Sunday, October 19, 2008

Let me stand next to your FIRE!!!


Latin for “Men… think before you speak or breathe.”

There’s no secret that I live in fear. Living with a woman going through menopause is like living with a, well….. I can’t think of anything scary enough.

Here’s the thing. For the first thirty years of our marriage I knew that one week a month I needed to disappear. It was a fairly regular week of the month and I could plan appropriately.

Sure I was a day or two off every once and awhile, and I’ve got the scars to prove it, but for the most part I got the hang of when Attila the Hun was coming to visit.

But this…..


You haven’t really lived until you’ve survived the hot flash of a menopausal Portuguese woman.

I could fry eggs off my wife’s butt.

I’m talking hot.

Fifty seven years ago Mary Reeser, aka the “Cinder Lady” was one of the first people to have thought to have spontaneously combusted. All they found of her was ashes in a chair and on the floor part of her left foot. Nothing else was burned. The FBI called it the “wick” effect. Basically she became a human candle. I’m not kidding, look it up on Wikipedia.

Wick effect my ass! You don’t need the FBI to explain what happened. It pretty obvious to me that Mary Reeser was going through menopause!

Last night I get home from performing and my wife is sleeping sideways across our bed. She has an industrial fan pointed at her and the TV blaring over the sound of the fan.

I’m tired. I need some sleep. But I’m not crazy. If I wake her up I’m a dead man.

So the first thing I did was look under her pillow to see if by any chance the ovary fairy had stopped by.

You never know when this menopause thing will end.

Then I grabbed my pillow and went downstairs to sleep on the couch.

The sound was so loud coming from our bedroom upstairs that I couldn’t sleep downstairs.

Apparently menopause causes women to go deaf.

So I creep back into our bedroom. I could have tromped back in. I mean she probably wouldn’t have heard me over the fan and the TV but I was afraid.

So I’m creeping.

Ever so lightly.

Using my cat like reflexes I moved around our bed so I could get to the TV to manually turn it down. I wanted to use the remote but she had a death grip on it in her sleep. I don’t know what she was dreaming about but she was choking the crap out of something or someone.

I swear I turned the TV down one notch. Just one little white bar and she moves. Crap! So I freeze. Because that’s what you’re supposed to do when confronted with a wild animal.

But then I realized that I was just a stationary target. So then I thought of that episode of Mythbusters where if you run in a zig zag pattern an alligator is not supposed to be able to catch you. I was about to zig when it dawned on me that there was not enough room to zag.

By this point my heart is beating through my chest. If she wakes up….. Oh god….

Then my survival instinct kicked in and I started to bob and weave. So I’m bobbing and weaving, weaving and bobbing trying to make myself as skinny as possible and I stub my little toe on that F%&*#+g fan.

The pain was unbearable. I make a muffled groan and whimper sound.

My wife rolls over.


That’s what my brain was telling me.

I dropped.

It wasn’t a clean drop.

And I forgot to roll.

It was more like Tiiiiimmmmmbbbbbberrrrrr!!!!!

So I’m on the ground and because the TV and the fan are so loud I don’t know if she’s awake or not and I’m too afraid to get up and look.

I start to belly crawl out of our bedroom like I’m a Navy SEAL in Vietnam. I’m trying to blend into my surroundings. Become invisible. I am the night. For a brief moment I became Rambo.

A very brief moment.

“What the hell are you doing?”


“Idiot. Get up off the floor and give me a good, I repeat good explanation for why I shouldn’t kill you.”

“I didn’t want to wake you up so I came in to get my pillow and sleep on the couch.”

“So where’s your pillow?”

“Uh… it’s on the couch.”

“So you came in and got your pillow, put it on the couch, and decided you needed to come back upstairs and crawl around on our bedroom floor because why?”


“Exercise? At 1:00am?”

“Exactly! I don’t have time to exercise during the day so I thought I do my required 30 minutes a day after I got home from my show.”

“You’re so full of crap Calabrese. You were going to turn my fan off weren’t you? Admit it.”

“No I swear I wasn’t going to turn off the fan I was going turn down the TV. The neighbors were complaining about how loud it was and after the Police came by and warned us twice I thought I better come up here and turn it down.”

“The Police?”

“Uh… I think it was the police. I may have dreamt that part.”

“This isn’t funny Calabrese. I’m hot, tired and irritable. Do you think it’s a good idea to screw with me right now?”

“No… not a good idea.”

“Now I’m awake. And because I’m awake you’re going to be awake. Capiche?”

“Yes Godfather.”

“You know if men had to suffer through menopause you couldn’t handle it. You’d be whining and crying all day. You’d go out and buy the most expensive air conditioning unit you could find and sit in front of it 24 hours a day.”


“Excuse me?”

“If I was going through menopause I think I would try acupuncture. There are about 500 million Chinese women. Now if the average life expectancy is 80 years that means that about 60 million Chinese women are going through menopause at any one time. 60 million hot flashes. Think about it. That could be the reason for global warming all by itself. But it isn’t. Why? I figure it must be acupuncture…or iced green tea.”

“Come over here I’ll show you acupuncture.”

“I can’t I pulled a muscle while I was working out.”

“Tell me again why I married you?”

“Huge hands.”

“Go back downstairs numb nuts. And don’t you dare wake me up again. Am I clear?”

“Yes darling.”


“Um… Could you turn down the fan and the TV?”