Vicki Wentz: Feeelings ... wo wo wo ... feeelings ...
Women are a sturdy lot, and most of us are able to handle what life hurls at us...and hurl it does, my friend. In things that really matter, we are stronger than men in so many ways. (I had my gallbladder out and was teaching again in five days. My Dad and my son-in-law both had theirs out, and even after two weeks you would have thought that no one on the planet had ever been in pain of this magnitude in the history of mankind...and, of course, if men had to accomplish childbirth, well, mankind would be wiped out in a matter of weeks, anyway.)
However, we women are usually “feelers” as opposed to “thinkers,” and this makes us somewhat more emotional, which often causes men to blame a woman’s bad day on…well…hormones, which is without a doubt the most insensitive, obtuse rationalization for men acting like idiots that we’ve ever heard. Usually we have the maturity to overlook it, but around once a month it really bugs us.
Are women really that different from men in what upsets us? Is there truly any distinction between a man getting angry at a boss and a woman getting angry at, say, a chair? What matters is WHY we’re angry at the chair. It’s incredibly annoying to hear, “Honey, get a grip, you’re mad at a chair.” Why is he taking the chair’s side? So, then we cry.
Okay, perhaps women are occasionally a bit hormonally crazed. God did that, and apparently God is male, so no surprise there.
But, the thing that really burns us is that not only must we deal with raging hormones throughout our reproductive lives, but there’s also this huge hormone party as we end that phase. Here we’re finally able to relax, and suddenly we’re taking the same emotional ride we took at age 13, and we are no longer 13 in any way, shape or form. Frankly, we’re falling apart.
We sit in our cars in the Kroger’s parking lot, watching young, lively women striding around with a vim and vigor we abruptly realize we haven’t possessed in a good while. It takes us 15 minutes to gather enough vim to get out of the car, and our vigor is at home in the cupboard behind the aspirin.
Now, if I can stop sobbing because we’re out of milk, I’ll tell you about one of my own serene days in the Merry World of Menopause.
Because I am a woman and a mother and Italian, my life is mostly guilt-driven. On this particular day, I felt guilty because we have two dogs who will never see the sunlight unless I walk them, which I can’t do very well due to the agony of arthritis in my ankle. So, I went outside to write while the dogs ran around.
After only 10 minutes, Kasey came bounding up, bringing the foulest-smelling cloud of eau-de-yuck with her. She’d rolled in something. I had to drag her over to the hose to wash her. (It’s just freakin’ eerie how whenever Kasey rolls in something – which is a fairly regular event – no matter who else had been around earlier, suddenly I am home alone.)
She was soaped up when she escaped, ran inside and collapsed on her clean bed. It took a handful of Frosted Mini Wheats to let me throw a beach towel over her and haul her back outside.
When she was clean, I threw the dog bed in the wash and went back out to dry Kasey with the hairdryer, which chose that moment to blow a fuse.
After showering, I put the wash in the dryer, adding my son’s tennis shoe. It helps get the dog pillow fluffy, but it bangs around and sometimes hits and opens the dryer door. So, I reached into the corner for a broom to jam the door closed, but the broom was stuck, which pulled me off balance, making me step into the dogs’ water bowl. I yanked out the broom, dislodging a mop, which fell and hit the food bowl, shooting Beneful throughout the laundry room. (Both dogs met my gaze at this point, and retreated beneath the kitchen table.)
I cleaned everything up, propped the mop against the dryer door and tossed the broom back into the corner, where it hit something and bounced back into my face. I put it back. It fell forward. I put it back. It fell again. I slammed it back, and the broom, the Swiffer, another mop and a duster came at me. I started batting at all of them, screaming, “Get back there, you $*#!%! I hate you!”
I only knew my son was standing there when I heard his patient but long-suffering tone, “Mom, get a grip, you’re yelling at brooms.” Fine… take the broom’s side.
Vicki Wentz is a local writer, teacher and speaker. Readers may contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit her website, www.vickiwentz.com.