I ran across a column I wrote for the Picayune Item several years ago. It ignited a chuckle again because it was so true back then... and is still somewhat true for me today. I thought this menopause thing would be over with in a few years until I met a seventy-five year old woman who said she still had hot flashes! ACK!
A Cold Day
by Gina Burgess
This Crazy World
The PRC school board meeting had not started yet, there was a question about the air conditioning. The women sitting in front of the a/c were cold so it was turned off. It didn’t take long before the men were waving papers and commenting on the heat.
The superintendent said it was strange but men had different thermostats than women did and they were usually cold and men were usually hot.
Only my family can understand the white- knuckled grasp I have on restraint at any public meeting. Maybe you can tell I’ve got a huge collection of opinions on just about everything. At meetings I attend for the purpose of reporting on them, I have teeth indentions in my tongue. Since the meeting had not started, you know I just had to interject, “Only to a certain age.”
I do remember the days a long time ago and not quite in a galaxy far away, when I my thermostat was normal and I was generally cold when my husband was sweating buckets. It was a good thing there wasn’t such a thing as dual controls on the air conditioning in houses back then or we would have been like Rita Rudner and her husband in their new, dual-control equipped car. She said when they discovered that feature, she would turn the temperature up on her side, and he would turn his down to glacier level. They had hardly gotten to the corner of their street before clouds began to form in their car. Only in our house, the children would have begged for a lighthouse and a fog horn so they could find their way to the kitchen.
What men and women do have different thermostats. Men generally run hot and women run cold up to a certain age. Then it reverses. Have you notice this phenomenon?
A fifty-year-old woman can be standing in front of a glacial gale with her face beet red, sweat droplets freezing on the ends of her hair plastered to her head, and her clothes all sticky. It is called hot flashes. I read some where that old women don’t have hot flashes, they have power surges. Regardless, it is most uncomfortable.
I also read somewhere that some doctor did a study, and these hot flashes only last about three minutes. Why weren't mine only three minutes long? I should be so lucky. Then I got to paying attention, and that does seem to be true, they last for three minutes. Unfortunately, they sometimes come in waves, and the three minutes may stretch into half an hour. If the air conditioning is turned down to a comfortable 65 degrees, then the hot flashes are not a problem, just a minor irritation.
It took moving back to my mom’s and dad’s after my divorce for me to fully appreciate the reversal of gender thermostats. At temperatures that fry eggs on concrete, dad would be drinking hot coffee and admiring what ever project he was working on. At temperatures that melt chocolate, he was most comfortable watching TV.
I would go in my room and raise both windows so the arctic temperatures that freeze water could combat the temperatures that melt wax that raged in my body. I had to let mom fend for herself on this, while I shut the door. I prayed that God would skip summer just that year so I could go outside when these power surges flooded my face and I so desperately needed to cool down.
One night we were watching TV. I was comfortable for once. Dad commented he was cold. Mom said she was fine. I was praying the conversation wouldn’t end with the temperature rising. Ever innovative--Dad could solve any problem--Dad got up and left the room during a commercial. Soon he came out from the back all wrapped up in his down-filled parka, his hood pulled up and the ties dangling at his cheeks.
“Dad, where are you going?”
“To the couch,” he replied.
Considered thoughts from Gina Burgess at 12:16 PM