April 1, 2013

One-Third

One-third of a woman's life is spent in menopause.

One-third. I heard this on a daytime newshow from a "Ladies' Doctor" who works at one of the nation's most respected hospitals. So it's true. Knowing this, and knowing I'm living in some fraction of the dreaded third, you'd think the last thing I'd have done was purge my closet, otherwise known as the Multi-Decade Crypt of 80's and 90's Beloved Relics.

Which is the very thing that makes the one-third statistic problematic.

My body won't stop changing. I figure I'm in the first third of menopause, which means I'm in perimenopause. My body's doing weird things. Stuff is shifting. Things are flattening out and increasing and decreasing in unpredictable zones at will. The cullling of the jeans made that apparent: some were the Skinny size and some were the Ah-What-the-Heck-I'm-Just-Expanding Size.

Jeans of Broken Dreams
I remember buying the Skinny sizes quite well. From the fitting room clerk bringing smaller sizes and high-fiving with me when I realized the size wasn't as big as originally guestimated, to the sticker shock I felt when the cashier who rang me up announced the total. It's all a movie looping in my brain along with the secret vow: "There's no way I'm outgrowing these jeans because they're so expensive." But yet, there I was, someplace in the first or second third of the third of menopause deciding whether or not it was time to chuck the jeans.

Or in truth, whether to chuck the dream of fitting back into them.

So lump in throat, I put them in the Give Away pile.

I'm not that girl -- or a Girl -- anymore. Disgusted with the jeans situation, I turned to the pile of novelty shirts collected throughout the years. There was the pink Harley-Davidson tank that looked amazing against my skin tone and clung in all the right places ten years ago. Somehow, time has since fulfilled the role of Beverly Hills plastic surgeon and filled in those right places in all the wrong ways. So, another contribution to the Give Away pile and another sigh. Another lump in the throat.

Then it was onto my favorite and best-fitting concert t-shirt.
Perfect for the big board meeting! Said no one. Ever.

It still fit my body. But the spirit of the thing wasn't a fit for this forty-three-year-old mom:"I Heart this bar."  It was a great song at a great concert,Toby Keith, but really, it's not like I'll be wearing it to work...or church...or a PTA meeting. Add it to the Give Away pile and swallow back another throat lump.

And on and on it went until it was broken by Jamie's sunny "Wow, that's a big Give Away pile! Good job, honey...Now don't you feel GREAT?" If tears hadn't been clouding my vision, I probably would've heaved the sexy pump I was about to toss into the pile of Broken Dreams AKA Give Away pile at him.

Men don't understand. You see, according to the WiiFit, Jamie hasn't gained or lost weight in five years. FIVE years. Basically, the guy still fits into clothes from the time when a Flock of Seagulls was running so far away from stuff they couldn't get away from. He's gotten some gray hairs, yes, but his hypothalmus doesn't have him saying "Hold that thought, I'm flashing right now," and he's not watching his waistline get out ahead of him. And he certainly wasn't chucking what he used to be, or used to aspire to be into a Give Away pile.

I explained that this whole thing basically sucked and that I wasn't very happy or cleansed or freed by it. Poor guy. He understood, but didn't know what to say, and then proved that it's better to say nothing at all when you don't know what to say by saying: "Well...do you think you'll ever fit into those clothes again?"

I just looked at him, one blink away from a perimenopausal breakdown and or tantrum. He got my drift and mumbled something as he ambled away out of sexy pump heaving distance.

And me? No, there was no grand revelation about being at home in my own skin. I'm hoping it'll come somewhere in the final two-thirds of the one-third of the menopause that all women go through.

6 comments:

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    1. Thanks!
      That Give Away Pile feeling? Meh...not so much. ;)

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  2. I'm staring at a really large pile of jeans as I read this. There are only 2 pairs I can actually wear, but I haven't been able to let go of the others yet...just in case. Kudos to you!

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    1. Hang onto 'em, I say! They aren't bothering anyone and you never know...you just may find your way way back into them one day. :)

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  3. Oh man. I am not looking forward to this stage of womanhood. Although, I've put on a few pounds over the years and finally got rid of the "aspirational" clothing that had been sitting in my closet the past few years making me feel bad.

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    1. This stage isn't ALL bad. I feel a ton smarter although there are the slight (ahem) physical glitches. :)
      Good for you for tossing the stuff that was making you feel bad. ..that's a real sanity saver.

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