Most of my age-matched friends are going through it. The strange part of a woman’s life called “perimenopause”. Suddenly the predictability of monthly cycles becomes less foreseeable, way too strange and often embarrassing. Who cares about sexy underwear anymore? You want something that Oxiclean® can handle and won’t fall apart in the laundry after one wash load.
I blame estrogen. Everyone else should too. A strange monkey that jumped on our backs when we weren’t looking. It crept into our happy girlhood lives spent beating the boys, imagining life of wild adventures, and slaying all dragons. Instead it derailed many of us for a zoo life of birthers, breeders and animal husbandry (or at least thinking about birthing, breeding and animal husbands). I started early and was probably destined to have twenty -five children. An ethnic Duggar who would have little ones calling me “great grandma” and wearing embroidered sweatshirts and velour pants by now. Way too many conflicts between the soul and the flesh. Paul Simon said, “Monkeys stand for honesty” in his song. Honestly now…. They are far to human to be animal, yet far too animal to be human. Sort of like teenagers I guess.
The double whammy hits most of us who put off having children until our 30’s and now have teenagers. Right about now we are not only hit with our own hormonal roller coasters but those of our adolescent children. The irritability often explodes in several powder kegs and God forbid at the same time. My sister has two boys. Not only has her sleep deprivation caused her to be a screaming maniac but also then she has to contend with two raging bulls often locking horns on the living rooms floor, beating each other over the TV remote. One wants “South Park.” The other wants “Big Bang Theory”. Going on the lam seems to be the only option. Thelma and Louise had it right. If only a smarter Brad Pitt would come along at every rest stop.
My girls pick different targets. Door slamming has turned into a non-contact sport in my house. It’s “who’s going to sit in the front seat of the car”, who can roll their eyes up farther when the simplest of comments are made or who can spend the most time in the bathroom. I suggested a timer in the bathroom but I was too afraid it will be chucked at the very large and expensive new mirror.
They are going through their own simian phase. It’s a whole barrel of monkeys with three girls and I am not the alpha female. They never seem to line up, tail to tail. It’s more a scene out of Jumanji: plates flying, catch one and the others run away, and the kitchen is always a mess. “This will not be an easy mission. Monkeys slow the expedition,” the Jumanji game clue warns. No kidding. Especially when they weigh heavily on your back.
My sleep deprivation adds to the chaos. Drugs and alcohol do little good. They just make the view from the cage all the less clear. No good zookeeper falls asleep while on patrol.
Suddenly there are monkeys are everywhere these days. Those damn sock monkeys even made it into giant inflatable Christmas ornaments. It’s a simian dream. Better yet nightmare. Get this monkey off my back. Let me return to the carefree and estrogen free soul who ran the neighborhoods in search of friends, adventures and curiosity. Let my girls realize that sometimes their monkey can be assuaged, softened and charmed sometimes by the right organ grinder music but never tamed. For the boys, I guess tranquilizer guns are the only option. I am loading mine up now as the dating season begins.