Perimenopause can kiss my ass.

Night sweats, weird hair stuff, turkey neck and more.

Sorry, I realize that’s a rather, er, aggressive title. But, look, things are happening. Weird and annoying things. Things that are, obviously, minor perturbances in the grand scheme of space and time and pandemic, blah blah blah. But I reserve the right to whine about them nevertheless. Because the way I look at it, if we stop whining about minor, normal life things completely, the coronavirus has won, right? Right. Let’s begin.

  1. Night sweats. These started a few years ago and have ratcheted up considerably over the past several years. Of late, they’ve been dreadful. Out of nowhere, I’ll have several nights in a row where I’ll wake up in the middle of the night, drenched and smelling like a sock, hot and cold at the same time, and have to fumble in the dark to my dresser for a new PJ top, or new PJ top andbottoms, depending on the severity of the drenching. I go back to sleep, eventually (this is something that’s also become more difficult; falling back asleep if I wake up in the night to pee or remove sweat-soaked garments) and when I wake up in the morning, I’m soaked again. And, usually, whatever I’m wearing is on backwards and inside out.

  2. What is happening with my hair? WHAT IS HAPPENING WITH MY HAIR? I’m not talking about grays; I’ve been lucky on that front, with only a few fine grays at the temples, and this one weird, wiry white hair that occasionally springs from the crown of my head, which I promptly yank out. 

    I mean, like, the volume of my hair. In the shower the other day, while I was rinsing out the shampoo, I pulled out a whole freaking handful of the stuff. It actually became sort of fascinating; every time I raked my fingers through my hair, I harvested a fresh crop of long strands. The last time this happened was after I stopped nursing E & C when they were babies, so there’s definitely something hormonal at play. I’m not worried about looking bald or anything; I have hair to spare. But…unsettling nevertheless.

  3. But wait, there’s more. More hair, that is. More hair in my nose. (Ew.) More random eyebrow hairs breaking away from the crowd and popping up beyond the edges of my brows, like they’re trying to beat a path to the hair on my head. (Perhaps to compensate for the hair that’s falling out there?) More fine fuzzy hairs on my chin. Which is not that big a deal, but I fear what it portends: Are whiskery chin hairs next? AM I GOING TO GET CHIN WHISKERS?

  4. My neck. Oh, my neck! It’s happening. My neck is starting to look old. My daughter was kind enough to point this out to me. (Isn’t it lovely? The candor of youth?) The skin is getting that plucked poultry look, and there are teeny little folds at the base of my neck, and the hollow right over the collarbone is deepening. Meanwhile, the skin over my er, decolletage is turning crepe-y and…weird. (Is this why Diane Keaton wears those turtlenecks all the time? Should I start wearing turtlenecks?) Best of all: I get to stare at this whole cornucopia of subtle signs of impending decrepitude on Zoom and Google Meet calls CONSTANTLY. Yay! 

  5. Jowls. They’re coming. They’re not quite visibly there yet, but they’re coming. Dear God, they’re coming. I can sense them there, along my jawline, plotting, planning, biding their time. Again, thank you, video calls, for keeping this top of mind. 

  6. Moodswings. Am I having moodswings? I don’t know, actually. I think this is somewhat hard to gauge in the midst of a global pandemic, when one day I feel like everything is OK and we’re gonna be fine and isn’t this bonus family time nice? and look at that gorgeous fall foliage how blessed I am to be alive, and the next day I’m weepy and all I can think about is everything everyone has or is going to lose, and then I’m on-the-verge-of-violence furious at something—people having giant Thanksgiving dinners, people with their noses sticking out over their masks, the president golfing and not doing shit, my kids being glued to their screens—or I’m just freaking bored beyond belief. 

    Yeah, I don’t think this is related to hormones.

So, this is the part of the post where I’m supposed to say that none of this matters and is trivial and silly and ageing is a privilege not afforded to all. Or I’m supposed to acknowledge, for the sake of readers who are older than me, that really, I am still quite young and unwrinkled, and I look a little young for my age, and anyway, I ain’t seen nothing yet. Or I’m supposed to talk about how contented and confident and centered I feel in general, as this fortysomething version of myself. Which I do. So, yes, yes, yes to all of it. OK? Happy?

Now: can anyone recommend a good Retinol cream or serum or something for this neck situation? Because it’s seriously bumming me out.

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