We all have them. The secret sins that keep us awake at night and tap us on the shoulder during the day while we try to go about our business. The sins that we would prefer our friends and neighbors never see. For some, this means dancing the salsa naked with a Hoover Upright (Hey! I didn’t say that was me!). For others, it’s sticking their face in a bag of mini, cheese-flavored rice cakes at 2:00a.m. (Okay, maybe that was me).
I’m not Catholic and I’m pretty sure you’re not a priest, but I’m sitting in a confessional booth right now about to spill the goods on Menopausal Mama’s seven deadly sins.
ENVY: I live near a park and a jogging trail. I see women of all ages out there, rollerblading, jogging and biking. Certain ones catch my eye—the PERFECT ones, who look like they just rolled off the Barbie shelf at Target. Pink sweats with the Juicy label across their firm, little butts, and a matching tank top stretched tight across breasts that aren’t jiggling like jello cups in a truck when they jog. THOSE are the women I envy. Their pre-baby bodies are free of stretch marks resembling the NYC subway system. They are blessed with perky boobs on the high beam setting aimed at the stars instead of their kneecaps. It makes me long for my youth and a certain pink bikini I once owned.
GLUTTONY: This is the reason I no longer own the aforementioned pink bikini. I am a wine hoarder and a Nutella crack head. I am also selfish when it comes to Chinese take-out. Don’t touch my egg roll or lay a finger on my chicken chow mein. To prevent anyone else from stealing my leftovers from the fridge, I cleverly disguise my food in a covered jar marked “URINE SAMPLE.” It keeps my thieving teenager away from my stash while I’m busy Googling Nutella rehab centers.
PRIDE: This is something easily lost when you’re driving an old minivan with missing hubcaps and a broken door handle, which is why you’ll NEVER see me behind the wheel of the mommy mobile that seizes up at every stop light in town. My husband has inherited that hemorrhoid on wheels because he happens to know car CPR. My own pride is seriously challenged every day at the gym when I look in the mirror and see body parts wiggling and waving back at me in an unnatural way. But if you ask me about my kids or my granddaughter, I’ll whip out my cell phone faster than you can say moo shu pork and force you to watch a terminally long slide show of every phase in their lives, starting with their ultrasound images all the way to their college graduation ceremonies.
LUST: When you’re menopausal, the mind says, “Yes” but the body says, “Oh, hell no!” So you learn to lust after other things, like a beef burrito the size of a Chihuahua. Or Ben and Jerry’s Triple Caramel Chunk ice cream and a good bottle of Dom Perignon. A trip to Tahiti would be nice too, but at this rate I’ll never be able to fit back into that pink bikini again.
ANGER: Think Jack Nicholson in The Shining. Anthony Hopkins in Silence Of The Lambs. This is what I become when my son misses the school bus at 6:30 a.m. My head has also been known to spin like I’m in the throes of an exorcism when I send The Hubs to the hardware store for a socket set and he returns with a water-spraying fan or a singing can opener. What’s next, a toilet plunger that chants, “I think I can, I think I can”?
SLOTH: When I think sloth, the first image that comes to mind is Jabba the Hutt. No, I do not resemble a bloated, slug-like alien, nor do I eat fleshy, aquatic creatures with slimy legs. But I do like having minions (a.k.a. children) around to take out the trash, wash the dinner dishes and fold the laundry before all the socks play hide-and-seek or join Match.com to find their missing partners.
GREED: While most people associate greed with money and power, neither of those things appeals to me. I’m greedy when it comes to sleep. Those evil, menopausal twins Hot Flash and Fatigue have joined forces with their mischievous cousin Insomnia to deprive me of a solid, seven hours of slumber. My bladder is never one to miss a party either, so she’s right up there playing checkers with her cohorts at all hours of the night. If there’s such a thing as reincarnation, I want to come back as a bear so I can hibernate for a few months in a cave and bite the head off the first person who wakes me.
There should be an 8th deadly sin as well, called INSANITY. When my body thermostat mimics the mercury levels of an Arizona desert during the month of July, or I suddenly find myself trolling the girdle aisle at Wal-Mart, I’m bound to feel a little crazy. To combat the bipolar symptoms of my fluctuating hormones, I’ve discovered that the road to happiness is paved with Prozac, chocolate and maybe a side trip to Tahiti with a pink bikini in my suitcase.
— Marcia Kester Doyle
Marcia Kester Doyle is the author of the humorous blog “Menopausal Mother,” where she muses on the good, the bad and the ugly side of menopausal mayhem. She is a staff writer for In The Powder Room and HumorOutcasts.com and a contributing writer for What the Flicka. Her work recently captured first place in VoiceBoks Top Hilarious Parent Bloggers 2014, and her first book will be released in the spring through Blue Lobster Publishing. Marcia’s work has appeared on Scary Mommy, Mamapedia, Bloggy Moms, Messy Mom’s Radio, The Woven Press, the Life Well Blogged series and was voted Top 25 in the Circle Of Mom’s Contest 2013.