“I love to come in and play with a wig or glasses or clothes. I love using props. I’m from the Peter Sellers school of trying to prepare for the character.” – Dan Aykroyd
Ha – you’re probably thinking “Props for Menopause” means this essay is all about a big thumbs-up for this crazy change in women. Ummm – no. Far from it. It’s about props that one needs to survive this change of life.
I learned all about the benefits of good props a few years ago when I was part of a parents’ musical theatre group at the performing arts studio my daughter was attending. Talk about being outside of my comfort zone! I was singing and moving in a coordinated fashion with other midlife parents. I even had a few lines to memorize. We had a blast, and the most memorable moments happened when we all rushed to our homes, combed through our basements and garages, and came back to the studio with our treasures to be used on stage.
Now, you wonder, where am I going with this? How do props have anything to do with this awkward phase? If you remember how “Menopause Turned Our Bedroom into a Brothel,” well, let’s say that the potions and supporting items found in our room may have had led others to believe that things are more exciting than they truly are. So on that note, I have figured out a few ways to manage even more menopause symptoms for those wonderful changes that are bound to happen.
Some of the physical symptoms I have encountered during this stage have sent me on a bad flashback trip to the seventies – during that lovely puberty phase. Why must body changes include profuse sweating and other icky stuff? But I digress. Back to the props. I do hope these help you, or the one you love.
Props for Menopause:
- Years ago, I remember a few folks wearing sunglasses in the office to hide the evidence of a cocktail hour that was, well, more than an hour. Now, some of those people were considered “cool,” because they were able to function, even though the fluorescent lights were causing considerable pain in their hung over state. To the women of menopause, I would like to suggest prop number one: a great pair of sunglasses. This prop will be used to cover up the bags under your eyes because Mother Nature decided to send both a heat wave and hormones to keep you up all night. No one needs to know you were actually sober pulling that all-nighter. Let them think you are rocking this change! If you’re going to look like hell, you may as well let them think you are raising it.
- Prop number two, in my mind, is brilliant and awesome – exercise mats that roll-up for easy storage and transporting. My suggestion is to buy two. One you will keep at home and use diligently every morning, because exercise helps manage your symptoms. The second one will have a cute little strap and you will actually wear this mat on your person, everywhere you go. If you are going to sweat and smell like you’ve been attending triathlon training, then let the world think you are an exercise freak. It doesn’t matter if you are in line at the grocery store or strutting your stuff across the office. Your exercise mat will be a psychological barrier to warn folks to not invade your personal space.
- Huh? Bear with me on prop number three. No one will actually see this one, however, if you can’t take prop number two with you, because, say, you’re boarding an airplane or going to the movies, you will need something to curtail that work-out aroma. Seriously, I could use a power washer and apply several inches of deodorant and baking soda and baby powder and still not have that “stay-dry, fresh feeling.” Kitty litter is super-absorbing and comes in fresh scents and promises to activate while it’s being moved. So come on, ladies, let’s make a DIY, super-absorbing kitty-pitty powder. Into your coffee grinder, toss a handful of your favorite scented litter. Pulverize to a silky espresso blend, and slap some fresh kitty-pitty powder under your arms. You’re welcome.
- If all else fails, then prop number four will work. Carry a big purse with a stash of disguises. These come in handy if you are on a hormonal rampage and you don’t want to be ID’d. My personal favorites are the glasses that come with a nose. No one will recognize you, nor will they approach you. And should they be brave enough to risk that move, don a tiara and pull-out a magic wand and cop a “don’t mess with the Queen of Mean” attitude. This should give you a few minutes to breathe, collect your thoughts and find the nearest exit.
Sure, we could go to the doctor and get some HRT or develop breathing techniques or try to be all zen and embracing and whatever. But why, when you can have so much more fun acting like a crazy lady? With props! Because, really, we aren’t truly crazy. Yet. Unless these symptoms don’t go away…
© Lynne Cobb – 2015
Are you using humor to cope with peri/menopause? Are you open to using props? Do share in the comments section!