making me hang my torso out of the car like a crash-test dummy to press another button.


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Another good place to do this is at your local ATM.  Same principal applies, but the reverse is true for cars—ATMs seem to be made for SUVs.  I was driving Hubby’s sedan (excuse me, he would emphasize it’s a SPORT sedan, even though it has 4 doors), and realized the car mirrors are at exactly the wrong height–they would smack into the front edge of the ATM if I got any closer. I had to back up and pull in again (much to my mortification) so I wouldn’t hit the machine. Then, I had to stretch up to reach the buttons and grab my stuff, once again smushing my chest exactly like they do in a mammogram.

If mammogram folks were smart, they would partner with library drop offs and ATMs to do a combo-service, taking a picture as you went about your business.  A week after you visited the ATM or library drop-off, you would get a notice in the mail informing you if your mammogram was normal or not–receipt optional.

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