Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Is it hot in here or is it just me?

Perimenopause is making me acutely aware of my body. I can't ignore its reactions to specific stimuli.  For example, I used to be cold. Always reaching for a sweater. But not now. I'm not talking hot flashes, but my body temperature is up.

When I experience PMS - albeit mild and with charming manifestations like an undeniable need for Clark Bars and other culinary near-misses - I am under siege to olfactory nerves in overdrive. 

Normal things - things that don't typically bother me - smell ... weird. Wrong. Gross.

"It smells eggy," I say as I hand the plate back to MathMan who looks confused and on the verge exasperated.

On Mother's Day, he made dinner. Operating on the theory that the source of the trouble was lavender-infused Cascade, he hand washed the dishes before dinner to see if the eggy smell would disappear.

Chloe walked into the kitchen to find him holding an empty dinner plate under my nose.

"Smells fine," I said to him. "Thank you."

Chloe's knitted eyebrows spoke for her.

"That's love," I said.

"I see that." She didn't miss a beat.

She returned to the living room and said to Nathan, "She's sniffing plates. And we wonder why Sophie is a freak who won't eat off metal utensils or drink out of a plastic cup."


The children provided the appropriate amount of Mother Worship on Mother's Day. That's not saying much since I have set that bar so low, it's subterranean. I get my lack of holiday esprit de corps from my own mother. When I phoned her to wish her a happy Mother's Day, she informed me that her rotten children hadn't gotten her a damn thing.

"That's why I'm calling. (Okay, so I was calling way, way late to ask, but still.) What would you like for a gift?"  Seriously - I haven't a clue what to get her.

"Your sister tells me I'm hard to buy for."

My inner teenager screamed No shit! But I cheerfully replied, "I'd agree. So what would you like?"

"I don't know. Nothing. When I need something, I go get it. Besides this is just Mother's Day."

"Okay, so help me out here. What would you like for your birthday in August?" See, I was planning ahead. I'm trying.

"I don't know. That's months from now."


"Christmas? What could we get you for Christmas?"

"Well, I told your sister she could get us a paper shredder."

Of course she'd know what she wants for Christmas.

"That's great for Denise, but ----? Maybe I'll get you a book. Something like 201 Practically Legal Things You Can Do with Shredded Paper. Or would you just like a case of paper to shred?"

She muttered. Where did you get such a smart mouth, Lisa?

Then she launched into a story about being an election judge and running into a high school friend of mine, who worked for the opposite political party. During their conversation, a ray of light fell upon my friend and he joked that god was smiling down on him.

"Why, yes, she is," Mom agreed.

My friend rolled his eyes. "That sounds like something Lisa would say."

"Where do you think she got it?" Mom shot back.

I listened and watched the clouds crowd out the moon overhead.  "Should we discuss irony?" I asked.


"Nevermind," I sighed.

She sighed back.  "Listen, just buy me some perfume. Nothing with musk in it. Musk still makes me feel sick."

This is a long-established truth  in our family.

"How do you feel about the smell of eggs?" I smirked.

Note to readers:  I miss you guys. If you follow the news, you could guess why I'm locked in a hotel in Midtown Atlanta for the foreseeable future. Long days, some long nights. While I'm away, will someone please remind the Goldens to scoop the litterboxes? Thanks! xoxo


  1. At least you took the time to check in. Life was so much better for your fans when you were unemployed. We'll be here when you get back, though, so don't worry.

  2. "She's sniffing plates. And we wonder why Sophie is a freak who won't eat off metal utensils or drink out of a plastic cup."

    That's HILARIOUS.

    And, I hear you on the PMS. I am a lunatic for five days before I get my period.


    PS: That conversation with your mom is priceless!

  3. Uh, the Hawks were eliminated last week. And better plates than glue. Today's stuff can't hold a candle to the old school adhesives.

  4. Thought they had a deal -- just how much more is left to negotiate?

  5. YO, the Goldens!

    Don't forget to scoop the litterboxes!!!

  6. Sister...this is "your sister" as mother refers to me as. Glad I read this article. I totally forgot about mother wanting a paper shredder. I am going to really send the ol' woman over the edge and get her the damned paper shredder for her, uh "our" birthday. You can send her a ream of paper to destroy while she figures out how to work the damn thing. I am kind of scared, though, to get her something that resembles an electronic office device. You know how she was with the computer - very pitiful as a computer user.

    Just to let you know, she had almost word-for-word conversation with me when I called her. I will admit guilt, however. I failed to get her a mother's day card (as I forgot to get my daughters-in-law cards). I'll make up for it. I will send the mother a card for Memorial Day, Flag Day, Father's Day, 4th of July, and her birthday. Hopefully, that will make up for missing one frickin' Mother's Day.

  7. The foul smell of eggs ... a sulfurous smell ... me thinks the Gates Of Hell are nearby. Hope you aren't locked up in in Hotel Kafka, exits are wicked hard to find.

  8. I never made a big deal out of it being Mother's day for ME but I always go out of my way to do something for my Mom. The more guilt I feel towards her, the more I do too :)

  9. OK, perimenopause explains EVERYTHING I'm dealing with. I thought I was dying. Thank you for explaining what my doctor didn't.

  10. is it wrong that--besides your gorgeous writing--one of my favorite parts of this posts was the exchange with your darling sister?!

  11. It is hot in here, but so are you, babe.

    Keep fighting the good fight. The litter will no doubt be waiting or you when you get back . . .

  12. The smell-thing. I hear you. My sense of smell is off the fucking earth!!!

    My husband calls me The Bloodhound.

    And I am.

  13. If you lived here you wouldn't be feeling any heat at all. Damn, it's still cold here.

    Not to worry, we'll be waiting.

  14. Laughing my head off at the Sophie comment.

  15. Still haven't had hot flashes--my mother didn't finally go through and wrap up menopause until she was 57...disgraceful, no? That said, I am always cold, which is why I may be the only woman looking forward to hot flashes. And Sophie's right to avoid eating off of plastic--can't be good for you. She's a very bright girl.

  16. I am so thankful that I am finally officially ancient as I am at the tail end of hot flashes. I went into peri-menopause at the ripe old age of 47 and now at 54, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. This means that I no longer go outside when it is blizzarding at midnight wearing only my white Hanes for Her because I woke up to sweat drenched sheets and that I no longer stick my head in the freezer four times a day. My partner used to think I was exaggerating until she began to have hot flashes every day or so. She went to her doctor and now takes pills to stop it, so I have to constantly remind her that I went through it without drugs. Which is funny, because I pretty much prefer to be chemically altered every chance I get...

  17. Hey-- you are a luck one, I had a hellish experience- a cyst caused an ovary to rupture. The worst part was a Nurse Ratched in the ER. As I lie in a fetal position, writhing in pain, she refused to give me anything. I'd already been tested & just had ultrasound- but she told me to *shut up* & if I made any noise, she would take my family members out of the ER exam room. Wow! I honestly considered calling 9-1-1 for an ambulance to come help me while in the ER! I had already told my Doc I wanted a complete hysterectomy (this was the 2nd rupture & removal)-- AND I wanted my appendix out too!
    So I had surgical menopause.... all at once & like a freight train.
    I think there were many times the family just backed away slowly..... glad to get out of the house alive.
    I did not have hot flashes.... I would describe them more like tsunamis. Talk about a hormonal whammy!
    After the emergency surgery & during my 5 day stay in the hospital, I had a chat with the Director of Nursing about "Nurse Ann". Now I know any time any medico pulls something like that, you ask for a Charge Nurse. I think I got 6 call backs & a few apology letters from the hospital.
    Rest assured Nurse Ann now knows for sure,(if there was any doubt in her mind) that was not OK.

  18. Laura S called them hot flushes. I thought they were bad until I started to have hot flashes. My cousin told me her doctor said they could last up to 10 years, so I still have a few to go. Happy Mother's Day.

  19. Miss you to, Lisa. You always know how to make me laugh! :-)

  20. I've been cold my entire life, and used to joke that I looked forward to menopausal hot flashes 'just so I could be warm for a minute'.

    Then I started having them. They're less of a warming factor and more of thinking that someone threw your innards into a nuclear reactor. Oh, and I'm only 40. We Maineiacs start young.

    I haven't smelled any eggs, but I HAVE smelled a lot of burning wires.

  21. This post made me laugh! The conversation with your mom was priceless though i wouldn't have thought so if it had been the same conversation between me and my mom. I live in England so have no clue why you are locked in a hotel room (not sure I really want to know)! I am waiting for menopause to make an appearance and am trying to reassure myself that it will be 'nice' to feel hot for a change...

  22. I am completely lost - after the hot flashes stopped I think my mind has melted a bit and this is what is left of me. I have no idea why you are stuck in a hotel again... hang in there and be glad you have such a loving husband and funny family.


And then you say....

(Comments submitted four or more days after a post is published won't appear immediately. They go into comment moderation to cut down on spam.)