FYI: TMI (Remember the fifth grade "film," ladies?)

Rip Van Uterus woke up today from an 11-month sleep.

I blame Crabby McSlacker because she posted this:

And as I watched it, I thought – in that cocky sort of older-lady kind of way – ‘Yeah…I’m so over periods. Still get hairs on my chin, but hey. Savin’ money on the tampons. Woohoo for menopause!’

Then I got home this afternoon after taking 2/4 grandchildren home. Last night, when I asked Mae and Luca what they wanted for dinner, neither of them screamed, “PASTA!” which is sad, because that’s what was screaming inside my head. They totally ignored the neon sign above my head that flashed, “With a side of toast!”

They wanted peanut butter instead.

So back to when I got home this afternoon. I got out of the car, after driving for an hour, and I had that “you-know-what-I’m-talking-about-ladies” feeling down below, and sure enough…


Thank god I hadn’t given away my entire stockpile of Always.

That’s as much physical TMI as I’ll divulge. (Guys, you can open your eyes now.) But man…the emotional landscape I’ve been playing on for two weeks looks like this:

If I could be more uncertain/forgetful/bitter/happy, I’d get locked up, I’m sure of it.

I know many of you reading aren’t in this place yet, this abyss of pads/no pads/pads/is it done yet?/cry at every cat video your friends posts on Facebook.

But for those of you who are, and for the people who love us, we deserve some slack. This was NOT in our 6th-grade Modess-sponsored film. That day came at us like a mushroom cloud. Girls were ushered into one room. Boys were hustled to another. The boys watched “a film,” which I’m convinced was a recap of the 1973 Super Bowl, and we watched a film about a day in the life of a pretty brunette, age 15, who took showers during her period, went swimming during her period, ate healthy meals, and brushed her spectacular white teeth.

And she smiled the whole damn time!

One of the girls in my class asked the school nurse after the film, “Where do babies come from?”

“Ask your mother,” she said.

So the girls went to recess having NO idea there was a connection between our monthly “friend” and having babies. The boys congregated around us, wanting to know what we knew that they didn’t know. We were still processing. Between playing four-square and jumping rope, we didn’t know a whole lot more than they did.

I’m a smart woman. I know my body pretty well after 50 years. It’s bossy and demanding. But today…? I’ve rolled my eyes so many times I’m pretty sure they will permanently face backwards.

The same educational mandate that forced us to watch “The Film” in fifth grade should require we watch Ellen Dolgen’s video when we turn 40. You know, to prepare us for what is to come.

Don’t get me wrong. We all know menopause is coming. But when we get to “That Age,” it’s like we learn about that time of the month (or 11 months) in reverse. Ending our periods is as much of a mystery as it was when we started: Moodiness? Check. Boob issues? Check. Weird hair? Check. Issues down below? Check.

How about this: After the initial film in grade school, girls could sign up to watch a perimenopause film at age 40. Maybe the Office of Perimenopause could send them a reminder postcard every five years or so? Then, at age 40 (or whenever), they could report to their nearest Office of Perimenopause and watch the video.

I’ve had 36 interesting years with my uterus. But I’m no longer in need of her services. I want her to shut down like a retired nuclear energy facility.

Obviously, though, being a body part, she gets the last (hopefully?) laugh. This is her last (hopefully?) hurrah. I assure you, however, that today, I am not smiling like the 15-year-old in the Modess film. I am determined to overcome the desire for pasta, bread, sugar, and all things unwholesome. Except for, maybe, a piece of dark chocolate. And maybe a bagel. And perhaps a piece of pizza…

Oh good GOD! Shut up, uterus! Go back to sleep!

Ugh. Those of you who know what I’m talking about…leave a comment. Please. Especially if you have a memory of that “film.” It’s OK. Here, there is safety in numbers.

16 thoughts on “FYI: TMI (Remember the fifth grade "film," ladies?)

  1. I remember the film Lynn! And just like when I was 14, I can't WAIT for the next stage of life to freakin' Get Here!! I'm guessing that being on the plus side of menopause will have its own adventures, but I am So Darn Tired of the monthly period. Sigh… Glad to know there's someone else in the sam e boat. Wine, Lynn, wine…

  2. LOL, I do believe I pre-date “the film.” I got the booklet, handed to me by my mom. It made me cry (not sure why.) Oh yeah. its coming back now. I think maybe she handed me the booklet AFTER my first period had started. Smooth move, mom…

    Anyway, I'm way on the other side, and gotta say, life is good! You did remind me of that time when I got extra irritable ALL THE TIME and someone at work told me that that might be the reason why. It was a big relief!

  3. Oh good griefffffff—I am so done with it but damnnnnnnn it when will these hot flashes ever friggin' stop?! I reached that magical menopause “moment” on January 16 of this year. =) YAY! I just want the hot flashes/sweats to S T O P! Enough already. Thank goodness for my little fans, window air conditioners and Exert body spray.

  4. The “film” — yes, the 7th and 8th grade girls in my Catholic school got to watch the film. Eye opening when you realize you pre-date sticky pads! Not to mention pads with wings!

  5. Yes, I remember the film, though most of my useful information came from my 16-year-old babysitter! And I also made it 11 freakin' months and was in total denial of what (I hope) was my reproductive system's last roar…until I couldn't deny it anymore 😦 Now I'm 9 months in again and praying to make it a full year! BTW, was this the reason for the cold pizza post on FB?? LOL Hang in there, Lynn!

  6. I don't remember any film. I remember a book–don't know where it came from–but it was full of very exciting information.

    As to the perimenopause, I had a similar experience to yours, though a few years later. I had my period absolutely regularly up until I was about 55, then not so regularly. The longest I went was almost a year and then WHAM, it came back. I'm happy to say that it hasn't been back since July 24, 2012 (the day after my son's birthday, and the first day of my vacation that year, travelling without kids to one of my favourite cities. It was a drag.)

    Hot flashes, on the other hand, have been my not so good friends for a couple of years now. Can't wait until that's over. Hopefully, it will end. Some women have them forever more.

  7. I hear you! I lost a parent, went on a cruise, celebrated menopause, and lost a long time friend in a 3 month time span. Tough stuff.

    My food choices really determine my symptoms. If I eat junk, (wheat/sugar) I have many symptoms. If I stay low-inflammatory, I have almost zero symptoms.

    Hang in there and try switching up to less processed, whole food and see what happens.

  8. I am the same age as you and remember the film and the little booklet we got.

    My first period was so painful I was doubled over with cramps and I was nauseous as well. I don't think that was in the video.

    When I asked my Mom how long it lasted for she replied “the rest of your life”. The look on my face must have been one of terror as she quickly responded “no, this one is only for a few days”. I still remember her trying to hold back a laugh though.

  9. No film in my school

    All three of my kids had presentations by parents and faculty (gender specific). And yes, included how babies are made.

    53 week after this and still monthly. Have not missed one.

  10. Thanks for the post, it helped me through a menopause moment today. I've been “going through menopause” for 18 months and what a miserable roller coaster it has been. I wasn't happy to learn that there can still be trouble down below after 11 months w/o, but better to be prepared, right? And hot flashes, it's like an alien takes over your body and does horrible things with a heat ray gun – is that really necessary?

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