When I was 10 years old, my mother was transferred from the Pasadena division to the downtown San Diego division of Pacific Bell.
Because she was a single mom one of her first tasks was finding adequate child care for my 2 sisters and I. It felt like we drove everywhere searching for child care. Back then it wasn’t like it is now ! Nowadays , child care facilities are everywhere ! My sisters and I grew up in the 60′s to 70′s . Before Women’s Lib. back when newly single moms were urged to go on welfare until a new husband is found. You may even have been urged to ” do a better job and maybe this one will stick around .” Ha !
One daycare home we visited was ran by a older woman who appeared very ancient to us. I hope that she wasn’t only 50 years old at the time. My mother thought she was fine but my sisters and I were adamant that we were NOT going to that woman’s home. Why? Wasn’t she nice ? Very ! Didn’t she have a nice place ? Sure she did ! Then why ? She had whiskers on her chin ! Long grey whiskers on her chin and some on her cheeks ! She even had a wart ! When we looked up at her, we could see the whiskers growing out of her chin with the sun reflecting off of them. We were scared ! To us , she was a incarnation of a wicked witch who desired to eat us once we were adequately fattened. My mom though frustrated had eventually relented . Looking back I thought she had done that a bit too easily. Why ?
Think about how long and frustrating her search was. Especially with 3 little girls !
” Mommy, she’s looking at me !”
” Stop looking at meeeeee ” !
” Mommy, she’s making a mad face at me ! Now, she’s sticking her tongue out ! “
” Mommy, I’m bored ! “
” Mommy, I’m hungry ! “
” Mommy, she’s touching me !”
” Stop it ! Dookie face ! “
Lots of screaming and whining .
‘ IF I HAVE TO STOP THIS CAR , I KNOW 3 LITTLE GIRLS WHO ARE GOING TO GET THE DAYLIGHTS BEAT OUT OF THEM !!! I AM GOING TO BEAT THE 3 OF YOU BLACK AND BLUE ! NOW, SHUT UP !!!! “
This is how a typical car ride with us would be like and on a day such as this one ; it had to be hundred times worse. She really did stop the car and beat us. Have you ever tried to dodge a spanking while cornered in the back seat ?
You end up missing some hair and gain a few scratches on your back.
Yet , she relented and eventually found another place.
So, why did she relent ?
Menopause is the reason my mom gave us when asked about the whiskers.
” When a woman gets old , her body changes and she becomes more man like “
” The lady has to shave her face like Grandpa ? “
” Yes, she does.”
” EWWWWW that’s icky!”
” I never want to get old !”
” Me either ! You would get old AND stinky ! “
” I will not ! Mommy ! Tell her to shut up !”
“ All of you , SHUT UP !! “
So, looking back , while explaining the mystery of menopause to us ; my mother must have become afraid of what she saw on that woman’s face. She had seen her own mortality. Mortality of her youthfulness and life. Her possible destiny.
Hmmmm Side Note ; Since my mom is one of those people who always looks pissed. I mean it. She would look pissed off and embittered at Disneyland ! That’s how bad it is. Therefore she would have looked like a grumpy little old man. My mom has had a man’s haircut since I have been 6 years old. One day, I’ll post about her viewpoint on being a woman and what men are really like.
Anyways, it’s rather amusing that a woman who never tried to appear female and resented being a female ; would be bothered by the possibility of being more ” man like “. Oh shut up ! You would have to see her to know what I mean .
Mom even said ” It’s just a horrible thing that eventually all women get old and unwanted whereas a man just gets suave and debonair with a bit of grey.”
She even told us that in some cultures a old woman like that is cast out because she is thought of as way too old to be of use.
Anyways, she never brought it back up and we went to a great daycare anyways.
But now, I think back upon that woman and I get a shiver.
Menopause has begun for me with earnest,. I have mood swings, bouts of depression, no periods and HOT Flashes .
Hot flashes at night are weird too !
My bed lies parallel to the window sill. The window is wide open to allow the cold night air to come in . I lie in bed and sweat. Thankfully, I don’t sweat profusely. My body feels hot from the inside out but on the outside I feel cold because the night air is cold on my skin. Weird ! It’s even worse when I eat too many carbs but I crave chocolate and beer. I guess it’s a good thing I don’t share my bed with anyone. Hey ! There is a silver lining to every cloud after all !
Hormone therapy with the risk of strokes ? Each of my grandparents died from complications from strokes. So, hmmmm I still have to think about that.
Meanwhile, I guess it’s good thing that I know that Costco is the best place to buy my favorite razors.