Words To (Not) Live By

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Rants | 10 Comments

Carine boldly brandishes words and their meanings

Hello, here are some words I would like to obliterate from our vocabulary, dictionaries, lexicons and consciousness.

Bureaucracy (byuu-rok-ra-see) – excessive official routine
How does bureaucracy sound? No, ma’am, I can’t schedule that appointment for you until your doctor faxes us an authorization; No, ma’am, we can’t set up online management of your corporate account until we order an ATM bank card for you (even if you don’t want or need one); Yes, ma’am, if you want to raise the limits of liability on one of your cars, you will have to do it for all three of the cars on this policy. I am so sick of talking to robots, aren’t you? Read more

Discovering Selflessness with My Friend, Madam Menopause

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Health | 13 Comments

Sacred Fire of Pele, Goddess of Hawaii Volcano, painting by Olga Shevchenko

Meet or retreat from Carine’s cast of characters in her toned down rant about “the change”

You don’t know how happy you are that I didn’t post the blog I originally wrote titled “I Hate F#*@!-ing Menopause”. I remembered just in time that I’m supposed to embrace this era of transformation, of aging with grace, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah. To be 100 percent honest, I don’t love growing old but I’ve made my peace with it. I’m even doing it au naturel—never tried Botox, stopped dyeing my hair, chucked my distaste for exercise. But, menopause? Yes, that’s me in the corner over there, waving the large white flag.

My original blog was full of anger and super dirty swear words. Aren’t you glad I reconsidered? Although, to tell you the truth, I had a great time ripping Madam Menopause to shreds. I thought I was really funny, but people who love me said to keep it to myself or forever suffer pangs of regret since the Internet is the elephant that never forgets. Or, they made careful suggestions about how to tweak it. So I shelved the report on my wide-eyed midnights spent wondering whom to yell at; and of my epiphanous threat to Mr. Flash: the intention to create a brand new antiperspirant for the ENTIRE body. HA! HA! HA! No more sweating EVER AGAIN! Read more

The Menoblahs

Filed Under All Posts, Connie Stetson, Reinvention | 17 Comments

Faded Rose, daily painting #168 by John Farnsworth

From ennui to elastic waistbands, Connie’s singing the menopause blues

As I was gazing this morning into my 15x mirror, plucking here and there, the increasingly annoying black whiskers on my upper lip, I reflected upon the changes in my life, my change of life, my menopause, what I am now calling the” menoblahs”; and as I pluck, pluck, plucked, I thought long and hard about how much really I hate this shit.

I was one of those women who actually looked forward to menopause. I could not wait for the freedom and the neatness, for clear skin, and a steady weight. I believed Dr. Christiane Northrup when she wrote about the “Wisdom of Menopause” and I looked forward to the promise of “The Pleasures of Menopause”. May I just say, in response to those two urban myths, and with my middle finger fully erect, “PTHHHP”!! I have not found any pleasure in menopause, and the only wisdom I’ve gleaned is to quit believing once and for always, anything a size 2, blonde, nip/tucked TV/author/doctor has to say. While I acknowledge that indeed I do have freedom from the tampon, I’m hostage to the hot flashes. I am tidily not hemorrhaging all over my white jeans, but some juice from somewhere would be nice. My skin, though I’m not breaking out once a month, is itchy and dry, and my weight? Well, it’s steady all right—steadily going up. When I gained the first ten pounds I said I’ve gone all fluffy, now I’m just plain heavy, man. Read more

Scrambled Eggs

Filed Under All Posts, Family, Health, Prudence Baird | 13 Comments

Photo by Ana June

For Prudence Baird, dusty eggs, puppy love, and baby crack make a wicked brew with the potential for world peace

When our Irish twins*, born a mere 22 months apart, reached toddlerhood, my husband reports that I got that misty-eyed look that says, “I’ll trade you a month of blow jobs for another baby.” Able to see the writing on the wall (much of it in red ink), my intrepid partner did what most sensible men would do—he rushed out and got himself a vasectomy.

Even so, I hoped and wished for another child. With my breastfeeding years fast receding to the realm of “remember when” and sentimental boo-hoo sessions alone in my room, having a third child became my holy grail, my Turkish delight, my must-see TV.

I refused to pass along cherished baby clothes. I squirreled away cutsie bibs and blankies. Intuitively, I knew that as long as my ovaries were pumping out eggs, there was a chance—even if it meant reattaching my husband’s pipes myself using an emery board and tweezers. Read more

Is it Hormones or is it Me?

Filed Under All Posts, Carine Fabius, Health, Relationships | 12 Comments

Ballerina Marina Franca, 1941, photo by Weegee, International Center of Photography

Ballerina Marina Franca, 1941, photo by Weegee, International Center of Photography

Is it hormones or the economy?  Am I just a bitch or do I have multiple personality disorder?  It’s so easy to blame weird moods on hormones that I figure it must be something else.  Aren’t clichés and lazy, hackneyed, knee-jerk reactions meant to be busted?  For some reason, my husband sees no earthly reason not to blame my shifting moods on my hormones.

Like a dummy, I recently asked him, “Do you think the reason we’re bickering so much lately is because my hormones might be making me overreact?”  His response was such an unqualified and enthusiastic yes that for a minute there I thought he’d decided to take up ballet—such was the bounce in his step and high-flying leap to foregone conclusions.  Right then and there I knew it had to be something else.  Like maybe he was the one in a bad mood?

However, like so many of us, I am given to self-analysis; so, just in case, I called my gynecologist to ask if the recent adjustment to my bioidentical hormone formula Read more

Baby got Back!

Filed Under All Posts, Group Posts, Humor, Prudence Baird | 15 Comments

The Reader by Fernando Botero

The Reader by Fernando Botero

After almost two decades of being so thin that I could pull my size 4 pants down to my ankles without unzipping the fly, I finally have some junk in my trunk.

Believe it or not, that’s change I can live with.

For years, I’ve felt like the oddball when girlfriends discussed the inevitable weight gain that seems to come with age. I pretended to by sympathetic, cocking my head, clucking at all the right moments. Not that I was unsympathetic, but while they were worried about morphing into Mama Cass, my fear was I was withering into Margaret Hamilton, whose bony wrists I found almost as frightening as the Flying Monkeys she commanded.

And sympathy is only a one-way street when it comes to weight. I learned this the hard way when a girlfriend once snapped at me, “What would you know about it? You’re probably always thinking, ‘At least I’m the thinnest person in the room.’”

Not really. I’m usually thinking, “I’m the most wrinkled woman in the room.” Read more

The More Things Change…

Filed Under All Posts, Christie Healey, Group Posts | 5 Comments


Lake Merritt, photo by Cathy R Fischer

Lake Merritt, photo by Cathy R Fischer

The more things change, the more things stay the same.  My mother could muster an old saw for every occasion and this was one of her favourites. I have probably inherited a little of this annoying trait.  Change has been in the air and in everyone’s mind a lot lately and this phrase (and my mother’s voice) has been running through my mind constantly.

Do things really appear to change and then end up staying the same?   Well, if one is intent upon only creating the appearance of change, then my mother’s comment will have a certain truth to it.  I waited years for my late husband to change (being late was one of the things I waited for him to change).  Then I woke up one day and realized it was me who had to change.  So I did.  I changed my attitude, the locks on the doors and my marital state.  Things were not the same afterwards. 

Women go through “the change.” Men do too, but we haven’t been able to make them feel comfortable enough to openly discuss it yet.   Read more

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