Peripause/Menopause -I’ve got this!

saying goodbye to your period, is both a blessing and a curse….

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So it was that I was trying to cram everything into the smallest of bags whilst the Uber driver waited patiently outside.

I loved this vintage Ted Baker bag, the zip had already busted and been mended due to cramming everything from an umbrella, pumps, purse, tissues, make up and keys into too small a space.

On this night, and in order to save the bag, something would have to give.  I had already ditched the purse but as every forty something woman will know, an umbrella, tissues, make up and flat shoes are essentials. However the items which were preventing the zip from closing, was a couple of persistent tampax.

My period has been AWOL for the past couple of months and before then, was like the pain in the arse friend who turns up every now and then, usually at the most inopportune time.  As a result, I had taken to making sure that I had supplies in every bag, they had become manky, smeared with make up and bent out of shape having spent months neglected in the bottom of those bags.  So, with vintage bag in hand and super plus in full view, I asked myself – when is it safe to toss aside the tampons for good?

I was around 47 when I missed a couple of periods and was delighted – I felt great.  I gave a cursory thought to osteoporosis and HRT, but one look in the mirror assured me that this was a long way off – brittle bones are for old folk!. This menopause malarkey was going to be a breeze. Hot flush? What hot flush? if anything I was always on the cold side.  And what of that dry feeling below that I’ve heard about???? Nope, this too had passed me by. So it was that I packaged every tampax, pad (including the hefty night time ones), and stuffed them in a drawer somewhere and made a mental note to give them to my niece when I next saw her, only for me to retrieve them some days later.  Irregular periods were now the way forward.

The thing is, we all learn about periods at school but for what follows years later, you have to do your own research; there is no invitation from the GP when you are in your mid to late 40s,  inviting you for a quick chat to run you through what to many women, is a daunting new phase of her life.  For me, I had no idea whether you are supposed to go to the doctors after missing a period or two or whether you have to start HRT straightaway or at all? Like I said, I didn’t feel at all unwell so saw no need to trouble the doctor.  It wasn’t exactly rocket science, I was in my late forties so knew this was the menopause !  Wrong – it’s called peripause apparently – i.e. the 12 month period  when you would be wise to ensure that those tampons have a place in your bag.  It’s during this period that you question whether you have early onset dementia because your memory is shot to shit- you can’t  remember names, you speak quickly because there is a real chance you will forget what you’re talking about before you get to the end of the sentence; you can’t find where you have put things and frequently leave keys in the lock  (this list is not exhaustive).

So now that I am at this phase, how am I supposed to feel about it?   I was having a laugh with a male friend when he asked if I could still have babies.  Without hesitation, I said, of course I can, but then thought, well actually probably not.  I do wonder why I was so keen to give the impression that my ovaries were in top form – he knew how old I was so wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised if I fessed up to drying up.

I’m looking forward to  a period free life, but that’s possibly the only bonus.  A declining libido i’m sure I will cope with, but a dry vag will be horrific. It will be interesting and daunting having to get to know my body all over again – every cramp has me thinking here she comes and it turns out to be a bit of indigestion. But strange of all is that during the course of writing this blog, I have taken off and put back on my dressing gown about six times – one minute i’m as hot as fuck and the next i’m trying to justify putting the heating back on.   Is this actually a hot flush or just a problem with the thermostat?

Happy New Year -fabulous you xxxx

For God sake please be private in public!!

 

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I read with incredulity this week, the story of a woman who had been prosecuted for losing her rag when a passenger decided to eat her breakfast, a smelly boiled egg, on a train, in the early hours of the morning https://www.standard.co.uk/news/crime/city-worker-flew-into-rage-at-commuter-over-boiled-eggs-breakfast-on-train-from-chelmsford-to-a4284821.html

Very little shocks me these days, as I thought I had seen and heard it all.   One afternoon, the passenger opposite me, a young man in his 20s, pulled out his roll on deodorant, lifted his top and proceeded to apply it to his pits. I looked at him in shock, and he looked back at me as though I was the crazy one for not performing hygiene rituals in public.

The great Presenter Eddie Nestor, told a story on his radio programme about a woman who wiped her armpits with a wet wipe on the tube and simply left the used wipe on the seat next to her for the pleasure of the next passenger.

Times are changing fast – what once society viewed as being private, is now very much public; we have all heard folk sharing the most intimate details of their lives as they talk with friends/partners on mobile phones, oblivious to the passengers around them.

Women applying full make up on the train is common place and I have to say, I don’t like it.  I ask myself, what else did you not have time to do this morning if you couldn’t spare the time to do your make up at home – did you even shower? I don’t think it’s an age thing as many of whom I speak are mature women.  For me, applying make-up is a personal affair,  contorting one’s face should be done in private.  I have yet to see a man shave, but watch this space I guess.

There’s no doubt that times are changing; social media has seen to it that every aspect of life is to be shared, from what you eat, to what you read, your political views, boring pictures of your pets,  and even more boring pictures of your kids – the whole lot.

Much of  this is an age thing as I guess those in their 20s/30s have a different take on privacy. I come from a era when my parents wouldn’t even allow me to eat a packet of crisps in public.  As an adult I’m much more relaxed about it (well, not that relaxed!) but what I find worrying, is the lack of regard for others; surely any reasonable human being would recognise that eating a stinking egg on the tube (she admitted that it smelt) is unpleasant and I sympathise with the rage felt by the commuter who was ultimately prosecuted.

Is it now really the case that anything goes? When a friend of mine told me that she saw a passenger flossing his teeth on the bus and that he took mouth wash out of his bag along and a receptacle to spit into, I thought she was joking…..sadly not. Should we be horrified at his lack of decorum or should we high five his great dental hygiene?

I’m frightened that in my lifetime, we will get to the stage when we will not blink an eye at someone crouching down to take a shit at the kerb side – you know, like dogs do.  Just as long as they find somewhere to wash their hands I guess!

Have a great day fabulous you xxxx

 

I want to marry him but he won’t ask me(well ask him then!!!)

I reminded my friend that this is the 21st century, and of course she can propose to her partner……

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There we were 7 women sitting on the roof terrace of a London restaurant, in the glorious sunshine sipping cocktails, when the conversation drifts onto dating, as it so often does.  One in the group is in a relationship, 5 want to be in a relation and one (yours truly) is happily single at this time (as mentioned in my previous blog, my man in a white coat (??!!) is coming for me in November 2021 – https://wordpress.com/post/fortyfabulousandfumbling.com/212)

The lovely lady who is in a relationship, met her man online and she deliberately sought out someone older, 60, to be precise, because she says, men our age don’t want to date women in their 40s. However she wants to marry him, and he hasn’t proposed.

“Sooooo  why don’t you ask him?” I asked.  “No way, I need to know that he really wants to marry me”, was her reply with others chiming in with their agreement.

How depressing? Why in 2019, would a woman be reluctant to ask her partner to marry her  (he’s a 60 year old man, dating a woman in her 40s, surely the odds are squarely stacked in her favour that he will say yes).  Age aside, at this mature time of life, when women are Prime Ministers, MPs, Directors, etc… should a woman,  wait for a man to propose?  Does it really matter who does the asking?   Of course I understood where my friend was coming from, when she said she wanted assurance that her partner is keen, but if she has decided that he has the qualities that makes her want to marry him and spend the rest of your life with him, why does he have to go further to demonstrate that he is keen or more keen than her.  Isn’t that her insecurity?  If you want to get married, surely it doesn’t matter who does the asking.  If a woman is hell bent on being asked, possibly it’s not marriage she needs but counselling.

Just propose to him already, is what i told her. What’s the worse that can happen, the outcomes are finite, he can either:

  1.   Say Yes-  Great!
  2. Say No – not great but you’ll live;
  3. Say he’ll think about – not great but you’ll live
  4. Say I don’t want to get married – Great! This you need to know so you can assess if he is the man for you;
  5. Say you are pressuring him/he feels emasculated – he’s a dick, this is good news – you need to know this before you invest any further in him.

In the 21st century  when we demand equality, the very idea that a woman still holds the view that it’s a man’s place to propose is …..regressive.  If my friend’s partner doesn’t propose, there’s likely to be a cloud hanging over their relationship which cannot be healthy.

I asked a male friend what he thought about a woman proposing and he was passionately of the view that he wouldn’t like it because it would make him feel under  pressure.  See point 5 above.

When all is said and done surely if you want something, just ask for it- life is too damn short.

Stay fabulous x

 

 

Girls trip – not quite!

 

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So today is my birthday and I’m hanging on to my forties for dear life.  The lady assistant in Tesco’s must have known I needed a boost as she asked me for ID when purchasing my Merlot.  I’ll take compliments where I can get em but she was clearly nuts- not even on my very best day could I pass for 18. “I’m way older than 18 I beamed” and she said”  oh yes I see that now!”  Bitch!

Anyway I decided to celebrate my birthday in style, this was going to be the very best of my forties, so where else than New Orleans baaabbbyy.  My bestie and I had talked about this trip for 24 years and on the 25th anniversary of the Essence festival, we finally made it.  If you have seen Girls Trip, you will know that the Essence Festival is high energy, and with the best will in the world, I wasn’t confident that my 40+ arse would handle the pace, but fair play to me, with regular naps and flats, I held my own.  But a girl trip it was not, rather it marked the death of a 30 year friendship.

This trip which had been in the planning for 20 odd years was great in terms of location but as flat as a pancake in terms of female camaraderie.  We had been on holiday before when our kids were young, but now they are grown and we had this new found freedom, this was our first trip with just us.  We had spent our 30s immersed in Sex and the City and looked forward to the day when we would be ladies who brunched and enjoyed life.  However, life has a way of interfering with one’s plans and the life  we planned, never happened.  Instead the friendship grew stale. It never occurred to me that friendships, like any other relationship, requires attention, and I guess we took ours for granted.  At some point we stopped doing stuff, it became the norm to stop meeting up and planning things. So when the suggestion was made for a trip to New Orleans, what was not to love about that.

I think we both assumed that we would get on just fine. We were both crazy excited about the trip, there were conversations about how many shoes we needed, how many dresses were too many and the usual girly stuff.  So who could have guessed that by day 2, we’d be having a screaming row about ….wait for it….. make-up.  Two grown arse women giving it some about make up.  Instead of getting into the festival vibe, my friend wanted to browse MAC make up, a brand sold right here on every high street in London.  I was fucking furious.

So, far from the fun and frolics depicted on Girls Trip, the remainder of the holiday was marred by surliness and a burning wish (at least on my part and probably on hers too) that I had chosen a different travel companion.   To our credit, and without any discussion, we both reached the conclusion that the best way forward, was to spend the days doing our own thing and to meet in the evenings to go to the concerts.  My question is, why would a long standing friendship crumble at this time in our lives (over make up)?

Answer? Make up had little or nothing to do with it, the friendship never had any  substance and was based on habit and duration.  So what now? Take steps to salvage and repair or move on……?

P.S thoughts and prayers to the inhabitants of NOLA- may the hurricane be avoided and all be safe.

 

 

 

 

Are we snobs when it comes to dating in our 40s?

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A former colleague of mine, a lovely fabulous thing in her 40s, was telling me about yet another of her dating escapades.  Without shame or embarrassment, she proudly told me about a casual relationship she has been having with a guy on the Isle of Wight who was already in a relationship with someone else and  how she drives for miles to see this man when his partner was not around.  I am beyond judging a grown woman’s  choices, and if i’m honest, I quite admired the thought she had given to this state of affairs; she had rationally decided that it was an arrangement which suited her.  To some it may be a tad bit disturbing that she did not give a fuck about the other woman or to sisterhood, but like I said,  i’m not judging- let she without sin and all that.

This friend of mine has great credentials, she is a professional, no children, in her mid  forties she was possibly too old to be a concern to men that she may become broody and suddenly want children (she disliked children anyway) . She owned her own property and was reasonably well off.  As is the case with so many of us, she was finding it difficult to meet men the “conventional way” and she had been on several dating websites without success.  I asked her why she thought this was and she mentioned two things: 1 the guys tended to treat women with contempt, they were not serious about having a relationship; 2 and those that were, weren’t up to her standards- she was too old and had invested too heavily in herself to date the tradesmen and delivery drivers who expressed an interest in her: she said she would never date such a guy “ in a million years”.  NO JUDGEMENT!!!!!  I found her candour and honesty refreshing. It sounds harsh but in your 40s, with all the experience you have amassed and the knowledge you have of yourself, surely it is commendable to know what you want and have the confidence to express it?

It reminded me of a conversation I had with a male friend when he asked me if I would date a guy who was poor. The words “hell no” were on the tip of my tongue but even though I had known him for years, I was too embarrassed to admit this outright so I dressed it up by saying “look, you know I love to travel and I just want to meet someone who is in a positon to travel with me”.  He replied “yeah that make sense”.  The reality is, why at this in stage of my life, would i choose to date someone who can’t put on the table the same that i can?  I’m not asking a man to give me more than I can provide for myself.

However it’s not always about money, what about a man who can contribute and enhance your life in other ways? I met a guy not that long ago who is a handyman- useful indeed but poor as fuck.  I entertained him for a while but looking ahead, with all the plans I had in mind for myself as a single person, I couldn’t help but ask what the point was if he couldn’t share in my plans even if he could put together my IKEA furniture and paint the bathroom which has been crying out for a refresh for months.

I asked a friend of mine for her thoughts and it seemed to me that she may have already given some thought to this question as she responded as follows:

Let me tell you right now I am so happy in my own company.  I have compromised and twisted myself like a pretzel to accommodate the egos of underachieving men who are selfish and only for themselves.  Nope don’t need that.  I am no longer pandering to a man who does not please me.” 

What about a handyman who is well….handy? I asked. She replied: ”  you recall i dated **** he was useful but an arsehole and so was ****.  The price you pay for their handiness ain’t worth it.  If you want a handyman get one from the Yellow Pages” . HARSH!!!!

So I guess the message is that whilst it may be difficult to find love at this time of our lives, we don’t have to settle there is no shame in going for what you want…as L’Oréal says: you’re worth it.  Have a great weekend. (It’s worth mentioning that my Dad was a Carpenter and according to my mum, he was a catch -the same job as Jesus 🙂

Young-ish & losing it!

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So, i’m not quite 50 years old yet, but I can defo see it over there on the horizon, and if I squint, it appears to have its arms open ready to welcome and embrace me. And as if in preparation for that moment, it’s making me behave like…… an old person, robbing me of my memory.

I noticed a few years ago that my memory was not what it once was and I thought nothing of it and passed and laughed it off as me just losing it. But now my forgetfulness is much much worse to the point that I have taken to googling “am I too young to have dementia?” According to the high scores on the memory tests, dementia is unlikely. So what is it? This state of not being able to remember what I was doing or thinking, just a second ago, is tiring. Everything is now taking me longer – the daily ritual of having a shower and grooming is now taking longer – i’m sniffing my armpits every 5 minutes because I can’t remember if I had put my deodorant on. I find myself running to my bedroom to go get something and when I get there, I have no fucking clue why i’m there.

I’ll have a thought in my mind, and the second that I go to act on it, it vanishes, like a fart in the wind. I’m told that this will get worse. I’ve not had any hot flushes yet, or have I? I’m throwing the quilt off during the nights and hoping that this is because the nights are getting warmer and not because of …….anything else.

And if that’s not bad enough, i’m starting to get emotional, weeping at the silliest of things. I texted a male friend of mine to ask if this happens to guys and he told me how this week he wept over a plate of food which took him back to his youth. Is this the same he asked????

I am guessing that this is age related, yet another thing fab forty women have to deal with, is the peri pause, I have learned it is called – the getting ready for the next phase of life. Oh joy!

I leave it there as I have an appointment at 2 and the reminder I have set to remind me not to forget, is beeping away. I must also remember to put a tampon or two in my bag, as I have no idea where the fuck my period is….

Have a great day!