Sandra Tsing Loh wants you to understand menopause.
So, this month I am frantically trying to finish a BOOK. What’s it about? Well, I hate to tell you. It’s a book about MENOPAUSE, which is a LITTLE like admitting you’re WRITING a book on TOE FUNGUS.
But here’s the thing. Between you and me? This menopause thing? I think it’s gonna be huge.
Let’s put it this way. In 1900, due to an average lifespan of 38, most females never reached menopause. By contrast, today women between the ages of 44 and 65 have become America’s biggest demographic group. We are poised to become the largest SWARM of menopausal WOMEN in history.
This is a PHENOMENON wise people will WANT to understand. And with all due respect to many of my peers, who tend to sit back and wait for Jon Stewart’s take, newsflash: I don’t think Jon Stewart is going to WRITE a menopause book. JON STEWART DOES NOT HAVE NIGHT SWEATS. JON STEWART IS NOT BLOATED. JON STEWART IS—AS FAR AS I CAN TELL—NOT MENOPAUSAL.
What’s ironic, I’m thinking, is that while THESE sorts of books tend to only be read by women, it’s MEN who really need the INFO. A good example is a seventy-something retired engineer relative whom I’ll call Uncle Phil. A few years after the kids left for college, Mildred, his wife of 42 years, suddenly up and left him. To this day, Uncle Phil has no idea why. In fact, given a certain denseness of perception, you wonder how he even noticed. “I guess he looked out the window and suddenly realized the driveway was bigger,” joked one of his daughters.
What’s interesting is that Mildred simply disappeared without HURLING anything— And that’s what we EQUATE with menopause, don’t we? The 1950s aproned mom standing in the kitchen, suddenly TURNING on the family and HURLING a leg of lamb, a roast, a telephon— Which is DIFFERENT from today— I for one haven’t cooked a roast, well, EVER, and nobody hurls an I-Phone or an IPAD— they don’t have that same wonderful HEFT, they’re far too expensive, and where is the satisfaction— everything’s backed up in The Cloud anyway—
This is just some of the brilliant analysis you’re going to see in my book— If I ever finish it—
That said, Uncle Phil does not understand my book’s PURPOSE. “David Halberstam,” he says, “there’s a great WRITER who takes ON the great TOPICS—”
“He’s a HISTORICAL writer!” I say, “I’m sure if the LATE David Halberstam were COVERING ‘The Change,’ it would be a 500-page tome on the menopause of Eleanor Roosevelt! It’d probably win another Pulitzer.” Not that I’m bitter.
Next Week: Think about it—the Menopause of Courtney Love.