FaceOnFire: A Girl's Guide to Perimenopause

{August 7, 2013}   Go ahead. Explore my pelvis.

If  you think shopping for a bathing suit is humiliating, try this on for size.

You’re lying on a hospital examining table with a camera wand thingy stuck way up in your Lady Parts while the technician attempting to photograph the walls of your Va-Jay-Jay searches fruitlessly for a clear image.

Lots of scintillating conversation topics arise while someone is probing your Garden of Eden with a rod masquerading as a medical device. Like for instance, the weather. In Southern California, that can only go so far:

Girl With Wand [staring at ultrasound screen]: How’s the weather out there?

Me: Sunny and 72.

G.W.W.: Cool. Same as it was yesterday.

Awkward silence.

There was a time when lying prone while someone jiggled a device in your Hoo-Ha was actually a lot of fun. Especially if that someone was your boyfriend/partner/hubby/spouse/gigolo. This time, it was tedious and annoying:

[20 LONG minutes after the weather conversation]:

Me: Are you finding what you needed in there?

G.W.W. [mildly panicked]: Uh, I can’t seem to get a clear image [probes frantically].

Me:  Well, since this isn’t working, I would suggest it’s time for Plan B.

Plan B involved G.W.W. disclosing that we were using “an outdated machine.” And that there was a “newer machine” next door. Two minutes later, the bizarre tableau resumed in the adjacent room with a more modern machine, this time with a wand wrapped in plastic. Hmm…wonder why the first one had no protective covering?

[10 minutes into my coupling with said Newer Machine]:

Me: So, how long have you worked in healthcare?

G.W.W. [staring at ultrasound screen]: Six months.

Me [panicked but masking it well]: What did you do before?

G.W.W. [still staring at screen]: I was in sales.

Me: Pharmaceutical sales?

G.W.W. [looking at me sheepishly]: No, I sold tractors.

A vision of her in a John Deere trucker hat was all it took for me to want to wrestle the probe from her hands and self-administer the pelvic ultrasound.  She finished before I could do my best Mrs. Peel and somersault off the table, looking chic but tough wearing nothing but an open-backed hospital gown.

Two days later, I was in the doctor’s office with a bladder infection.

Shopping for bathing suits can be traumatic, no doubt about it. But I would argue that getting your Pleasure Palace photographed by a former tractor salesperson is right up there. So to speak.


{August 1, 2013}   A Menopause Bucket List

It was inevitable.

Last month I touched down in the Kingdom of Menopause. I arrived first class (natch!), a glass of Sauvignon Blanc in one hand, a bottle of herbal hot flash pills in the other.

So what’s a girl to do? Turns out, lots.  With love in my heart and three extra inches around my waist, I present you with my Menopause Bucket List:

1. Lose six pounds (that was a no-brainer).

2. Send out a search-and-rescue team to locate my long-lost libido.

3. Invent melt-proof foundation.

4. Find a creative use for that box of super-jumbo maxi pads in the bathroom cabinet.

4a. Teacup chihuahua daybeds?

5. Find a Kegel app. Anything I can do to avoid becoming Menopausal Pee Lady.

6. Start doing crossword puzzles to stave off Brain Fog Syndrome.

7. Shit. I forgot what number 7 was.

8. Wear a rubber band around my wrist and snap it each time I listen to smooth jazz.

8a. I haven’t yet listened to smooth jazz. That was just a preventive measure.

9. Never, ever publicly announce I’m having a hot flash. Ever.

10. Consider changing the name of this blog, as I’ve permanently vacated the Land of Perimenopause.

So there you have it, darlings. What’s on your Menopause Bucket List?

Knock on wood, my consulting business is going swimmingly well these days. But it’s of dubious reassurance to know that if it all went to pot, there’s a whole new career path I can embark upon: Bearded Lady.

Yesterday I discovered a disproportionately long hair on my chin, due north of the thick, Don Draper-caliber beard hair that has plagued the tip of my chin for a good 10 years. A beard hair that has survived numerous electrolysis treatments and vigorous tweezing, leading me to believe that no hair removal treatment known to womankind will ever destroy whatever circus sideshow aspirations I may someday be forced to adopt.

There was a time when the single, wiry black hair on my chin was fodder for a good laugh. It so happens that a former roommate (and current BFF) managed to grow one too, in the exact same spot. We envisioned a distant future in the same retirement community, where we would charm the dentures off of the single gents with our chin-hair growing contests. It was funny when there was only one hair, but now I have two. And I’m not laughing.

Maybe it’s hormones, maybe it’s the hair thinning treatment I started last month (see previous blog post). Whichever way you slice it, it all boils down to perimenopause.

Yes, girlfriends. To add insult to the injury of thinning hair on my scalp, I now have the potential to propel Justin Bieber into a prepubescent Envy Hissy Fit at the thought that my beard may be growing in thicker than his.

Where did I go wrong? What karmic faux pas did I commit to deserve such a hirsute fate? I suppose DNA might have a role. My ethnic makeup puts me at the cross-section of cultures that boast mustachioed, hairy-armed women. But just as I began celebrating the recent hormone-induced loss of the downy layer of forearm  hair that I’d been dutifully Jolen-bleaching since seventh grade, a robust crop took root on my face.

For purposes of full disclosure, I have been bleaching – with equal abandon – my Frida Kahlo mustache to the point that I go through a home bleaching kit about once every three months. Not a task I relish, and sometimes I shirk my duties. It’s those mornings when I apply the makeup and face powder and realize that I have a five o’clock shadow on my upper lip – at 7 in the morning – that I sigh, wash off the makeup and whip out the bleaching kit.

I’m beginning to worry that perimenopausal hair loss is a bit like liposuction. You may lose the belly fat through the wonders of plastic surgery, but in six months’ time you’ll have an ass the size of Texas. Me, I’m worried that as the hair on my head makes a rebound (that scalp treatment shampoo and serum seems to be working!), one day I’ll wake up looking like Chewbacca.

What’s a girl to do? I’m open to your suggestions. For now, I think I’ll torment the petal-cheeked Justin Bieber with anonymous Twitter taunts.

{October 3, 2011}   Hair Today, Bald Tomorrow

Last night I sneezed, and about 100 hairs fell off my head. This morning in the shower, another 300 met a sad, waterlogged fate – a sorry, tangled mass wrapped around the drain cover. It occurred to me as I was blow drying what remained that if I continue at this rate, I’ll be a dead ringer for Mr. Clean by the time I’m 49.

Of all the perimenopausal indignities I’ve suffered so far, from the weight gain to the mood swings to the still-traumatic super-absorbent tampon fiasco, nothing tops thinning hair and the impending Sinéad O’Connor “Pope Picture-Tearing Phase” look. The weight gain is under control, thanks to my sadistic personal trainer. Mood swings, I am discovering, can be fun! As for the tampon ordeal, a recent trip to my neighborhood CVS led to the earth-shattering discovery that they make extra-super-absorbency tampons that double as kitchen sponges. Yesssss!!!

Hair loss, on the other hand, makes me want to go green. Green with envy, that is. Lately I find myself fantasizing about getting Kim Kardashian in a headlock and taking the pruning shears to her disgustingly lustrous, obscenely luxuriant mane.

My own crowning glory began as a pixie cut, then moved to pigtails. Sixth grade saw me with a tragic Dorothy Hamill wedge that, paired with my beanpole frame and Super Fly coke-bottle glasses, rendered me androgynous for a year. As the 1970s waned, so did my first perm, which gave way to flippy Farrah Fawcett wings. In high school, I cut my own hair – an angled bob that complemented my beret and 80s thrift-store aesthetic. Junior year of college found me crying in a strip mall parking lot after an encounter with an Eastern European stylist who pretended she understood my request for Kelly-Mc-Gillis-in-Top-Gun waves left me with Michael-Jackson-at-age-six kinks.

As an adult, I’ve had highlights and lowlights. Teased bangs (Hey, it was the 90s! Don’t act like you didn’t do it, too).  Updos for parties. Pink streaks for concerts. The Rachel was my last celebrity hairstyle and lasted a good two years longer than it should have. Then came a sort of Dark Ages, where my hair simply…existed.  No color, no fancy treatments, no distinctive cuts. In fact, I could go a whole year and not have a trim.

Which brings us back to today. The Hot Hot Husband professes to love my hair au naturel, and he means it sincerely.

But what’s a girl to do when the hair on her head begins a mass exodus to the bathroom floor, the kitchen counter, and every surface inside the car? Four words: Go to the mall.

Determined to find a solution to my ever-thinning strands, I begin at a kiosk strategically located across from A Popular, Overrated National Lingerie Chain. The kiosk, staffed by a bubbly young Asian woman with an enviably thick head of hair, sells…hair. That’s right. Disembodied ponytails of every hair color dangle lifelessly from racks, a macabre chuck wagon of wig pieces and falls. The salesgirl smiles encouragingly, eager to make her first sale of the day. I smile tightly, eager to hide my Texas Chainsaw Massacre flashback. The thought of attaching someone’s lopped-off pelt to the top of my cranium leaves me with a sudden desire to collapse on the nearest bench and put my head between my knees.

Undaunted, my next stop is a beauty supply store. Here I ask a magenta-maned twentysomething for hair-thickening shampoo recommendations. She proceeds to walk down the aisle, scanning bottles for the word ‘thickening’ and pointing to her findings triumphantly. This gets old after about her third victory, and I don’t have the heart to tell her I actually learned how to read some time ago, so I thank her and wander the aisles on my own.

I emerge $72 poorer, with a shampoo, conditioner and serum that promise to “nurture healthy hair growth.” Stay tuned for an update. In the meantime, I think today is the perfect day to break in my Missoni for Target hat.

{September 16, 2011}   Missoni Madness

Yes, I’m late to the party on this one, but I needed three full days to recover from the trauma that was the Missoni for Target line’s opening day.

Call it retail therapy gone bad. Really bad.

It all started with a picture of a hat in a magazine. Not just any hat, but a gloriously retro, Studio 54-esque brown felt floppy number with a band bearing the signature Missoni chevron design. Oh, how I coveted that hat. I had visions of myself in my new, dark-wash Hot-After-40 jeans (see previous post) wearing an as-yet-undetermined top and sporting that fabulous flasback-to-the-70s hat. The magazine blurb tantalizingly announced the pending arrival of the Missoni for Target line, in stores on September 13.

So Tuesday morning, I threw caution to the smoggy L.A. wind and invented a not-too-lame excuse for skipping my standing Tuesday morning networking meeting (a girl’s gotta work, but not when Missoni’s at Target). Off to my friendly neighborhood Target store I went, dutifully arriving at 8:15, expecting to be one of the few early arrivals on a weekday morning.

A little aside – I’m the kind of gal who avoids Black Friday sales and does her Christmas shopping in August, only because there’s nothing I hate more than overflowing parking lots and masses of wild-eyed, frothing-at-the-mouth bargain hunters. Let’s just say that the parking lot at Target on Tuesday morning was the real-life embodiment of my worst nightmare. You’d think it was 9 p.m. on December 24.

Undaunted, I pulled into the first available parking stall, oh, about a mile from the store entrance. It was a veritable 5K race from the parking lot to the front door, run by women between the ages of 30 and 55 eyeing each other suspiciously and trying not too discreetly to beat everyone else inside.

The warehouse-huge store was void of human life except for the massive, writhing cluster of women surrounding a giant “Missoni for Target” sign in the women’s clothing section. From a distance, I saw chevron-patterned sweaters flying over a cacophony of excitable chatter. Like hyenas at the site of a kill, women pushed carts piled high with Missoni merchandise, circling the few racks of the Italian design house’s togs, waiting for scraps to be dropped or left behind. By the time I was able to elbow my way through the feeding frenzy, the racks were empty, like a carcass picked to the bone. The only thing left: a row of puke-green corduroy coats with a hot-pink lining. And yes, they were as unappetizing as they sound.

Overcome by a hormonal cocktail of frustration with an anger chaser, I did an about face and quick-timed it back to the car. Speeding along surface streets, I steered toward the next-closest Target, this one in a slightly less tony area than the first store.

Sure enough, there were a few more items left on the racks, but the cart-pushing Vultures in Lipstick were still a force to be reckoned with here. Besides the vomit-hued coats, the racks held one size medium miniskirt, a size large chevron-patterned clothing object (It’s a tunic! It’s a dress! No, wait – it’s just plain ugly!) and six black-and-white patterned t-shirts that would look good only if you were a mullet-haired 1980s dude with a mustache and  Sergio Valente man jeans. Really, Margherita?

What can I say. I felt defeated. Shoulders slumped, I headed to the pharma section to find contact lens solution. Pushing my cavernously empty shopping cart, I glimpsed hopefully at the handbag section on the way, hoping that a tote or wallet had been overlooked by the bargain-hunting packs of she-wolves. Nothing.

But right before I hit the greeting card section, something caused me to turn toward the right and that was when I saw it. Alone, on a near-scavenged Missoni accessories rack, was the hat. MY hat. Standing hungrily in front of the display, a Missoni Maniac in a tired velour jogging suit was blocking the display with her giant red shopping cart, picking over and examining all the Missoni wear she had presumably just grabbed off the rack by the armful and shoved into the cart. It was now or never. Abandoning my own pathetically empty cart, I reached over her with a bold, “Excuse me,” and grabbed the hat. She glared at me, adopting a fiercely protective stance over her cart, like a velour-clad mommy vulture hovering over her progeny.

Straight to the cash register I went, feeling like Charlie with his golden ticket.

The irony, dear reader, that I engaged in a bit of carrion-feeding behavior is not lost on me. Bargain shopping can bring out the worst in us, which is why I avoid it altogether. Was it worth it? I do love my hat, but next time the only place I’ll park is in front of the computer for the online site opening.

{September 8, 2011}   Say No to Granny Jeans

Dammit, it’s happened twice. I’m mad as hell, and I’m not gonna take it anymore.

I’m talking about going to a department store, asking a wisp of a 20-something salesgirl for help finding (insert clothing item here), and being shown the most godawful, matronly, downright HIDEOUS (insert clothing item here) in the entire store.

What gives? Do I really look like I could have such abominable taste in clothing? Or worse, do I really look that…old?

The first time it happened was early in the summer, and I was searching for a one-piece bathing suit. I know, I know. I haven’t actively looked for a one-piece since age 29 when I joined a new gym and wanted something practical to be able to wear while swimming laps in the pool. Okay, so I never actually swam laps, but the swimsuit was darned cute and it had built-in underwire bra cups that made my girls look swimmingly perky.

But I digress. Early this summer I was feeling dumpy and doughy, pasty and pudgy. This after two and a half years of less-than-frequent special guest appearances at said gym. The Hot Hot Husband and I were headed for a little weekend R&R in Palm Springs, and I was ashamed to appear poolside in a bikini, so I dragged my low self-esteem to A Big-Name Department Store that Started in the Pacific Northwest and hoped for the best.

Instead, I got a well-intentioned salesgirl who ushered me into a cavernous fitting room with Saw III-caliber lighting, and who reappeared a couple of minutes later hauling 10 one-piece swimsuits so AARP that I’m sure even Margaret Thatcher would have been offended.

But putting on my Pollyanna hat, every cloud has a silver lining, and this cloud sent me storming to the gym to sign up for personal training.

Three months later, at the same Unnamed Department Store, I’m searching for a Cute Top à la Audrey Hepburn in Two For the Road. A ballet-neck, three-quarter sleeve navy blue t-shirt that’s form-fitting, timeless and totally Euro. This time, a thirty-something sales clerk intercepts me on the sales floor and asks if I need help.

Same routine, different cavernous fitting room, same scary slasher-movie lighting. I wait with anticipation, my back to the circus funhouse of a mirror. In walks Helpful Sales Clerk Girl, with an armful of the most geriatric selection of tops this side of the senior center canasta club. I give her some points for getting the color right (I mean, how can you fuck up navy blue?). But the fabrics, Hazel, the fabrics! Polyester, jersey (and not the Diane Von Furstenberg kind), and for Pete’s sake, fleece! And the styles? Four words: Golden Girls, circa 1981.

With all due respect to Betty, Rue, Maud and Estelle, I look NOTHING like a Golden Girl. I mean, c’mon. I’m only 45! So fast forward to this past Labor Day weekend at the flagship store of the aforementioned Temple of Retail Therapy. Thanks to my sadistic personal trainer, I am now the proud bearer of a smaller waistline, a tighter ass, and a still-shrinking PeriMenoPooch. I’m in the store looking for a pair of dark-wash jeans, preferably tight-fitting, to replace the tired, fading Seven for All Mankind jeans that I’ve been sporting for the last 10 years.

Straight from the airport and wearing my time-worn Seven jeans, I’m on a quest. This time, I get a tag team of two sales clerks, one a trainee. As chipper and darn-glad-to-be-of-service as ever (this is, after all, the flagship store), they ask if they can help me find something. I tell them dark wash jeans. They sized me up and said, “We have some higher-waist jeans over here…”

Before she/they could finish her/their sentence, I mustered a stern look, held a finger up and said, “Do NOT show me granny jeans.” This triggered a relaxation response in the two girls. They shed the finishing school posture, let out a simultaneous breath and erupted into conspiratorial giggles. Back to the Cavernous-Fitting-Room-with-the-Hostel V-Mood-Lighting I went.

Trying not to get my hopes up, I waited patiently for the girls to bring me a plethora of jeans to try. They showed up with six different pairs, and the fitting frenzy began.

Like my wedding dress, the first pair I tried on was a winner. Nervously standing in front of the communal mirror, the Hot Hot Husband had given his approval but quickly got the Don’t-Make-Me-Bitch-Slap-You look in his eyes when I asked him if the pants made my thighs look like sausages. Before he could react, Team Salesgirl walked in and I asked if I should go a size up. Immediately, they let out a simultaneous “Nooooo!” and looked at me the same way you’d look at a three-year-old about to light a plush toy on fire.

So the moral of the story is simply this: Age does not dictate what we should and should not wear, as long as it fits well and we feel damned hot in it. Not Personal Summer hot. I’m talkin’ Smoking Hot hot.

I’d love to hear about your retail experiences and what you do to dress with confidence. You never know – your story could help a sister out there who’s waging her own war against the Geriatric Fashion Pushers!

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.

Ah, Buenos Aires…

The Paris of South America. The land where tango was born.  A city of smolderingly sexy soccer players.

I had the pleasure of visiting last fall on the tail end of a business trip, and what a whirlwind of activity in one short weekend. I shopped, I saw, I conked out. I even tried my hand at tango, thanks to my cousin’s infinite patience and ability to refrain from falling down laughing at my pathetic attempts to look sinewy, svelte and seductive.

How does this all tie in to perimenopause, you ask? Aside from being the source of the oh-so-cool wallpaper on my Twitter site (@PeriWonderful), Buenos Aires is where, for the first time, I drank maté, an herbal tea which is the national drink of choice.

Which brings me to the first of what will surely be many Perimenopause Recipes du Jour. Today’s is quick and easy, and you don’t have to be a foodie to whip this one up. The best news is I’ve been drinking one cup a day for the past five days and by golly, my night sweats have diminished considerably. So without further ado, I present to you my Maté Soy Latte. You Spanish speakers can have some fun with the title.

Maté Soy Latte (serves 1)

One bag of Explorer’s Bounty Argentinean Maté tea*

Boiling hot water

1/4 cup of soy milk

Honey to taste

Steep tea bag for three to five minutes in a large mug 3/4 full with just-boiled water. If desired, add honey to taste and stir. Add soy milk, stir. Enjoy, or as they say in Buenos Aires, buen provecho!

*Once again, I do not receive royalties, cash, gift certificates or hot Argentinean soccer players from Explorer’s Bounty for the privilege of mentioning them on this blog.  I only name them because it was the only brand of maté available at my local grocery store. You can find loose leaf maté in specialty tea stores or online.

With apologies to the Kings of Leon regarding this entry’s title, despite soy lattes and questionably high doses of vitamin E, I continue to experience hot, hot heat in the middle of the night, and I lament to inform you that said heat is in no way related to my hot, hot husband.

So as the clock struck midnight, I found myself alone on the divan (it’s really more of an oversized armchair, but I love the word ‘divan’) with my laptop, compiling what will be the first of many Menopause Playlists. I tried to include tunes to accommodate all musical tastes, but as you’ll soon discover, I am an unapologetic disciple of 80s alt/progressive music, with a healthy dose of punk sprinkled in, laced with a smattering of current alternative bands (Kings of Leon, rejoice! You have one perimenopausal fan in a sea of GenYers). So fear not, gentle fifty-something readers, I will do my best to select songs that will bring a smile to your lips, or an angry scowl if the theme is “Mood Music for Mood Swings.”

For now, I present to you my first Menopause Playlist, with the theme “Hot Tunes for Hot Flashes.”  The songs are in no particular order, and all are available on iTunes, should you be so inclined. By the way, iTunes and the artists listed below do not send me freebies, cash, jewel-encrusted tiaras or any other form of compensation or payment for mentioning them in my blog. Damn them!


Sex on Fire (Kings of Leon)

Burning Up (Madonna)

You Dropped a Bomb on Me (Gap Band)

Fire (Pointer Sisters)

Hot, Hot, Hot (Buster Poindexter)

Heatwave (Martha and the Vandellas)

Lava (B-52s)

The Heat is On (Glenn Frey)

Atomic (Blondie)

Burn for You (INXS)

Burning Down the House (Talking Heads)

Caliente (Eartha KItt)

Volcano (Jimmy Buffett)

Beds Are Burning (Midnight Oil)

Red Hot Mama (Parliament)

Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash)

Great Balls of Fire (Jerry Lee Lewis)

Burning Love (Elvis Presley)

Fever (Peggy Lee)

Hot Stuff (Donna Summer)

Fire (Jimi Hendrix)

I have a completely new appreciation for the old chestnut that Life is Not Fair. It goes like this–I spend 20 years of my adult life taking reasonably good care of my figure, trying to eat healthy, taking my vitamins, wearing my seatbelt and using deep conditioner once a week. Last week at age 44, I woke up one morning to discover that sometime in the middle of the night, someone had implanted a toss pillow in my abdomen.

That was the straw that broke the camel’s aching back.

After five months of two-week long periods, twice-a-month periods and periods that gush like Iguazu Falls, I’m forced to face the ugly truth. I’ve become a card-carrying member of The Perimenopause Club.  I have spent  every night of the past month channeling one of Nero’s human torches. Waking up drenched in sweat and feeling hotter than August in Dubai,  I roll over to find a ‘cool spot,’ then roll back after five minutes because the invisible flames are engulfing my hapless body once again. I rest, roll and repeat. Rest. Roll. Repeat. Rest. Roll. Repeat.

This blog will be my outlet, my coping mechanism, my alternative to devouring a pallet of Pirate’s Booty when the going gets especially tough.

It will also serve as my objective and sometimes expletive-laden log (children, you’ve been warned!) as I field test every natural remedy known to womankind for curing mood swings, night sweats, hot flashes, erratic periods, memory lapses, how-low-can-you-go libido and symptoms I’ve yet had the pleasure of experiencing.

Enjoy the journey, girls. And remember,

“Fasten your bath towels. It’s going to be a sweaty night.” (What Bette Davis really meant to say in ‘All About Eve.’)

et cetera