FaceOnFire: A Girl's Guide to Perimenopause

I don’t know how your junior high “Birds and the Bees 101” experience went, but as a 13 year-old snickering through sex ed at St. Callistus School, somehow the nuns neglected to give me the down-lo on the annual ob/gyn exam.  After decades (literally) of putting the feet in the stirrups, I still can’t get used to the idea of an ice-cold tool being jammed into my lady parts.

Graphic details aside, today’s ob/gyn field trip caught me off guard, as my doctor (an amazingly bright and enviably fit woman) got the Pensive Furrowed Brow as I described my perimenopausal symptoms. The clincher—two periods occurring within less than 21 days of each other.

To cut to the chase, I will have to undergo a yucky exam with a frightful name that slipped my mind the second I found out I’d have to be put under for the adventure.  What scares the crap out of me is not that a camera will be launched into my uterus, or that tissue will be scraped from the walls, or even that the test is to determine if my frequent periods are the result of some kind of cancer. Nope, what frightens me more than Madonna’s beef-jerky arms is the fact that I’ll have to undergo general anesthesia (more on that in a later post).

So I did what any level-headed, centered 44 year-old woman would do. I went and got my first professional spray tan. I headed on down to my friendly neighborhood Massage Spot, and 15 minutes and $48 later, I emerged a bronzed Beach Babe with a little brown menopot.

For those of you who plan on indulging your inner St. Tropez Tan Girl, two stories from the trenches: 1. The spray comes on like an Arctic cold front, so be prepared to grit your teeth and bear it. 2. The tanning specialist recommended I not wear my bra until after I shower tomorrow morning, so if you’re at all self-conscious about letting the girls go free ‘n’ natural, don’t plan on running errands after your session.

Tonight I’m packing for a long-overdue weekend in Palm Springs with the Hot, Hot Husband. The forecast: I’ll be so busy reveling in my glowing goddess glory that the aforementioned Yucky Exam will be but a minuscule spot on an otherwise sun-bathed horizon.


et cetera