Over the past couple of years male friends of mine have openly and shamelessly lamented the various travails suddenly burdening their aging lives. Some have actually announced they’re experiencing hot flashes! Seriously?! Hot flashes?! In the olden days (c. 1970s and 80s) I often heard my mother and other women bemoaning the onset of this dreaded mid-life scourge. Since I only heard women complaining, I thought we men were safe and had to deal with other traumas; such as our eyebrows growing together and more spontaneous urination incidents instead of spontaneous erections.
Alas, it seems the much-loathed hot flash has zoonotically migrated into the Y-chromosome crowd. I knew women shouldn’t have been allowed to vote and wear slacks!
While I’ve attributed recent cranial temperature spikes to allergies and Texas’ perennial schizophrenic weather (which might explain some Texans to the rest of the civilized world), I don’t feel I’m experiencing hot flashes. I prefer to call them “hormonal readjustments”. They’re similar to gray hairs; they’re not gray hairs, people! They’re stress highlights!
Shortly after I turned 40 in 2003 – in the days more commonly known as BH (Before HDTV) or BF (Before Facebook) – I came down with the flu for the first time in my entire life to date.
“What’s this shit about life beginning at 40?” I joked with my then-supervisor at work.
A round of Tamiflu, coupled with orange juice, rum and refraining from frequent masturbation helped over that uncomfortable, microbial slump. But I still had the gnawing sensation my body had finally decided to divorce itself from my soul and try to lead a life of its own. I think a number of people experience that same feeling as their odometer reaches the number 40. We never ask for that kind of life change; the shit just slaps us upside the head!
Now, however, at age 56, I’m starting to experience more unexpected physiological changes in my body, as well as cerebral alterations that occur upon realizing life moves more easily when sound and sober. Unexpected, yes, but even more pleasurable. It’s not the same kind of pleasure one might have seeing their best friend and one-time spouse or life partner drive off the cliff in their new vehicle. I mean, what a way to get a new car! Full-coverage insurance be damned!
For me, it’s my body finally getting adjusted to NOT holding in all the rage and angst I have when people piss me off – the madness otherwise known as “Life”.
Remember, we don’t develop gray hairs! Now, my own indigo locks haven’t sported many – yet! But metaphorically, I’m covered! Still – no gray hairs, dear readers! They’re stress highlights! Thus, it’s good to let out as much stress as you can. Just watch out for flu varmints and two-timing best friends!