Whee! Welcome to the Menopausal Playground

As I neared menopause, I desperately tried to ward off the approaching turbulence. I made excuses for the absentmindedness and denied the irritability. To those of you who are nearing the end of Aunt Flo's now-unpredictable visits, take a little trip with me to what I like to call the menopausal playground. There you'll find…

Gender Bent

“That tasted odd,” I thought as I chewed and swallowed my daily vitamin. I turned the bottle around to read the label, which said, “Macho Man High Potency Vitamins for real men.” Uh-oh. Oh, well, a vitamin’s a vitamin, right? Anyway, I’m out of mine. I’m happy to say that it didn’t seem to affect…

On the Witness Stand

My former boss once referred to people like me as "Hershey bars, because when you put a little heat to them, they melt." He was right. I barely can tolerate the pressure of something as innocuous as an eye exam. It's all those decisions. "Is it better like this, or like this?" the optometrist asks.…

When Pigs Fly

I was tricked. I never would've agreed to participate in Cincinnati's Flying Pig Half Marathon if I'd known how things would turn out. "C'mon, it'll be fun," coaxed my friend Marquita, who'd done it several times. "It's only ten kilometers. That's 6.2 miles. You've walked that far hundreds of times with your walking club." "Sure,…

Saturday Afternoon at the Movies, Who Cares What Picture You See?

In our little hometown, there was a small, family-owned, single screen theater within walking distance of our house. The movies were current and the prices low. The owner's children operated the popcorn and candy concession stand and their parents worked the ticket window. Every Saturday in December the local merchants sponsored a 10-cent matinee, which…

Double, Double, Toil and Trouble

Laundry day used to be labor intensive, but environmentally friendly. Every Saturday Mom stood over a bubbling cauldron of hot soapy water and dirty clothes, stirring her brew with a sawed-off broomstick, then carefully pushing each item between the spinning rollers of her wringer washer to squeeze out the excess water. If she wasn’t careful,…

Shall We Dance?

I've attended over a dozen high school proms. My parents didn't care what time I got home, if my gown showed too much cleavage, or if I had a few drinks there. That's because I was a senior citizen at all of them. I didn't go to my own high school's prom back in the…

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

The graphic art in the plastic surgery center's ad was what caught my eye. It was a large photo of Michaelangelo's David, one of the most exquisite and realistic depictions of the nude male ever created. In the ad, amateurish airbrushing over his groin area had rendered him anatomically neutered, as smooth and genderless as…

DOLLS IN THE TOY BOX

When I was a little girl, baby dolls didn't "do" anything. We dressed them in frilly clothing, carried them around (often by an arm or a leg), and pushed them around the neighborhood in a stroller. When we got bored with them, we tossed them into the toybox. In later years, manufacturers added features making…

The Halloween Kitchen is Closed

As a first-time homeowner in 1973, I was apprehensive about my first Halloween on the other side of the doorway. After all, I didn't want my house egged or my trees toilet-papered. Anticipating a crowd of Trick-or-Treaters, I purchased a case of my favorite full-size candy bars. You know, just in case there were any…