Suppleness is…


…a major concern for women of every age. Many of us who’ve passed the hormone marker, as in we have none any more, are constantly searching for the perfect combination of serum’s that will lift, soften, and moisturize our skin.

We’re constantly in pursuit of these miracle fluids or creams that can reduce those wretched wrinkles we lovingly refer to as smile lines that form around our eyes. We want something that will rid us of those hideous brown spots that seem to manifest themselves out of nowhere. We want something that will reduce the swelling and dark circles that appear underneath our eyes while we’re sleeping. You know the ones I’m talking about–the ones that make it seem as though you’ve recently been involved in some sort of brawl. We want something that will eliminate those spidery veins that leave parts of our body looking like road maps. We want, we want, we want!

It’s an endless quest. It’s expensive and time-consuming trying to track down these products that promise the fountain of youth but we do it anyway.

No big deal right?  Vanity know’s no boundaries I guess.

But here’s my new dilemma.

Because I’m a major insomniac I watch television in the middle of the night when my writer’s mind experiences what is known as writer’s block. You can pretty much be guaranteed that most of what’s on during these early morning hours are infomercials.

What’s amazing and particularly cool about that is that it makes me realize I’m not alone, I’m not the only woman who rises at these ungodly hours because most of these adverts pertain to women’s problem.

I’ve witnessed women losing 20 pounds of belly fat in ten days, women growing a full head of hair back in less than a month, women losing weight by popping a pill a day without having to change their diet, women getting a face lift in under ten minutes, and eewwww, women getting their butt-hole bleached for some God awful reason. The list goes on and on.

The exercise infomercials that really irk me are those freaking cardio routine ones. You know the ones. You can’t keep up, you trip over your own feet, and you have to take a five-minute break between every rep because your lungs no longer have the capacity to suck air in at that kind of speed.

What’s really a pisser is that usually there’s not one single female in the video who needs to lose one single stinking pound. Most of these bitches…I mean girls… are between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five. They already have protruding rib cages, and that perfect little line that runs down their perfectly concave belly defining their tight little abs. Their hair remains perfectly in place. Their makeup does not run. Their perfect teeth glow like neon chicklets as their highly glossed pink surgically altered gargantuan lips part in smile. Their breasts, which are usually bursting out the top of their little skin-tight half-shirts, remain pert and immovable, and not one single ass cheek bounces around.

Never ever do they show some fat-ass woman wearing baggy ass clothes, sweating her fat ass off while gasping for air as they try to keep up the pace. What the hell is up with that?

Where is the reality here?

Okay, so I have to admit that once in a while I’ll bite the bullet and work out with them to make the time pass quicker. I’ll grab my resistance ropes or my little weights and follow along. I’ll work hard enough to get to the burn they talk about and I’ll continue until the fail point but then I stop because my heart is sending out that message ‘you stop or I’ll stop’.  At that point all I want to do is bitch slap the smile off their faces.

Oh yeah, I’ve been sucked in many times. I’ve picked up the phone within that golden ‘ten minute time limit’ to get the deal on their program or pill or cookie or whatever. I now own more exercise equipment than most gyms, most of which can be found hidden away in my 15 year old man-childs room. He loves that I like these infomercials.

Yes, I am constantly being barraged in the middle of the night with a plethora of images and information on how I should be taking care of my body.

With so many things to already worry about in order to have a somewhat reasonable appearance,  the last thing I ever thought I’d have to worry about is VD.

Yes, you heard me right–vaginal dryness.

At my age I’m apparently supposed to be worried about this. From what I understand now, almost forty percent of women my age suffer from this affliction.

‘That’s just fucking great’ I’m thinking to myself as I watch this stupid commercial that’s somehow slipped under the FCC’s critical eye . Like I don’t have other things to worry about, now I have to worry about that little sucker too!

What a bitch!

So there I am at three in the morning wondering whether my vagina is worn out after fifty some years of workin’ it.

Has it gone the way of my face?

OMG!  Say it isn’t so!

The thought of wrinkles and whatnot down there sends a shiver right through me. Should I go get this stuff and moisturize just in case, or should I just let sleeping dogs lie?

If you think about it a vagina get’s put through its paces over the years.

A good night of sex is like sending your ‘gina’ to the gym. Sometimes the work out’s slow and steady and sometimes it’s fat- burning cardio speed. Either way I’ve always considered this a good thing.

Aside from the good exercise as stated above our poor old vagina’s have to endure years of menstruation, which is both a blessing and a curse. Then, when we decide to have babies, we pray that it’ll play along when it’s time to give birth because it’s got to stretch itself far beyond what it signed of for as that little pink bundle slides out into the world. That’s a work out like no other and all we can do afterwards is pray that it’ll use common sense and somehow return to its normal size.

Seeing this commercial brought to mind a question my daughter asked me several years ago.

“Have you ever queef’d during sex?” she asked.

That was the first time I’d ever heard that word.

“Of course I have”, I replied without blinking an eye.

My assumption was that it was when some  sort of epiphany that happened during sex.

She laughed her ass of then went back to her room at which point I hightailed it into my office to look it up in the dictionary.

“Queef: (verb)…a vaginal fart during coitus.

No wonder she laughed. I’d definitely experienced that once or twice but I’d never given it a name.

All this time I’d thought it was just my vagina trying to catch its breath. My bad!

I digress.

Maybe those ‘queef’s’ were a sign of some sort. Maybe that’s the signal that you’re headed towards a vagina that will soon be reminicent of the Sahara Desert. One that is awaiting the presentation of an oasis in the form of vaginal moisturizer.

Based on its location it’s not easily accessible to your own eyes. The thought of asking the hubby about what he see’s down there is completely out of the question. This is in line with ‘if you don’t draw attention to a problem people won’t notice it’.

I think this is a gimme here!

I guess all I have to do now is decide which way to go here. Will I work under the premise that  ‘knowledge is power’ or ‘ignorance is bliss’ on this issue.

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Part III–Waiting is…


…not my thing.  It never has been. I want what I want when I want it and that’s that!

Tick tock, tick tock.

For three days I paced back and forth watching for the mailman. I felt a little like a stalker.

Day four arrives and I see him approaching my mailbox with a small package. Finally!

I run to the end of the driveway and stick my arm through the iron gate so he can bi-pass the box and put it directly in my hands. I’m sure I must look like one of those movie orphans begging for ‘more please’, but I don’t care what he thinks as he watches my arm wave around like it’s possessed, like I’m some kind of complete idiot. Whatever is in that box is going to change my life so leaving a good impression on him is absolutely the last thing on my mind. He hands me the mail then hightails it back to his truck.

As  I walk back towards the front door of my house I feel like I’m walking on cloud nine. It’s like I’m holding in my hands  the secret to life, the serum of youth, the magic that will turn me from Mamma bear back into the cougar I once was.

My imagination during these magical moments of possibilities is running amok because I think I can actually feel my skin tightening with each step. Even better I feel a tingle in my groin. Whehaw!

So that gets me to thinking that if just looking at the box is doing this, the actual taking of these precious little drops was going to be over the top.

I set the box down on the counter in my kitchen and get a knife from the drawer. With the precision of a sushi chef preparing a piece of fine tuna I sliced the tape open, cracked the top of the box open, and there they were–two little brown bottles filled with, well, I don’t exactly know what’s inside them but I didn’t care. The blonde bombshell doctor said this was going to solve a lot of the problems I was experiencing.

I took the bottles to my bathroom upstairs and shut the door. I wanted privacy because this felt like a right-of-passage to me. I was about to experience something that would turn back the hands of time, at least that’s what I was hoping for.

I opened the estrogen first and watched as the whitish serum uploaded into the little squirter thing. I stuck my tongue up and out and raised the dropper towards my open mouth. I stepped closer to the mirror so I could see better and not miss the target.

One drop, two drops…

I swished them around in my mouth for about thirty seconds like directed then swallowed.  Then, like an idiot, I stood there staring at myself as though I was actually going to witness something miraculous. I leaned in closer to inspect the small nasty jowls that had changed my once lovely oval face into a some kind of boxy cartoon character shape but nothing was happening. My dimples did not suddenly reappear as expected, my wrinkles remain untouched, and my neck…well, that little mother-fucker of amassed freckled flesh sat in the same puddle as before.

WTF?

Where was the magic?

My mind of course reeled out of control at the though that the other hormone, testosterone, was going to yield the same effect. But I persevered and uncapped it anyway.

One drop was all I was supposed to take but two fell into my mouth so fast it took me by surprise.

“Oops!”

My mind once again started racing forward.

Maybe I should have pre-lingeried in case I had a sudden urge to mount my husband.

I looked at my watch and again I waited.

There was one brief moment when I thought I felt my nipples tingle but upon further inspection it turned out to be nothing more than a few errant crumbs from my earlier breakfast toast rubbing relentlessly between the material of my housecoat and my skin every time I moved.

The anticipation of my clitoris turning into a heat-seeking vessel made my body flush–for about one second and then nothing, nothing, and nothing!

I bowed my head down and started to pray that I could simply will this shit to kick in…but still nothing!

That’s when I saw the tiny note at the bottom of the box. I picked it up and read it. A tear came to my eye.

It would take a few weeks for this stuff to kick in as well.

Crap!

The first week passed slowly. Still nothing. No youth, no horny…nada.

The second week brought a slight change. I was actually sleeping a little better than I had been so that was at least a little something.

I guess my husband had also been anticipating my horny as well because he was constantly walking around with a boner ‘just in case’ it kicked in. That would also explain the pained look I was seeing on his face whenever we were in the same room, and yes it would also explain the new bottle of personal lubricant I discovered by the bedside. Poor bugger!

Somewhere during the middle of that second week though I noticed something peculiar.

I was blow drying my hair early one morning but I had to keep stopping so I could figure out where the hell this foul odor was suddenly coming from. It was an assault as deadly as someone smacking me in the nose with a baseball bat. WTF?

Yep…every time I raised my arms if filled the room. I kept turning around to see if hubby had sneaked in but, to my dismay, I was the only one in the room.

I have not worn deodorant since I was in my teens because I never had to. I was blessed with sweet smelling sweat glands I guess. But this!!!! Whew!!!!! This was not good.

The blonde bombshell had forewarned me this could happen and so it was.

I thought to myself, okay, wearing deodorant isn’t that bad. I could do that no problem. It was no big deal. It occured to me that I should look for the other foretold side affects as well so I set the blow dryer down and stepped closer to the mirror.

Holy crap! Those two little plucker hairs I’d finally made peace with beneath my chin had multiplied tenfold. That prompted me to open my housecoat and check out my one or two little nipple hairs.

OMG!

There was enough hair there now to actually do a little comb-over. Again I felt my body flush and started tearing through the drawer looking for my husbands shaver. No matter what else I’d let slide as far as my body was concerned, this was not going to be one of them.

At that point I could hear hubby coming down the hall towards the bathroom and I started to panic. I slid the shaver across my nipple and dislodged the little toupee in record time. I dropped the razor into the sink and threw a towel over it as the door opened. In he walked with his morning boner and he sees me standing there with my housecoat open, my breasts exposed, and his eyebrows shoot up in question. I know what he’s thinking and it pains me as I frown and shake my head in a no motion.

His shoulders slump, as does his penis, and he heads towards the toilet.

Flash forward to month two.

Testosterone is not my friend.

Body odor, hair shooting out of places it shouldn’t were just not my cup of tea. The fact that I never got that ‘fuck-me-now-or-die’ feeling, and the fact that I was shaving more than my husband put a kabosh on the whole thing. All in all, our sex life after thirty-two years is still pretty damn great so why mess with it if it ain’t really broken.

The estrogen on the other hand has made life more doable and more enjoyable. I guess what it boils down to is you’ve got to pick your poison wisely. You have to learn to settle on being happy for even the smallest of wonders.

Part II-Hormones can…


…make or break you in so many ways it’s hard not to laugh when the going gets tough, although I’ve recently discovered that at my age this kind of laughter can also significantly increase your chances of accidentally pissing down your own leg at the most inopportune time.

When hormones are raging, as in you actually still have some, it’s likely the time when we’re ready to hatch those little parasites…er…I mean those sweet little angels we call our children.

Oh yes, I remember those glory days when my skin was taut and flawless, and full of elasticity. My hair was shiny, the aging spots had yet to surface, and I could usually bounce back from whatever came my way as far as my body went.

Now that I’ve surpassed that time I only use the term elasticity when shopping for pants, as in “do these come with an elastic waistband?” or “how much give does this spandex shit really have?”

I no longer try not to acknowledge that bounce in my step because I know that ‘that bounce’ is usually just my softer, rounder fat ass trying to stay contained in my hip low-cut jeans.

After seeing my gynecologist and trying out the estrogen gel I knew things would eventually  be okay. Even though they hadn’t kicked in yet I was by no means ready to throw in the towel.

Some say I’ve got the patience of a saint. These of course, are the same people who never see me behind closed doors. Let’s face it, if I had reality camera’s rolling in our house 24/7 one of us, probably me, would likely be carted away to some nice freshly painted white walled facility by some kind of uber polite uniformed professional.

After chewing on this hormone thing I decided to investigate my options. I’d heard so much about bio-identical hormones I started asking all my girl friends if they’d ever tried it, and as it turns out, nearly all of them went bio-identical. I jumped on board and starting making some calls.

Turns out that there are not too many people who specialize in it, and those who do are booked so far in advance it takes months of waiting till you can go see them. But again, this is where my patience pays off. I book an appointment for, WTF, two months down the road.

My GYN is not big on these homeopathic solutions, she thinks they’re a bunch of hoey-baloey because pharmaceutical hormones are an exact science in her mind, but that did not deter me. I was not going to let her rain on my parade. Of course now all I had to do was convince her to send my blood test results to this new gal so I wouldn’t have to revisit that hideous blood drawing experience any time soon. Two arm wrestles later–I won!

I’m glad I jumped on this right away because as it turns out, my body was not absorbing the gel like it should have. All the death glares I was shooting out like ray vision in a sci-fi movie brought on by my estrogen depletion should have been the first hint that something was amiss. I now, single-handedly, had the ability to empty a room in less than three seconds just by making my presence known.

Tick tock, tick tock!

Anticipating this consultation was nearly enough to kill me as I counted the weeks, days, hours, minutes, and seconds until I could walk into this appointment demanding to be fixed.

Being ever the resourceful woman I am however, I came up with the perfect solution to throw whatever was or was not happening in my body off-balance.

I discovered that the Agave plant has medicinal qualities.

That’s right–Tequila.

Halle*fucking*luiah!

That last day before my appointment seemed to crawl along like a snail trying to maneuver up a greased hill. I paced, I sat, I read, I surfed the net till my fingertips were raw. I kept looking at the clock hoping it would hit my bewitching hour and I could crawl into bed so I could stop all this waiting nonsense.

6:05

6:17

6:17 & 1/2

This was not going well so I turned my attention back to that Agave .

By eight o’clock that night me and that little worm at the bottom of the bottle were having a perfectly normal conversation.

“Swim you little bastard,” I’d chant.

“No, no señora, I am dead. I no can swim no more,” he’d reply.

“Bastard,” I’d say leaning in closer to the bottle trying to decide whether he was telling the truth or not.

I guess I should’ve read the warning label on the back of the bottle.

“This product can produce hallucinatory side effects.”

…as in one tequila, two tequila, three tequila, FLOOR!

Oops!

Finally, morning rolls around. It’s ‘THE DAY’! My head is pounding and I have this weird recollection of speaking to the dead.

Regardless of my self-induced hangover, I shower, dress, jump in the car and head out to my appointment.

“Good morning,” I say. “I’m Jacqui, I’m here to see the doctor.”

“Just have a seat, she’ll be with you shortly,” she says.

“Is she running on time?” I query.

“Um…she’s actually not here yet,” she replies.

“What?” I say.

“You’re forty-five minutes early,” she says pointing to the clock.

I look at her clock and then at my watch.

Crap! Then it dawns on me that’s why I got such a good parking spot.

Tick-tock, tick-tock.

I read through every magazine in the office as my ADD kicks in.

Finally the door next to the receptionist opens and I hear them call my name.

I step through the doors expecting to feel some sort of magical transformation. I don’t know why homeopathy makes me feel this way, it just does. I follow her down the hall to a teeny-weeny room. She tells me to sit down. Tells me the doctor will be right in. Tells me to relax.

Tick-tock, tick-tock!

I survey the room and wonder where the etherial music is. Where are the healing crystals I expected to see? Where is that magical aura I was expecting? Where the fuck was the doctor?

Ten minutes later in walks this blonde bombshell. The white coat tells me she must be the doctor but I’m still awed by the fact that she looks like a movie star. I try to sit up straighter but remnants of my self-induced hangover keep me slumped over like a dog out of treats.

“Good Morning,” she says with enough perk in her voice to command global peace.

“Grrrrrrrr….” is the only response that leaves my lips. I’m wondering why she’s so happy and why she’s talking so loud but of course I realize it’s only because I’m hungover.

She leafs through the paperwork I’ve filled out, then scans my blood test results.

“Oh…” she says taking a step or two back.

“Can you fix me,” I ask.

“Absolutely,” she says.

A slew of questions later she explains how she’s going to treat me.

“We’re going to give you estrogen,” she says then writes something in my file. “How’s your sex life,”

“My sex life?” I ask.

“Yeah, how’s your sex life?” she says again.

“What sex life?” I respond.

“You know…the one where you have sex,” she says.

“Oh, that sex life…mmmmm….!” I say needing to think this through for a minute. “It’s, you know…”

“How’s your libido, your sex drive, do you want to have sex?” she asks.

“Are you asking me if I want to have sex with you,” I respond a little shocked by her brevity.

“No, not with me, with your husband,” she says.

“Oh,” I say feeling a little rush of embarrassment course through my body. I’m surprised she didn’t add ‘you idiot’ to the end of her sentence.

“Libido’s not too good,” I tell her. “Can you fix that too?”

“Of course I can,” she says writing a note in my file. “You need testosterone.”

She begins to explain how this chemical works in the female body and I’m thinking, hell yes, I’m totally game for this.

“There’s a few side affects,” she says.

“Side affects,” I say. “Like what.”

“Well…you might grow a few stray hairs here and there,” she says.

“Stray hairs?” I say.

“Yeah like on your face,” she says. “Sometimes other places.”

My hand impulsively shoots up to my face. My fingers start rubbing that spot under my chin where I am constantly plucking out a couple of very coarse, very dark hairs.

“How many stray hairs? I ask.

“Maybe just a few, maybe a lot,” she says.

I have this sudden urge to pull open my shirt so I can see my boob, the one that loves to cohabit with a tiny group of strays. I try to picture my nipple wearing a toupee and this disturbs me.

“Are we talking shaving or plucking hair amounts?” I query.

“There’s a possibility of both,” she says.

“Oh,” I say.

As she starts reading my file again, I reach into my purse and find my glasses so I can see her better. This is when I notice several incredibly long hairs dancing around under her chin. I lean in to get a better look and see several more wisps on her cheeks. I realize by the looks of things, she’s a natural blonde.

“Do you take testosterone?” I ask.

“Yes I do,” she says still purusing my file. “My husband said he didn’t care if I started looking like Wolfman Jack, just so long as I wanted to have sex.”

“Ohhhh…!” I say.

As though she can feel my eyes burning into her skin she turns and looks at me.

“Why do you ask?” she says.

“Umm…no reason, just wondering,” I answer trying to divert my attention away from the imaginary neon arrow I see pointing to these outgrowths on her face.

“Will it make me…you know…horny?” I ask.

“It should if the dosage is right.” she says. “A lot of clients say that it works for them, but…”

“But what?” I ask.

“They say that they want to do everyone but their husband,” she says smiling.

Interesting!

“I’ll prescribe both,” she says. “You should get them in three or four days. They come from a lab in Phoenix.”

Crap! More waiting for me. Oh well, everything in its time I think.

…to be continued!

Part 1 — Hormones are…


…to a women’s body what motor oil is to a car. Let one or the other run dry and you’re gonna be stuck with a cracked block, spark plugs that don’t fire, or worse yet, a completely fucked up out of commission engine. This is not a good thing for you or anyone in close proximity.

Not only will your crank shaft be cranky, your axel frozen, you’ll also discover that your tranny and oil well will no longer be willing to accept a dip stick!

Oh yes, these little hormone buggers are the nectar of life for women who’ve begun that descent into that ‘middle place’.

In my book, anything is game when the well has run dry.

I knew something was really wrong when I started cursing at inanimate objects around the house.

My brand spanking new refrigerator was the first to suffer under my barrage of obscenities. It failed me so many times in my plight to ward off hot flashes. It’s one of those new energy-efficient ones with all the compact shelves. Once you’ve shopped and piled the stuff inside, there’s little or no room for any body parts, not even my teeny-weeny head. The only appliance, as you very well know, that was off-limits to my tirades was the washing machine. WE have a special relationship.

So once again I’d drag my ass off to the doctor’s office, roll my sleeve up, stick my arm out and demand they draw blood.

“I’m ready, go ahead,” I’d say.

The young tech would approach warily. Being around anyone who is hormonally imbalanced can strike absolute fear in even the most confident professional.

She’d motion me towards the chair. I’d stomp over and plop down in the worn leather seat.

“You’re gonna feel a little prick,” she’d say.

“I know, my husband already told me the same thing this morning,” I’d shoot back.

She’d blush but otherwise ignore my glare. She’d tie off my upper arm to create pressure, then she’d use two fingers to tap the area where my veins were supposed to be. After a few minutes of this she decides she’s found a likely target and jabs the needle into my flesh. She twists the needle back and forth like she’s excavating a mine.

“You’re hurting me,” I’d say.

“No I’m not, if you’d stop squirming,” she’d say.

“I’m not squirming, I’m sitting here like a rock,” I’d say. “You’re the one squirming.”

“No…I’m not squirming, I’m just trying to find your vein,” she’d say.

“It’s right there…I can see it plain as day,” I’d offer.

“No. That’s not the right vein, it’s not the one I need,” she’d say.

“Don’t you just need one with blood in it?” I’d ask.

“Shhhhhhh…!” she’d say.

“You’re shushing me,” I’d ask.

“Yes,” she’d say.

“Maybe you should try the other arm,” I’d offer.

“Maybe you should just shut up and let me do my job,” she’d say.

It’s pretty hard not to notice that after two or three minutes have passed there has yet to be even one drop of blood drawn.

“Mmmmmm….” I utter as I watch that little elbow crook starting to turn black and blue.

“I’m going to try the other arm,” she says withdrawing the needle.

“Whatever….” I’d say.

We repeat the procedure, tie off the arm, pat the skin, stick the needle in, start searching once again for the elusive vein.

I decide to concentrate on the lively gardening conversation going on between a few of the other nurses in the office.

“It took all day to dig that sucker out,” says nurse #1.

“I know what that’s like, I had this tree once whose roots were everywhere. Took me the better part of the day to get them all out,” nurse #2 replies.

“Hey,pssst!” I say to get their attention. “You guys should hire this one, she can dig like nobodies business.”

“Ouch,” I say as she twists the needle in revenge for my comment.

I see the smirk on her face.

“Sorry,” she says as though I’d actually believe her.

“Maybe someone else should do this,” I say hoping she will stop moving the needle around.

“Why are you whining,” she says.

“I don’t know. Maybe because you’ve been in there seven or eight minutes now and there’s still no blood in that little vial,” I’d say.

That does it for her. She pulls the needle out, undoes the little rubber tourniquet and rips it away from my arm. Of course now all the hair that was under the little rubber thingy is now missing.

“I’ll get the doctor,” she says turning away from me.

“Shit,” I think to myself.

I hear her shoes clickity-clacking all the way down to the end of the hall.

Then–dead silence.

The other nurses stare at me.

I love my gynecologist but she’s one of those slam, bam, thank you ma’am kind of doctors. There’s no fucking around with her. She’s a specialist so her time is very valuable. She’s that git er done gal.

The spark of fear hits me when I hear her heels clomp-clomp on the pristine wood floors that she’s recently installed. I can feel my pulse begin to race. I know what I’m in for and I say to myself “why can’t you just shut your mouth you idiot. Now look what you’ve done.”

I can see from the look on her face she’s not exactly happy to be called upon for this chore because I’m sure she has better things to do than try to suck my blood out.

“Hi there,” I say hoping my friendliness will diffuse her ire because my veins are such a pain in the ass and she has far better things to do than this mundane simple procedure.

There is no response though, nada, nothing, not even a peep. She just stares at the crook of my arm as she snaps the rubber gloves on. She grabs the little tourniquet and ties it around my arm. As I look down to watch her in action I’m fascinated by the fact that I can see all my little hairs waving around as though saying goodbye because they didn’t have time the first time.

“How are the kids?” I ask trying to get her to relax.

“Fine,” she says. Then I realize that when you have kids you are never relaxed. Wrong question I guess.

BAM! Needles in and the exploration begins all over again.

I grit my teeth forcing my mouth to stay shut.I watch the needle zig north and south, east and west.

The whole time I’m wondering where the fuck my blood is. Had it too gone the way of my hormones?

“I guess I’m just fresh out,” I say jokingly.

Her expression turns to stern concentration. By now my toes are curling and it’s hard to keep my butt down on the chair. Another twist, another turn and I’m now ready for take off. But then I see one precious drop of blood slowly sliding down the side of the clear glass vial.

“Eureka,” I yell out.

“We’re almost there,” she says.

She plunges the needle deeper and a little to the left, and a little to the right.

And suddenly, there it is. That wonderous red liquid is now flowing into the tube at a rapid rate.

“Fucking eh beatch!”

She looks up at me and it’s then I realize I said this out loud.

“Are you whining?” she asks.

Again, I deny that I’m whining as I blink back the tears I’m trying to force back into my tear ducts.

She rips the tourniquet off so the blood will flow like a river. Again I notice there is a new barren spot on my arm. I’d once considered shaving that unsightly hair off my arms and this might just be the catalyst for doing just that.

My body, after all this trauma, is more than willing to give up eight or so vials of blood.

I ask her if she needs more than that? I ask her if she can just keep some on file so we don’t have to repeat this dastardly procedure for a while?

Again, that look, the one that tells you you’re a complete moron.

“We’ll call you with the results,” she says sliding the needle out of my arm.

She rips the gloves off and without further ado makes her way back down the hall to her ‘real’ patients.

I roll my sleeve down and go over to the desk to check out.

“That’ll be $40 dollars,” the receptionist says.

“$40 dollars, I’m gonna need that to buy makeup to cover these marks on my arm,” I tell her.

“Funny,” she says. “Give me the $40 bucks.”

“Whatever,” I shoot back.

Three o’clock that afternoon the phone rings.

“I’ve got good news and bad news,” the receptionist says.

“What’s the good news,” I ask her.

“Your check cleared,” she says.

“What’s the bad news,” I ask.

“You’ve got no hormones,” she says.

“None?” I ask.

“None, nada, nothing. You’re running on empty,” she says. “You need to come back right now and we’ll give you some.”

“Will there be any little pricks involved?” I ask not knowing anything about the delivery of such medications.

“No, just cream,” she says.

Again, I’d heard the same thing from my husband that same morning after the ‘little prick thing’ was denied. I was starting to feel like they were all conspiring against me.

“I’ll be there in ten minutes,” I tell her.

“We’ll be waiting with bated breath,” she says as though mocking a women in my condition is not a bad thing.

Ten minutes later I open the door to their office. The nurses scatter trying to avoid direct contact with me now that I am officially a walking time bomb.

“Should I come in?” I ask motioning to the door that leads to the examination rooms.

“Nooooooooo!!!!!!,” the receptionist manages to squeak out. “I’ll show you what to do from here if you don’t mind.”

She shoves a small bottle across the counter. I pick it up and pop the top off. She does the same with her sample bottle.

The demonstration lasts about five seconds. Pump once, rub the cream on your forearm.

I do what I’m told then I stand there waiting for some kind of reaction. The three of them just stare at me wondering what I’m doing.

“What?” I ask.

“Ummmm…….it takes about two to three weeks to take affect,” she says taking a few steps back from the counter.

“What?” I ask as though I’ve heard her wrong.

“Look, I’m just the messenger,” she says. “It takes two to three weeks before you’ll start feeling more like yourself.”

“Whatever,” I say.

I toss the bottle into my bag and as I turn to leave I see a few of her pregnant patients sitting there, staring at me.

“Yeah, that’s right. Enjoy your hormones while you’ve got em!” I say.

…to be continued!

Exercise is…


sometimes like corporal punishment. We brutalize our poor little muscles mercilessly in hopes  they’ll shape up as fast as possible. We stress and strain them, often times beyond their capacity, and then wonder why they seek revenge the day after or the day after that. They’re smart little buggers. They can tie you up like a pretzel on crack.

Yes, they’re sneaky little bastards.

My last trainer’s favorite phrase was, “Do twenty more”.

I’d look at him with my best ‘fuck you’ glare.

Twenty more and they’ll be picking out a pine box for me. Twenty more and I might be picking out a pine box for him.

“My fat does not want to do twenty more” I’d tell him.

He’d glance at my gut knowing this would hit home. I’d cuss him under my breath but start counting.

“One, two, three…”

Bastard!

By the twelfth curl I’d feel that little candle like flame burning sensation building itself up to bonfire status.

“Why are we using such big weights,” I’d ask while trying desperately to suck in a breath.

“They’re only two pounds,” he’d say.

“Oh.” I’d say.

The thing about trainers is that they’ve already done all the work they need to on themselves so they’re well aware of the pain they’re inflicting. Do they emote any sympathy towards you as you struggle through each exercise? Hell no!

What I hated most about my trainer was, when I’d start moaning and grunting like a pig during our weight lifting sessions, he’d take his fingers and strum the fat on the underside of my upper arm like a virtuoso harp player just to make his point.

I’d try desperately to ignore his mockery of my fat flags and his snarky little grin. The whole time I’d be thinking, with very little effort I could probably make contact with the side of his head with the ‘two-pound’ dumb bell clenched in my sweaty palm.

Oh yeah, I’d picture him slowly melting towards the ground shortly after impact completely unconscious, in which time I could pour water over my head and down the front of my shirt then sit down next to him. When he’d come to all I’d have to say is ‘wow, that was a good workout, see you next week’. Unfortunately, I could never actually go through with it because we worked out at a public park. There would be witnesses. I had to force myself to stay in control and out of trouble.

Of course by this time he’d gotten that underarm fat moving so fast it was actually creating a nice little breeze that kept me cool.

“…eighteen, nineteen, twenty.”

At that point I’d feign exhaustion then let the weights drop from my hands hoping one of them would meet with his foot, but he was too fast. He knew me too well. He’d step back, smile, then bark out what was next.

“Squats,” he’d say.

“How many?” I ask.

“Fifteen,” he’d say.

I hate squats. I like what they do for my butt, and I like what they do for my legs, but I fucking hate doing them but not for the reason you might be thinking. The word ‘squat’ and the menopausal gastrointestinal system do not go together.

Once that word left his lips all I could think about was whether or not I’d taken my Gas X that morning.

He’d tap his watch and wait for me to spread my legs, square my shoulders, then raise my arms out in front of my body hoping to keep some semblance of balance. I’d start to lower my body ever so slowly. One inch, two inches, three inches. It’s then I’d remember that I DIDN’T take that little green pill. I’d meant to–I really did. I’d popped it out of its little vacuum sealed package but then I’d set it down on the kitchen counter while I went to retrieve a bottle of water.

OH NO!  I knew right away this was not going to be good.

“Go deeper,” he’d say.

I’d feel my stomach starting to gurgle. It wanted to purge itself in a big way.

“NOW,” he’d say as he put his hands on my shoulders pushing me towards the failure position.

I’d close my eyes and put all my concentration on keeping my sphincter muscle clamped tight. This is where all those kagel exercises you learned during pregnancy come in handy.

I’d go down a few more inches as requested and as always I’d feel my knees starting to shake. I could also feel one of those humongous gas  bubbles traversing around in my gut like a slalom racer looking for the gate.

OMG!

I knew I could only do about two or three more of these dips before this situation reached the ‘Houston, we’ve got a problem’ stage. I knew my limit.

“Two,” he says out loud as though I’ve lost my ability to count.

I suck in my lower belly as I rise hoping somehow to push this gaseous troublemaker back up to where it started. No dice my body tells me. This puppies gonna blow pretty damn soon.

My mind would be racing by this time. Maybe it’d be one of those polite silent ones, and if there is a God, it wouldn’t be one of those Chernobyl stinker’s that are bad enough to take out an entire neighborhood.

He’d move in closer to better control the depth of the squat and all I could do was concentrate on keeping my butt cheeks together.

As you can imagine, this is nearly impossible in this position.

Then it would occur to me that this strategy would eliminate the possibility of silence.

If the gas left my butt during the tightening of the cheeks it would likely come out sounding like one of those canned air horns. I’d  have to think on my feet and make some kind of decision. Let her rip and take my chances it would just blow out like a soft gentle breeze or publicly acknowledge that I had a rip-roaring case of gas.

But wait, I’d say to myself. If I let mother nature take its course and let it blow in its full glory, the sound ringing out like a proud duck quacking with a cold, this might put an end to this particular exercise. Maybe he’d see that it was not in his best interest or mine to force my body into this ridiculous position.

Oop’s!

Too late. My bad!

Half way down on the second squat my body took control, my sphincter relaxed and justice was served. It was not polite, nor was it quite. As a matter of fact a few people passing by us during this assault actually looked up in the sky searching for the flock of ducks they’d just heard.

“Jesus Christ,” he’d say looking down at his legs to make sure I hadn’t left skid marks on his tight white workout pants.

“What are you talking about?” I say pointing to the people looking up into the sky. “Didn’t you see them, the ducks?”

He’d follow their gaze searching the clear blue sky for any sign of birds.

Then it would hit him.

The air surrounding us was so toxic it rippled the same way hot summer sun does over cool asphalt.   It smelled so bad the end of his nose actually curled in such a way as to close itself off from the foulness.

Distraction is the best defense so I began to squat one more time.

“NOOOOOO,” he’d manage to squeak out while trying to hold his breath. “We’re done with those.”

“Oh, okay,” I’d say. “What do you want to do now?”

“Shower,” he’d say.

“Oh, okay. I’ll see you next week.”

“No…I think I’m busy next week.”

As I stood there digesting his comment I realized that we were done–forever–so I bent over to pick up my towel and delivered a parting prize.

I guess I should be grateful he dumped me. All the money I’d been spending on getting in shape has now been diverted to purchasing the big box of Gas X from Costco. My entire family is grateful to him now I work out at home.

Weight has…


 

…always been an issue for me. For the better part of my youth I was what you’d call a big girl. You know that girl. The one whose face you’d compliment because you couldn’t see all the way around the rotundness to compliment anything else.  

I never thought of myself as ‘gigantic’ because I was smaller than most of my friends. Now they were hefers! So yeah, weight has always been a big issue in my life.  Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not grossly overweight in the physical sense but my brain always tells me different. I think that makes me like most women who’ve had these little [or big]  battles with their body identity.

I suffer from what many middle-agers suffer from…that dastardly, annoying, freaking spare tire-ish bulge that seems to gather around our waist while we’re not paying attention. What comes to mind when I happen to catch a glimpse of this stockpile of flesh is elephant ankles where the skin just seems to lay in layers. Part of this problem of course is due to menopause, at least that’s what I tell myself. Okay, I may bitch about menopause but it does have some perks. We can lay blame to a lot of things that happen to our body during these non-blood-letting years. Thank God for small favors!

Something I find kind of interesting is how belly fat has become big business. Their main target is women, especially the ones who’ve earned their baby badges. Every day you see those asinine ads for pills/patches/smoothies that will reduce your protrusions with little or no effort. You know the ones. Pop a pill starting Monday and drop a few clothing sizes by Friday. Helloooooooo…

Is anyone out there really buying this crap? Are we that stupid? I mean really!

Okay…so I’ve sent for a few of these products. Admittedly, I am an I-D-I-O-T!!! I got sucked in by a few of those smooth talking salespeople who made it sound so easy, so believable, soooooo promising. I followed the plan, popped a pill, put my feet up and waited. And then I waited some more, and a little more after that. Was my ass or gut shrinking? NO! Not even one eensy-teensy inch.

You might as well just find a drug dealer who can supply you with speed, or better yet, just switch to espresso. All it did was make me talk faster and run around like a chicken that just got its head cut off. Another side affect is the shaking. You know that nervous twittering you get when your blood sugar is to low. Maybe this is how you actually lose the weight–you shake it off.

I’m not exactly sure what the ingredients are, I’ve never been into reading labels, but they drove my ADD into hyper-drive. This pissed my husband off, because on occasion [I’ve always been the ‘handyman’ of the house] I’ve been known to strip a room down to its studs in under four hours rather that just splash a new coat of paint on the walls to get the same effect. Oh yeah, those $30 miracle pills cost us about $20,000 to rebuild our kitchen.

So, working on the premise of ‘been there, done that’, I came to the conclusion that any extra pounds I’ve acquired, well, they’re just going to have to come off the good old-fashioned way. Starvation and exercise. Fuck me!

I knew I had to make a plan and so plan I did. Me and the Hubby [whose idea of exercise is moving the fork from the plate to his mouth] started walking every morning. This is not only good for the body (fat), it’s also a great way to clear your head. We’d  try to get in at least a mile and a half each day. We’d been doing this faithfully for about a year but then I fucked that up when I discovered a shortcut. Duh!

Another brilliant realization I came to because I’m such a clean freak was that I could use normal household appliances as part of my cardiovascular workout. I have this horrible bad habit of loading my laundry machine in an uneven way. It used to piss me off listening to it bounce around trying to escape from it’s built in space, but then, the more I thought about it the more I realized that maybe it was trying to tell me something. Maybe it had been trying to get my attention all along.

I stood there one morning watching as it gyrated and it occurred to me that there was a good possibility it could help in my endeavor to slim down.

At first, I just leaned against it, kind of testing the waters you know. Oh boy, that was an eye opener. All of a sudden I could feel my loose flesh slop back and forth, kind of like those waves you see in a pool after someone does a cannonball.

I found this quite depressing because I realized there were things moving that I didn’t expect to move. You know, things like my recently acquired double chin. Oh yeah, I know it’s there, I’ve seen pictures. Hell that’s why I always hold my chin up so high now. Do you know how many reflective surfaces you come across in a day? Crap, they’re everywhere! The other double chins, the ones that hang loosely on the underside of my upper arms were also having a hay-day. My butt…hell…that sucker was having its own party too. 

So much for Plan A.

I knew that I’d have to figure out a way so that I didn’t actually feel this stuff, my fat, moving around as though it was possessed by the devil himself.

After pondering on this for a day or so Plan B unfolded in a moment of brilliance.

Because I’m very conscious of my flaws I have several undergarments that forcefully mold these devilish curves back to where they’re supposed to be. It was simple. I’d don one of these one-piecer’s  under my housecoat, [I’m usually doing the laundry in the middle of the night because I suffer from insomnia–again–thank you menopause] throw on a pair of running shoes, and off to the laundry room I’d head. Thank God my family is slobbish when it comes to their clothes because there’s never a lack of laundry that needs to be tended to. I’d be able to do this every day.

Taking this experiment one step farther I decided it was time to jump on board. I hoisted myself up on top of the ‘now-on-purpose-overloaded machine and pushed the button. Whee Hah! It was like riding one of those electric bulls at a country and western bar. I would not recommend drinking coffee while doing this unless you put it in one of those travel mugs. Oh well, more laundry for me.

Now, this is quite a tricky process because there’s a good possibility that the machine will buck you off like a pissed bronco bull, so you’ve got to figure out how to brace yourself. The door frame was a good start. I’d put one foot up there and then I had to move the big cabinet that holds all my tools a little closer so there’d be a place for the other foot. It’s not exactly a pretty site but it seems to do the job. I figure I can get in about two hours of this before the sun comes up so there’s no chance of getting busted in my ridiculous looking pose wearing things no one should see publicly. There is also another perk while using this method. Not only does the machine gyrate it also vibrates if you get my drift. Yes I go about this chore happily now. My children think I’m nuts because I’m always gathering up their clothes now–dirty or not. I’m not going to tell them any different. 

The other thing I invested in are those rubbery ropes, the ones you do calisthenics with. They’ve got little hand grips on either end so they’re fairly easy to use. Using these started out with a bang, and then my decision to stop using them also came with a bang. If you’re going to use them outside to work your back, you have to sling it over something to add pressure. Well, let me tell you if you choose a tree branch, it better be a big ass tree branch. I made the mistake of using a lower thinner branch, which did not pan out. It only took two pulls before the twiggy little bugger broke free and crashed into the bridge of my nose. It was at this point I realized these particular workout tools also make good gardening tie-backs.

All in all, I’m getting it together this year. My New Year resolutions have unfolded. I’ve vowed to walk slower. This way things I don’t want to move don’t, or at least they don’t move enough to attract attention. I’ve vowed to look in the mirror once in the morning while I’m getting ready and avoid anything that might reflect my image during the rest of the day. I’ve vowed never to give my fat and fatter clothes away again. I’ve vowed to tell myself I’m not fat–I’m just not thin. You know bullshit things. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do, right?

So there you have it in a nutshell. I’m starting this year off with a fresh start. I’m going to get in shape or at least shape what I got. 

Well, I’ve got to run. The timer just went off. I think my brownies are done! Bon Apetite!