My grandmother’s generation did not speak of it. My mother’s generation at least began the conversation. My generation has no filter. We are hot mamas.
That’s right – we’re is-it-hot-in-here-or-is-it-just-me, somebody-get-me-a-fan, let-me-stick-my-head-in-the freezer-for-just-a-second, hot mamas.
This may be TMI but I, myself, am a hot mama. At work, my officemate wears turtlenecks and fleece sweaters, while the gal down the hall prefers a blouse and blazer, then wraps herself in a pashmina. Most days, I go sleeveless as I flush and shvitz my way through one menopause-induced hot flash after another. Then at night, I pad around my apartment barefoot, wearing an oversized man’s tee-shirt, my hair up in a high ponytail, as a ceiling fan is whirling overhead so fast you can hardly see the paddles.
But don’t get me started on the nightly routine. After a shower, when it’s time to dry my thick, curly, frizzy hair, I need an 1875 watt blow dryer before step two, the flat iron, set at 400 degrees. By the time my hair is dried and set, the rest of me is wringing wet. So it’s back in the shower wearing a silly floral shower cap to protect my freshly straightened hair.
I remember once, years ago, asking my mother how she felt when a hot flash hit and she said very calmly, “You feel as if your head’s about to come popping off.” Do you suppose that the genteel southern belles who had “a case of the vapours” were really just trying to describe their hot flashes?
What’s the up-side to all of this? For one thing, there’s fashion. As long as women have hot flashes, I predict, twin sets will never go out of style. You know, take the cardi off, put the cardi back on, take the cardi off… There’s no need to slather on an expensive facial cream to have a youthful dewy glow. The flop-sweats will keep your face and neck hydrated while the flushing adds some color to your cheeks. And finally, with all that sweating, there’s no way you can be retaining water, so you’ll surely be down a pound or two when you step on the scale.