Friday, March 08, 2019
Perimenopause and the jaunty bra-scarf
Because I don't feel like enough people are talking about it. My ducking auto-correct doesn't even know what it is.
The other night I told Nick that I bet a lot of couples get divorced while a woman is in perimenopause.
And Nick said, "I bet you're right."
To which I responded, through clenched teeth, "But if they just stuck it out for a decade, it would surely get better."
He hastily agreed.
Anyway, one of the things that happens to me now is that when I get hot, I get unbearably hot. Not in the summer, when I'm scantily clad and just hot because heat.
I am cold most of the time, and would always rather be hot than cold.
But now this weird thing happens when I'm working out, or when it's cold and my body heats up.I get to a heat point and I cannot bear it.
Like, when I'm bundled in 54 layers because oh my hell this winter. And I walk really fast (really fast). In fact, sometimes I start out my walking commute by running because I hate being cold so much.
But at a certain point in my walk, my body heats up. Sometimes this is fine. And sometimes suddenly it is eleventy billion degrees inside my jacket.
Oh, and I am a sheep, because I own the Amazon jacket that apparently all moms everywhere now own. And I love it.
It is warm and has six pockets and a giant hood that blocks the wind. I have no peripheral vision and I've been told that I look like a South Park character. I don't care.
If you know me, you know I will do anything to avoid the cold.
But when I hit some particular internal temperature, I'm all, I MUST REMOVE ALL MY CLOTHES AND PLUNGE INTO ICE WATER OR I AM GOING TO DIE.
(I don't know what this temperature is, but I'm considering carrying a thermometer to pop into my armpit the next time this happens.)
Anyway, this happened to me on the way to work the other day. Partway to work I took off my scarf. Then my hat (which I wear under my hood). Then my jacket.
I was wearing a thick wool turtleneck sweater. Underneath that was a stretchy undershirt. It's flesh colored and kind of like a very thin sports bra that's a whole tank top. It's great for warmth and blocking the wind.
So I'd removed as much as I could before I got to the office. I have a high shame limit, but even so, I wasn't going to mince down K Street in a flesh-colored bra-tank.
Still, it wasn't enough.
I got to my office, and because I didn't have a moment to waste before I tragically perished of overheatedness, I mostly closed my door, because you can't really hide behind the door entirely because there's a full-length window next to it.
I pulled my arms into my turtleneck sleeves, and then took each of them out of the undershirt. I figured this was the fastest and most discreet way.
I also pulled my sweater up as much as I dared and fanned myself.
Then I scooted the tank up my body and pulled it out through the turtleneck hole.
What I hadn't counted on was this very tiny, delicate lucky necklace that my friend Jane gave me. It's a wee gold wishbone on a thin chain that's just barely larger than my neck.
Basically, I managed to pull the tank straight through the necklace just enough to get it stuck halfway.
I put my arms back through the sweater armholes and pulled, gently. It wouldn't go up. And it wouldn't go down.
And I panicked. I was so hot I couldn't think rationally. I had a fight or flight reaction, but wasn't sure where to go.
I had a large flesh-colored protrusion perched on the top of the neck of my turtleneck, right next to my ear.
I fumbled for the clasp. I kept not quite getting it. I didn't want to break my new necklace. I didn't want to have to cut my sweater off.
Like I said, I wasn't thinking clearly.
Just as I was like, oh, god, I'm going to have to stroll casually through the office with this obviously-an-undergarment protrusion sticking out near the side of my head, I finally managed it. The clasp opened.
Sweating profusely, I crammed my tank top into my backpack and headed to the kitchen for a glass of water.
I think maybe I need more wicking?