They tell me I look young. It’s fun to shock people when I say that I’m 47 years old. I totally believe them when they say I look early-to-mid 30s (realistically, 42, but still). I say that I’ve maintained my youthful appearance because I’m immature, but really, I think it’s genetics. Nothwithstanding all of the lotions and potions I use on a daily basis, thanks to my father, my skin has held up quite nicely. Apparently so have my boobs, I’m told, but that’s another story.

But wrinkles be damned, it appears that someone may have forgotten to tell nature that I’m not aging. Apparently, my body—more specifically my ovaries— has decided it’s time to get on in years. I’ve begun what’s clinically called the Peri-Menopause, and what’s anecdotally called, The change, or The BITCH YEARS. This is going to be a fun decade plus five. I can just tell.


Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin. Yep, there’s one big, black hair growing out of my chin. The first time I saw it, I was driving and I had pulled down the mirror to check my lipgloss. And, there it was: virtually six inches of vibrissa (That’s a word. Go look it up.).

Hello, Witchie-poo. My paltry lady acne is probably nothing to complain about. Except, I’ve never had pimples. I went through the teenage years virtually zit-free except for one beauty that would show up monthly between my eyes like a hot red bindi. Now, I get eruptions. Usually, on the tip of my nose. Like horns. Today, I have two that have situated themselves like warts right underneath my mouth. They’re pretty.

Pain. OH.  Have you met Dr. Mittelschmerz? I’ve known him for a long time. Except now, the Doctor makes house calls to my ovaries on alternating months accompanied by a jackhammer and a red hot poker. The agony causes me  to take to my bed and swoon.

Bloody Hell! I was blessed my whole life with irregular periods. Now, goddamit, I menstruate every 28 days like clockwork. What a freaking inconvenience. And the gushing. Don’t even get me started. Niagara Falls has nothing on my ‘Flo.

Is it hot in here?  Before, I was always freezing cold, now I’m tempted to wear ice packs in my brassiere. If I could walk around in my scanties, I would. Except that might be illegal. Or frightening. There’s nothing like drinking a delicious hot coffee and having it cause a river of sweat to drip down between your bosoms.

Sexy Mama. There’s something going on, but I feel sexy even in sweats. No more self-conscious nudity for me. I wave my 32A cleavage around like I’m Chesty Morgan. It’s true what they say about cougars being in their prime. Also, and not at all embarrassing, I have become an ogler. Of the young male merchandise. It doesn’t matter if its live, on film, or TV. I guess its my swaggy lady hormones.

I may be able to rule the world. There’s something else that comes with age other than tendonitis. I have confidence. I am woman, I can roar (see next point). I’ll bet when Catherine the Great took control of Russia, she was menopausal too.

The Bitch Years. Sometimes I want to murder people with a large shiny cleaver. By people, I mean my husband. Usually, he’s doing something benign like laying on the bed minding his own business. That kind of laziness really incurs my ire. Other things that make me angry are everything, dishes not put in the dishwasher, people, mud, voices, dust, and everybody. Also, I think I have caused a couple of duct cleaning telemarketers to commit hara-kiri.

Cry baby.  I cry. All the time. Even more than before. And, I was a weeper. I cry if I see someone else crying. I cry during Say Yes to the Dress. I cry during Empire, and obviously during Grey’s Anatomy. I cry during commericals and when I step on the scale. I cry if I’m happy and I cry if I’m not. I cry if my husband is mean by accident (but not if he’s mean on purpose. See The Bitch Years).

Are you jealous? What are your menopause symptoms and should we run for the hills?

Peri-Menopause: Welcome to the Bitch YearsPeri-Menopause: Welcome to the Bitch Years

About the author

Mara Shapiro

Mara Shapiro is Co-Editor, Community of BrazenWoman. She is proof that it's never too late to reinvent yourself, and also that you cannot have too many pairs of shoes and lipglosses. A Social Media addict, Community Manager, and insatiable lover of movie popcorn, Mara is always on the hunt for the next best thing. You'll often find her laughing and dancing, phone in one hand, and a glass of red in the other. The only time she's not talking is when she's sleeping.

Get Brazen In Your Inbox

Sign up to receive our daily or weekly newsletter.