I regularly burst into flame.
Of course, you wouldn’t know it to look at me.
Or maybe you would. It’s hard to have one’s internal temperature moved to “Bake” – and without permission! – and not give it away.
Take, for instance, the flush of my downy pink cheeks. There’s a giveaway. What once spoke of a day in the sun now shouts of increasing distraction and the urge to get into some sort of hollering match, preferably one in which I am absolutely in the right, something that perhaps ends with a massage and offers of treats.
“You can’t tell by looking at you,” he says, turning on the fan.
“But it’s true,” I say. “I’ve been set to Intermittent Broil.”
He says these things, perhaps, because it’s in his best interest. Or so I imagine. Frankly, while I like to envision myself as somewhat formidable, I’m just not that scary. I rarely shout, berate, or demand, in general; but I am beginning to see why some women do.
“I see perimenopause as the reverse of puberty,” I tell a friend. “Whatever your puberty was like, it’s going to come up again.”
She shakes her head. “I’m gonna crawl out my bedroom window,” she says, “looking for parties.”
“Me,” I say, “I’m going to burst into tears.”
She nods. “Probably do that, too. Hey – can we write our boyfriends’ names over and over on something?”
“Only if you call mine and ask him if he like-likes me.”
We are quiet for a moment.
“You want to go to Dairy Queen?” she asks.
I rise. “Think they will let me stand in the walk-in cooler?”