I’ve heard it said that an idle mind is the Devil’s workshop. I don’t know about that, but I do know that hormones are the Devil’s nuclear arsenal. They start out small, edging into the game with spitwads and paintball. “Let’s see about some hair,” hormones begin, installing shrubbery here and there. That seems to go well, so they experiment with acne. “This will go away in a few years,” hormones say, snickering. Hormones get a huge kick out of themselves. If it looks like they’re going to run out of territory to plant pimples on, they manufacture a giant ass.
Once the landscape has had a chance to settle in for a while, they get into human outreach. At first they just take ordinary people close to you–mothers, fathers, people who had previously been kind and nurturing and lovable–and turn them into complete idiots. Eventually they make virtually everyone you know profoundly irritating. By the time thirty or forty years have rolled around, they are capable of taking a person who had previously been quite companionable and making him walk into a room–a room you had planned to be in, yourself–and make little cheerful whistly noises to the point where any reasonable person would want to rip his lips off. Throw in the humming, and the incessant inquiries into your well-being, and there’s not a jury in the world that would convict you, either.
Just about the time that life sweetens up a bit and the acne has consolidated into one or two recurring volcanic outposts in the center of your forehead, hormones put on the old thinking cap and work on new projects. “You know what would be fun,” hormones say, “would be if we just started building big condos here in the abdomen. We can set up a few new arteries for the infrastructure and just have at it, what do you say?” And just like that, there you are with a whole sorority of fibroid tumors under development. “Where do you want one? Here? We’ve got room for one more if we shove it right up against the bladder.” Hormones have no concept of zoning. They are total Republicans. No offense.
Then hormones begin zipping around the system like a spooked cat. The room of contentment? Boring. They zip to the Room of Righteous Indignation. Double back on the Trail of Tears to the Den of Unfocused Rage, rumpling up the carpet and sending knick-knacks of affection flying off the shelves. It’s a rough time. They do not plan to leave without trashing the place. Some women have such difficulties with that last little party that they keep letting new hormones in just to mollify the bunch. I guess it works, although researchers warn that, over time, this increases the risk of death. Of course, they’re not counting homicides.
I did not choose that route, opting instead to go without sleep for a few years and see what happened. And finally hormones made their exit, dangling for a while from a thicket of new chin-hairs before dropping off. They get your face all stretched out that way, but Lordy, it’s nice and quiet.
'opting instead to go without sleep for a few years'. You forgot to mention having a nightly sauna without leaving your bed while you are diligently not sleeping. Aaaargh.
Oh, I sure remember all that, Murr, especially when they FINALLY moved out. And how peaceful it got. I just loved this, and I do think that the big grins gave my face a good morning workout. 🙂
It's not the same, I guess, but I don't know any guy in his sixties who is able to sleep well. And I don't think we ever get over it. Sigh.
I refuse to let any more of those ruffians into the party. I'm just waiting for the original group to settle down.
Welcome to the state of Crone. Crones are surprisingly easy women to live with. Just don't get in our way, and no one gets hurt. It's nice to be done with the hormone wahoonies, but I do sort of miss their buddy, collagen.
"I do sort of miss their buddy, collagen." Ain't that the truth. Elasticity was a nice feature too.
Joy of fibroids, yes. They opened up a development in M's abdomen, too. & Nothing but the best real estate for them. "Hey, there's nothing but some pipes here, this would be a great place for the pool and sauna room!" they said. "And how about a guest bedroom?" Life got a lot better when we finally evicted them.
A nice Air Force doctor at Langley decided that my hormones had mutated into virulent aliens intent on devouring their host, so he performed an exorcism. When the post-surgery pain-killers set in, I woke up one morning and knew why it was that men walk around humming and whistling; they don't hurt! A total revelation! I wrote the doctor a love letter as soon as the anesthesia wore off. Chin hairs were a small price to pay for rediscovering a will to live.
I definitely am glad not to be at the mercy of estrogen any more though I wouldn't mind an occasional drop in visit. As long as they leave afterwards.
LOL – I can totally relate to this post!!
Then there are those who had their hormones unceremoniously evicted via hysterectomy. Man, were they pissed! They left IEDs behind though, the bastards.
Collagen was nice, but now that I look at these photographs, I remember something else that's missing. I KNEW I used to have eyebrows, dammit.
I remember my grandmother telling me, almost conspiratorially, that I would eventually not have to shave my legs anymore. "One day it just…doesn't come back." She said. Considering that at 41 I still have shock and awe-level PMS, I'm looking forward to those few post-menopausal perks.
Yeah. Eyebrows and leg hair, and there may be a few other surprises, too.
You hit upon the highlights of the hormone whiplash ride. I like the way you bring some humor into a post about something that runs hot and cold pretty much all through life. Menopause was many years ago for me thank goodness. But I am always running around telling anyone who will listen that I still have my shriveled up ovaries. Yep.
You go, girl.
Hair doesn't really go away – it just re-locates.And I'm convinced that Hormones,Inc. owns the world rights to lubricant manufacturing. Bastards!
You mean, there's a way to prevent squeaking?
Hormones have no concept of zoning. They are total Republicans. W00T!
I divorced spouse number two because he was generally just an ass. Then, he showed up 10 years later a changed man, we remarried and then he divorced ME because he couldn't handle 'da hormones'. Irony? No..payback? Probably. ;-P
Well, you got the "H" right, but I've always viewed Republicans as hemorrhoids. Still, both are giants pains in the ass.
I was so lucky. All my hormones just vanished when I was about 42, never to be heard from again. I guess I got a little moody for a while, but it was hard to tell. I'd always been a bitch.
Good for you for staying off the HRT!
I am in the chin hair zone, hope the hormones leave soon.
"Hormones" should be an affirmative defense to any crime.
Besides the eyebrows you're virtually unchanged! Those ex-hormones must be very disappointed.
Actually, Molly, my body has held up better than my face has, except for the parts that need extra holding-up.
Great post, and one which we can all relate to.
For a truly surreal hormonal hell, there's nothing like having that cold-hot misery when your daughters' hormones are just starting to kick in. I shiver just remembering that time and marvel that we're all still pals.
Ya know, it ain't fun living with a 15 year old that is just in the midst of the hormone revolution. I keep trying to remember just why she suddenly thinks I'm an idiot, when just a few days ago I was changing her diapers…it comforts me to see we all in the same boat, leaky as it is.
Murr, you have tackled about all the problems in this world. What in the heck are you going to come up with next? Can't wait…
Murr, your image of the spooked cat is pure (purr?) perfection! Now it all makes sense. Unfortunately my spooked cat is still going strong. But you give me hope. Chin hairs are sprouting, can the quiet times be far off?
Could be close, Tigers, but I don't remember, because guess what else goes?
I refuse to acknowledge my hormones. I shall acknowledge my chin hair (just the one, but all my own), but not the hormones. Nasty little things, led me into much trouble.
I know it! Those damn little whore(moans)! My good buddy Fragrant Liar sent me over and I'm so glad she did. Hilarious! I've just put you on my blog roll!
That's so Fragrant of her.
I'm not sure we males have hormones at all. I think they drain them out of us and supplement the loss with Cialias for Daily Use.
Sweetie, ain't y'all self-draining?
I guess I'm the only one here who opted to keep the silly little things around. I'm going on 80 and I'm still here, so they haven't killed me yet. On the other hand, I do have a good crop of whiskers on my chinny chin chin. Do you think if I quit taking them the whiskers would fall out?
Jeez, Anne, hope not. The whiskers are what's holding our teeth in.
Absolutely brilliant post, Murr, absolutely brilliant! You really captured the experience; it really is a wonder anyone survives "the change". There were days I couldn't stand me either, and I just wanted to slip out of my skin, hang it up and come back later. Add to that a teenage daughter – I seriously thought one of us would be a headline in the local paper "Mother kills daughter" or "daughter kills mother" (take your pick!).
However, you forgot to mention the internal voice that sometimes would pop out unexpectedly saying the awful-est things at the most inappropriate moments, leaving you standing there asking "did I just say that out loud?" and, of course, you had.
The voices have quieted down, the sheets are dry but the joints are slowly drying up and movements are slowing down.
However, my laughter still works – thanks to posts like this one!
Have you ever left your bed and ventured outdoors at 2am during a snow/ice storm and stripped down on the back patio? Only boots were necessary. GLORIOUS!