For much of my life, I’ve looked younger than my age in years and I’m not sure how well this has served me. As a child, I resented it—most children, I think, want to be perceived as older than they are, not younger—and as a young adult, I viewed it as a reason people didn’t take me as seriously as I (sometimes) hoped they would. It’s had its benefits as I’ve gotten older—when I was thirty-one, I took a job at the University of California at Davis, and people, including students, often mistook me for an undergrad. But it’s also served as an excuse for not being as responsible as I should be, not growing up, not demanding as much as I should of myself.
We all have our little denying ways, don’t we? We tell ourselves we haven’t put on that much weight until we see an unflattering photo of ourselves or try on the jeans we haven’t worn in several weeks. Some of us spend money flagrantly until we see our bank statements. As a denier of middle-age, I was in for a shockeroo this weekend, when “that time of the month” arrived…. for a second time. Yes, dearies, two weeks later: round #2 of the thing women are usually required to contend with only once a month.
Turns out this is a symptom of…. menopause.
Let me ask you this: Why do the words “menstruation” and “menopause” begin with the word “men”? Do you think men might stay out of things that have absolutely nothing to do with them? Ever?
So I’m old. Old. And life is freakin’ unfair. If I had chosen my symptoms, I would have opted for less frequent menstruation, but no one asked me, did they? When symptoms were handed out, I got this one, and there ain’t a whole lot I can do about it, other than stock up on Kotex.
Maybe it is a good thing I joined Costco. Extra-large carton of menstrual products, please!
Old Mom, Young Child has a Facebook page (www.facebook.com/thisoldmom), and is on Twitter (@omyc_blog), in case you’re interested (and please do be interested). The purpose, mainly, of these things is to encourage folks to read this blog, but they’ve kind of taken on lives of their own. The Twitter account is Old Mom’s political wing, you might say. This is where Old Mom speaks out on progressive causes that she holds dear: gun control, for one, and women’s rights, and the ways in which the Tea Party and Republican politicians monumentally piss her off. The Facebook page is less serious-minded: She (well, I) tends to post funny “memes” and the occasional link to an article about parenting.
I do sometimes wonder about the Twittersphere. As of this writing, Old Mom has 1,327 followers, most of them via Unite Blue, an organization devoted to uniting progressive voices and preventing conservatives from unfairly suspending those on the Left. (Yes. They do this.) Many of the people I follow have interesting things to say; some do not. Some spew insults as quickly as Rush Limbaugh; others post interesting news. And then there are the right wingers who occasionally find me via a hashtag (such as #GunControl) and attempt to engage me in “discussions” that are rarely worth having. Every one of these conversations has descended into hostile or creepy depths that have resulted in my blocking the other person.
It’s at these times that I wonder why I’m bothering at all. Am I spending my time on a worthwhile pursuit or just spinning my wheels? Is anything I’m tweeting making a scintilla of difference in the world? Or am I just adding to an endless echo chamber of meaninglessness?
You tell me. I’ll be waiting to hear.
Photo by Nicolas Raymond