Friday, September 26, 2008
I'm So Hot (And Not In a Good Way) by Barb McKone
I can't wait until Paris Hilton is forty-nine.
I can't wait to witness the "Entertainment Tonight" moment in which she stifles her "that's hot" catch phrase because she realizes the trickle of perspiration traveling from her forehead to her chin can actually be seen on national television. She'll coyly turn her head, smile, pout, cover it up. But we'll know. Those who have gone through it will know.
She will, of course, have a different catch phrase by then. Probably something deep like, "That's deep." Who knows?
All I know is, I'm hot. And not in a good way.
I'm the girl who has always slept in sweatpants and socks. My husband has accused me of wearing this armor to ward off advances on super-sleepy nights. Not true. Well, not entirely true. The truth is, I'm freezing. Or at least I was. I fleece up because I've always been the cold one, my whole life. I'm the one with the ice-cold toes on summer nights. I'm the one who buys a sweatshirt on vacation when everyone else is buying flip-flops, and needs an extra blanket on family movie night. Being that person, I cannot express the surprise of realizing, while sitting comfortably at an evening college football game in a tank top, capri pants and sandals, that the rest of the cheering throng was in sweatshirts and jeans. Some were blanket huddling! WHAT IS HAPPENING? If my life were a movie, the trailer voice-over would say something like, "She was a wife, a mother, a friend. Until she started melting, from the inside out..."
From what I gather, women start this hormonal hell anywhere from thirty to sixty. I say, "I gather," because no one seems to talk about it until I bring it up. When I fan myself and say, in a group of middle aged women, "I'm so hot, and not in a good way," it's as if the dam has burst. Stories of hot flashes in workplaces and on college visiting days abound, and it always makes us all feel better. I have a friend who experienced her first hot flash while on a plane to Florida. She made the pilot, who had started taxiing the runway, turn back and let her off. She thought she was dying. Although mine started sneaking up on me rather than hitting me over the head like hers, I can relate. It's quite a shock to the system.
I have friends completely finished with "The Change" by the time they're forty-five, and others who haven't started the dread sweat-fest by the time they're sixty. It doesn't seem to matter, except that my sister says that her doctor told her that having your cycle intact for as long as possible keeps you looking younger. This doctor has patients who medicate to sustain the whole thing. Too late for me. At the rate I'm going, I'll be looking sun-dried by the time I hit the big 5-0.
So, where does all this leave me, besides in my own personal puddle? I guess I'll get one of those hormone scans. See my doctor. All that good stuff. In the meantime, I'll just be really shiny and hope for an early fall. This year, I look forward to the nip in the air more than the change of colors. Come find me at the football games; give me your advice on this subject.
I'm sure you'll be able to pick me out. I'm the one in the tank top.