Tag Archives: Menopause

Vikki Claflin Makes Me Laugh

Vikki Claflin Makes Me LaughHumor writer Vikki Claflin consistently makes me laugh and here are a couple of reasons why:

“I grew up with a slender mother and a little sister who wore a size zero if you hosed her down first and weighed her in her soaking wet clothes. My father used to refer to her as the “little one,” and I was always the “wholesome one.” Yeah, that was what a 15 year-old wants to hear. For years I viewed myself as a Swedish butter churner. Big bones and strong arms, yodeling my way through my domestic chores.”

and

“When Baby Boy was born, I didn’t get him circumcised. It seemed a tad barbaric. (‘Welcome to the world, son. Now we’re going to chop off part of your joy stick’) … After an emotional, post-partum promise to my 8-pound miracle that I would never let anybody hurt him, I wasn’t going to start with whacking his wienie.”

These nuggets come from past essays she has written and I still crack up when I read them.

Vikki Claflin is our generation’s Erma Bombeck.

Body image, parenting, menopause, marriage, makeup, pop culture, and those nasty chin hairs — Vikki’s observations about the foibles of modern life are consistently razor sharp and wickedly funny.

I first got to know Vikki’s writing through her blog, Laugh Lines: Humorous Thoughts and Advice on How to Live Young When You’re…well…Not, and found it to be a safe place where I could feel better about my double chin.

It amazes me that Vikki is as prolific as she is, but I guess middle age is rife with material.

Two years ago I giggled my way through Claflin’s Who Left the Cork Out of My Lunch? and was keeping my fingers crossed that there would be another collection of her essays someday.

And here it is!

Vikki’s fourth book, I Think My Guardian Angel Drinks … Irreverent Advice on Living Well After 60 Because Wine is Always Age-Appropriate — will be available soon and I have had the privilege of getting an advance read.

So let me give you a sneak peak.

From Happily Married, Sleeping Separately:

“He likes the dogs sleeping in the big bed. I wouldn’t mind if they could be trained to sleep vertically, instead of horizontally. The same goes for the grandkids. Two Chihuahuas can push an adult human onto the floor, and little people like to sleep sideways on your head until you give up and relocate. By the third time I get shoved out of the bed, I’m up and hauling two tiny humans, each holding a Chihuahua, down the hall to the guest room.

His favorite sleeping position is a wide X, with arms up overhead and legs spread wide. He looks like he’s making a 2000 pound snow angel. This leaves me trying to curl into the tiny, pie-shaped area under his right armpit and above his right knee, which is roughly enough space for an anorexic gerbil.”

“I like a warm room. He prefers to sleep in an igloo, where you can see your breath when you talk. Hubs will open the window and turn on a fan next to his side of the bed. In December. We’ve had snow in our bed on more than one winter morning. Oh hell no.”

Misery loves company in the name of Vikki Claflin.

Nothing quite prepares us women for the annoying changes that happen post-50. It’s enough to make you want to tear your (thinning) hair out. So we could cry … or we could laugh, because laughing about varicose veins and cellulite is the better alternative. Vikki’s writing has made her an international best-selling author and has secured her a place in the hearts of menopausal women everywhere.

All of Vikki’s books are available on Amazon. Needless to say, I would recommend each one of them.

My fantasy is that someday Vikki Claflin and I will meet for a glass of wine and whine. And lots of laughs.

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Many Paws and Menopause

I am of the mindset that change is a good thing. I welcome change. Most of the time.

But when it comes to The Change, i.e. the change of life, i.e. menopause?

Not so much.

The change? Hoo boy. Is it ever.

It’s a Hot Mess

Menopause, oh menopause. You antagonize us midlife women with your heartless cruelty.

Let me count the ways.

Hot flashes and night sweats.

photo credit: janwillemsen via photopin cc

photo credit: janwillemsen via photopin cc

Mood swings and hair thinning.

Simultaneous disappearance of waistline and sex drive.

Sleepless nights.

Cellulite dimpling random body parts.

Reading glasses, often misplaced.

Many Paws

Chins multiplying like rabbits.

Sturdy black hairs sprouting under the chin, making tweezing difficult because who can see that close without reading glasses.?

Loss of memory and bladder control.

photo credit: Beige Alert via photopin <a

photo credit: Beige Alert via photopin

Are we having fun yet?

I’m Kidding. Kind of.

So maybe I’m painting a worst case scenario. Surely, there must be benefits of menopause.

When I figure that out I’ll let you know.

But what can you do? Menopause is merely part of life. Railing at it is useless. As with most things in life, you can wallow in self-pity. Or you can laugh.

I endorse the laughing.

Many Paws

Which is what I did when I read author Susan DeGarmo’s humorous take on what every woman will face someday: “Many Paws: The Years of Change.”

Despite its title, “Many Paws” is not about cute baby animals. But it is cute. Small enough to fit in your pocketbook, it is a pop-up book with a colorful, whimsical design, and funny pearls of wisdom throughout. How adorable is this??

Many Paws

“Many Paws” is not heavy reading, nor is it a self-help book. It’s a little collection of humor about the nuisances  that all women endure in one way or another.

Like DeGarmo, I will not embrace menopause. Menopause is not my friend. But I will laugh about it with my friends who totally understand.

Because that is the best way we sistahs will get through it.

I can’t think of a better gift for a friend, mom or sister whose hot flashes and mood swings have turned her into Meno-monster. She needs a laugh? This will give her just that.

I have a copy of “Many Paws to give away to a reader. Tell me the worst or best thing about menopause and I will randomly select a winner.

I received a copy of “Many Paws: The Years of Change” for an honest review. No compensation was received.

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The Woman in the Mirror: a Personal Reflection

I remember sitting in a college French class absently twirling a string of my hair and half listening to the professor talk about idiomatic expressions. Until one in particular caught my attention.

Etre bien dans sa peau

The literal translation is “to feel well in one’s own skin.” It means to feel good about yourself. But typically the expression is used in the negative — ne pas etre bien dans sa peau — and relates to anxiety or dissatisfaction with yourself. As in “I’m too fat, too thin, not pretty enough, not smart enough …” Wow, I thought.

Je ne suis pas bien dans ma peau. 

Mon dieu. C’est moi.

Yes, that was, and is, me.

Since as far back as I can remember, I have had … issues. Like looking in the mirror and grimacing at my image.

I blame my internal critic who is on call 24/7, providing continuous commentary of the negative sort.

She gives me a head-to-toe appraisal, her eyes flickering over the most egregious of body parts, and shakes her head sadly. Clears her throat. And with a sigh, begins to tick off the litany of flaws present in my body.

I listen. I agree. Even though, by probably anyone else’s standards, I look just fine.

Like the late Nora Ephron, whose book “I Feel Bad About My Neck: and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman” resonated with many of us dames d’un certain age, I fret about wrinkles, cellulite, hair loss and all the rest of it. That is to be expected, I suppose.

But that doesn’t account for why I felt this way as a teenager. Any probably even younger. I wasn’t obsessed with my body image. But I sure wasn’t happy about it.

The insecurities start at a very young age, especially with girls. Where does it come from? My mother didn’t instil these feelings — I did. Why? Is it societal norms, the overwhelming pressure to be thin, be beautiful, be perfect, thereby finding eternal happiness?

As I begin my latest diet to get rid of the 10 pounds that have crept up on me, I think of the alternative, being content absorbing the extra 10 pounds. Being happy in my own skin.

But that’s just not me.

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