Can We Talk Flashes?…

Can we talk flashes? Of the hot variety? Seriously, before I run from the room to lift my blouse in front of the open freezer?

At the yearly gynecological splay, the doctor announces me officially through the change! It’s like I’ve been knighted. Woohoo. Silly girls. We think this means we can now skip through flower fields and do cartwheels on balance beams with nary a thought of period stains on the backs of our dresses, right? Or, perhaps, peri-menopausal tummies retreat and asses return to normal size giving hips a break from the strain.

Something seems amiss when men our age need only stock up on little blue pills, play golf and hunt for twenty-five year-olds. Women, on the other hand, bodies ravaged from childbirth, clothes and lovely under things ruined by a monthly visitor with no manners, get to experience the final prize–the change! Just when we think it’s over, that we will no longer contemplate killing others because they exist, we find the great secret.

“What about the hot flashes?” I ask Gyne. “If I’m done, why do I still have flashes?” Calm as an island waiter bringing a cocktail, she says, “Oh, hon. Hot flashes? Those could last another five years or so. They’re really nothing to worry about. If they’re bothersome I can prescribe something.”

I like a good drug as much as the next girl but vow to go through this phase of life drug free, save the Grey Goose. I’m not gonna turn back now.

“Do they interfere with your life?” she poses.

Hmmm. It depends. This morning, mid-conversation with Middle Chicken, I whip off my shirt replacing it with a loose tank. She, still talking, pretends not to notice I tossed off my shirt in the middle of the living room. In a meeting last week, I feel the creep of the mini volcano living inside my body. Rumbling deep inside, it seeps slowly, billowing like smoke–everything becoming a bit moist. The face warms and even hair follicles moisten. Isn’t that just the worst word–moist? Ick.

Beads of sweat forming on the upper lip is a personal favorite. Arizona temps hovering in the one hundred teens cause cheeks to flush. Between boob sweat reaches monsoon level no haboob can stop and a deep pondering of where to buy dress shields presents itself. The flush is that of a small child fresh from the jungle gym, without the cuteness. Away from work, the response is always the same, “God dammit, not again.”

You know it’s bad when Chickens sense flash arrival. Is it squirming in my seat, patting my face or running from the room removing clothing? Could it be frantic bra extraction via sleeve hole while driving? Is it the sudden expulsion of pants? Or the ability to use any object in range as a fan, akin to small boys crafting guns from bread?

“You okay Mom?” says Oldest Chicken. “It’s a flash,” I say. “Do you want a drink?” he offers. He’s thinking a cool glass of water may help.

“Yeah–a little Grey Goose with three lemon wedges,” say I. He says nothing. I notice a small shake of the head as he walks away. He mixes a drink for his mother at noon on a Sunday without question. Who knows where the crazy lady might hide a knife?

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