If you are a woman ( or a man with ovaries), you’ll wake up one morning, answer the ringing clue phone and be told you’ve won a marvelous trip.
A land and cruise tour to the island of Menopause.
Oh, you can protest that you can’t possibly get packed and ready to go, but you’re going whether you want to or not.
You’ll board the SS Estrogen and meet your cruise director Hormone Hellen. She will schedule you for the many exciting shore excursions on this cruise. Again, as much as you’d like to opt out of these exciting side trips, she just won’t let you.
Your cruise sails out of Regular Monthly harbor. Be sure to wear your life jacket because the seas can be a little rough.
The first stop is the south shore on the island of Peri-Menopause. This island is hotter than hell and for some reason, you just want to cry when you get there. You’ll spend quite some time here exploring the mountains and valleys. You’ll swim in Lake Frustration and hike down Memory Loss Trail. (A word of advice, skip the “Give into the urge to hit you with my car” cave because that leads in a direction you don’t want to go).
Also, all of your clothes will shrink on this island.
You’ll eventually find yourself on the north shore, ready to board the SS Estrogen again. For some reason, the ship will look much smaller.
The next stop is the Sahara Desert. You’ll wonder how a cruise could end up in the desert. Like many other things on this strange trip, it won’t make sense. Don’t even try.
You’ll ride a cranky camel and realize that it must have fleas because you itch all over. You’re still hot as hell, and everything on your body is dry. Desert dry. No matter how much water you drink, no matter what kind of creams you use, you’ll feel like a piece of dried fruit at Trader Joes. You just want to get the hell out of this desert.
The SS Estrogen will pick you up, but now it is nothing more than a dinghy. You’ll climb in, and Hormone Hellen will greet you with a snarl.
You’re back on the choppy sea but in the distance, you can see another island. You’ll hope it is your destination.
The seas will calm a little, and though still unpredictable, Hellen will be a little nicer. Good thing since you’re stuck in a damn dinghy with her.
Finally, you reach the shore of the Island of Menopause. You’ll sail into NoMoMonthly harbor, and you will realize it isn’t such an awful place. It does have its hot days, and there are some mountains and valleys here too but after such a tumultuous journey you’re just glad to be on solid ground again. You won’t feel like crying much anymore and while you’re still dry all over you’ve found a cream that helps. But, you’ll also begin to understand why some women refer to this lovely island as “Mental-Pause.” There will be days when you forget where the hell you are and how you got there.
Mostly, you will feel that life is good again.
Well good except for the new beard you’ve grown. I forgot to mention that. Somewhere on the journey, your hair will start to move around on your body. Where you had hair, you’ll lose it. Where you didn’t, it will grow. Sometimes you’ll wake up with a mutant hair that wasn’t there the night before and has suddenly grown 2 inches overnight. Buy good tweezers and a magnifying mirror. They sell them all over the island.
Your journey is over, and you’re glad to be home. Things may be a little different at home than they were before you left but somehow you instinctively know that you can be the best you’ve ever been. Good tweezers, the right creams, and a positive outlook will make all the difference. Oh and notes, the sticky kind. Don’t forget notes to yourself so you’ll remember where to go, how to get there, where you left whatever it was you left and what you’re supposed to do once you get where you’re supposed to go.