Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Comfortable in your own skin

I've noticed that as women get older, they get more assertive. Perhaps it comes with the confidence of figuring out who you are and what you want. Maybe, as we age, we get more "comfortable in our own skin." That's a phrase you'll hear more and more on shows like Oprah or in women's magazines.

What does that mean exactly? "Comfortable in our own skin." I may be more confident now than I was in my 20s or 30s. But I was much more comfortable in my 20-year-old skin, I can tell you that! My 20-year-old skin was smooth, tight, not a wrinkle or a dimple. I had a great butt! My 40-year-old skin? Well, it's not bad, but I'm not so comfortable with my butt anymore. Not to mention that stuff that has started to jiggle underneath my arms. And what are these reverse freckles I'm getting on my chest, arms and legs? Are these age spots? Sun damage?

Just the other day I was griping to a friend about some persistence headaches. And I've been really hot lately. I'm usually the one that has to wear a sweater if it's less than 80 degrees outside. Now I seem to sweat more often.

"You know what it could be," my friend W said with a wry look on her face.

"No, what?"

"Perimenopause," she breathed in a conspiratorial whisper.

"Perimen Palsy? What's that?"

"NO, PERIMENOPAUSE," she said much more loudly this time.

What the hell is that? I had never heard of such a thing. But, apparently perimenopause is the new women's health crisis du jour. W is practically obsessed with the idea and has already read several books and online posts about it. Perimenopause, W has learned, is probably responsible for everything that's wrong with her life right now. Her tension, lack of energy, sleeplessness, and general bad attitude.

I was afraid to suggest that she might be tired, cranky and tense because she's not SLEEPING.

W explained that perimenopause is the life cycle women experience before menopause. And it can last for up to 10 years and be WORSE than menopause itself.

Who comes up with this stuff? Women in their forties now have to deal with up to 10 years of general malaise as our eggs slowly die before the full-blown hell of menopause! This has got to be one of those illnesses made up by the drug companies to get women approaching middle age to buy more vitamins, supplements and new feminine products in an effort to keep our Pikachu "young" and "dewy."

We may be assertive, confident and comfortable in our own skin, but we sure are gullible and obsessed with youth.

Not that I'm immune. Last Christmas when my husband asked me what I wanted, I whipped out the brochure I'd gotten earlier that week from the dermatologists office. "I want Laser Rejuvenation!"

"What's that" my Beloved asked with a look on his face like he smelled something rotten.

They knock you out, put this goo all over your face and laser a layer of skin off. It gets rid of sun damaged skin, gives you a fresh look and takes years off your face by making wrinkles less noticeable I explained.

"Why would you want to get your face lasered? There's nothing wrong with your face. And you don't need to look younger, you don't look old now."

Anyway, I got my wish. That's right, I willingly forked over $2,000 to have my face burned off. What was I thinking?

Like I said, gullible and obsessed with youth. Maybe this irrationality is a symptom of perimenopause.

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