Menopause is a unique time in life, defined by that wonderful Wikipedia as:
"Menopause literally means the "end of monthly cycles" (the end of monthly periods aka menstruation), from the Greek word pausis (cessation) and the root men- (month). Menopause is an event that typically (but not always) occurs in women in midlife, during their late 40s or early 50s, and it signals the end of the fertilephase of a woman's life. However, rather than being defined by the state of the uterus and the absence of menstrual flow, menopause is more accurately defined as the permanent cessation of the primary functions of the ovaries: the ripening and release of ova and the release of hormones that cause both the creation of the uterine lining, and the subsequent shedding of the uterine lining (a.k.a. the menses or the period)."
Menopause is more accurately defined by Eddi Girl as:
"Moments of pure torture, where it feels like the pits of Hell have opened up inside of each of your internal organs & released its firey madness coursing through your arteries. The 'opause' part of 'menopause' means 'cessation'. The 'men' part of the word means 'men shall pay for this'."
If you aren't sure if you live/work/hang out with a Ms. Menopause, here are some not-so-subtle signs:
You use her bathroom & it's so cold that shocks of icicles burst through your butt cheek veins, all the way up your torso, & straight to your brain when you sit on the toilet.
You enter her home or office & the windows are open while she is standing in front of a very powerful fan with her shirt pulled away from her chest so the fan is cooling off her breasts...in spite of the weather outside being Arctic.
You repeatedly see her outside in 12 degree weather in shorts, no coat, & fanning herself as she walks.
Her car windows are only up if the A/C is on. Even in January in Wisconsin.
Every room in her house has at least 1 fan conveniently pointed directly where she is most likely to sit/stand/work/sleep.
She will eat you if you tell her how cold you are & request that the air be turned down/windows shut/extra blanket be put on the bed, because she no longer gets the luxury of feeling cold.
She will eat you if you even so much as sigh over how hot you are, because frankly, unless you're also in menopause you are not as hot as she is.
You often see her frantically fanning her tomato-red face then collapsing into a heap onto a nearby surface after about 3 minutes.
Her favorite season is Cold, no matter what her favorite season used to be.
You have ever walked in to find her with her head in the freezer or running ice cubes over her pulse points, while you are shivering.
You have to sleep as far away from her as your bed will allow because it can become quite uncomfortable to sleep next to a human furnace.
You have become quite skilled at making the bed as if it is 2 separate beds, due to how cool the bedroom must remain in order for her to sleep: 1 side has merely a pillow & sheet, the other has a pillow, sheet, & 4 blankets.
If you're married to a woman in menopause, accept the reality that you do not get to decide what temperature your bedroom is. Ever. In fact, if you are married to, live with, or ever visit for any reason, a woman in menopause, you do not get the luxury of determining the temperature of any room in the building they are currently in.
Share an office with Ms. Menopause? She sets the thermostat & all fans point at her.
Sleep in a bed with Ms. Menopause? She sets the thermostat, the 4 fans, & when the windows will be open. Any protest from you will be ignored AND used against you at some point.
Share a house with Ms. Menopause? She not only sets the thermostat, she also has the distinct gift of being able to hear a quiet ninja child/spouse/friend/pet turning the thermostat up or down, even before the furnace or A/C has time to register the change. Be warned. No matter where Ms. Menopause is in the house, she will hear you attempting to change the thermostat. You will suffer the consequences.
Also, don't think this only applies to the moments when Ms. Menopause is actually in the house. Whether home or away, she will know. Another tip: if Ms. Menopause is going to be away for longer than a day, feel free to change that thermostat, but be sure you change it back to exactly 62.8 degrees at least 6 hours before she walks in the door. Trust me, this tip will save your life.
Ms. Menopause has also earned the right to shiver & put on a sweater or blanket without comments from anyone else about how cold the room is for them. She has earned this right because a) see previous chapters b) in about 10 seconds that sweater or blanket will be launched across the room in a frantic rush for freedom from the horrifying burning sensation now creeping through her entire body.