Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: Lisa Nolan

   My WackyWednesday Writer today is Lisa Nolan from the blog of the same name: She describes herself as a "Supermom with a second-hand cape and an empty glass of wine." Sounds like my kind of gal!  Lisa is not only an entertaining humor writer but also a social media guru when it comes to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and Google +. She hosts numerous social media events and posts informative articles on her blog site the have been very helpful to me, especially those concerning the publishing industry. Lisa has interviewed many authors and generously promoted their books with excellent reviews that have also helped to boost sales. She is the creator of several blogs and websites in addition to being an indie publisher at Monkey Star Press. Lisa is currently working on the humor anthology, "Motherhood: May Cause Drowsiness," which is a collaboration of comedic stories from sleep-deprived women learning to function on minimal amounts of shut-eye. You won't want to miss her book once it's released!  I'm honored to be a part of this anthology, which is chock full of talented female writers.
     Please welcome Lisa Nolan to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love and be sure to check out her blog site as well!

                            A MOM'S DATE WITH HER CLUTTER

Let's just agree that the new normal for moms of the 21st Century is that we are imperfect and PROUD of it!

OK, we are guilt-ridden, sleep-deprived, short-changed LITERALLY, and constantly second-guessing ourselves. But let's not dwell on it because that chilled-bottle of wine sitting in the fridge is calling to some of us, so we are going to ignore it. Mostly...

My real life confession today is MY CLOSET. My husband and I share a large closet but not a walk-in closet. He has more clothes than I do, but non-the-less, I keep his stuff away from my half. And for the past two years, my dog's bed has been in there because that is where she likes to sleep at night.

Well, recently something happened. I don't know how, but her bed is now covered with storage boxes from the garage that I have yet to put away. To be fair, I need access to these boxes on a regular basis and there is nowhere else to store them (except our garage).

But now there is second pile of boxes growing next to my side of the bed. I can't hide them in the closet, it's full! So I just step over and around them.

Believe me when I tell you I'm not a clutter bug like my depression-era parents were, or my husband currently is... I'm a mom and I just don't have the time to deal with my ever-bigger and bigger piles of stuff!

And therein lies the problem. If you DON'T take of the crap (OK, stuff but I already used that word too many times) it weighs on you, like a suitcase (make that several suitcases) that never gets unpacked after a trip--and then you wonder why you can't find your favorite pair of earrings or comfy slippers.

I ask myself, I ask you dear reader, am I a closet clutter bug mom in denial?

I never had this problem when I was single! Or when I attended college! (Plus I could not afford that much stuff.)

Maybe clutter it is like married sex: You have to make a date for it. Then do it. And you are so much happier after you've done it.

So take note: I'm going to pencil in a date with my crap.

Maybe I'll buy myself a bottle of wine. (But no pictures!)


My bio: Who me? I'm craft challenged, a lousy housekeeper, a great cook, and a dedicated locavore. I blog about Montessori and write mom lit and parent humor. I'm also a book publisher, mom to a DS child, a 3-6 and 6-9 Montessori trained teacher.


Friday, April 25, 2014

One Size Fits None

     I hate clothes shopping, which explains why I've never been accused of being a fashionista. It also explains why my daughters always call first to ask what I'm wearing before they bring their friends over to the house.

     Shopping is a miserable way for me to spend a day, but when my underwear drawer looks like its been attacked by hungry moths, I know it's time to hit the mall.

     After birthing four babies by c-section and sweating my way through menopausal hell, having a root canal is preferable to me than clothes shopping. I might enjoy it more if I was twenty pounds lighter, but shopping isn't fun when I'm forced to skip the petite section in favor of the Orca department where everything comes in black, white or shower curtain pattern.
     My husband often accompanies me during my clothes hunting expeditions because he is: (A) Bored with all 500 cable channels (B) Needs to replenish his tube sock collection or (C) Wants to make sure I don't spend all my cash on animal print house dresses and takeout from the Burger Barn. Normally he's pretty helpful while I scan the aisles for something I can squeeze into. It's always a challenge to find an outfit that doesn't leave me looking like the exploding dough from a Pillsbury Crescent Roll tube.

     While I'm on the other side of the store pondering zippers v.s. elastic waistbands, my husband feels no shame in shouting across the room for everyone to hear:

     "Honey, can you still fit in an XL?"
     "Hey Babe, you want those jeans with a control top panel, right?"

     I try to be frugal while I shop, but by the time I hit the clearance section, there are only two clothing sizes left on the racks---hummingbird or mastodon.

     Once I'm able to find a dress that doesn't resemble a large paint tarp, I head for the dreaded dressing room. It's always at this moment that I wish I lived in the 1500's where everyone bought one-size-fit-all clothing from Dirty-Smocks-R-Us and dressed by dim candlelight to mask the effects of a mead and potato diet.

     Another reason I dread entering the dressing rooms is because there are some shoppers who use these cubicles for more than just trying on clothes. How do I know this? Several of my children worked in major department stores during their high school years and shared a few nightmare tales that have scarred me for life. These popular stores should consider posting signs so that paranoid people like me don't have to worry about stepping into DNA samples left by the previous occupants. Simple signs that would be helpful, such as: "FECAL FREE ZONE" or "MOTEL 6 IS DOWN THE STREET…. THEY'LL LEAVE A LIGHT ON FOR YOU!"

     It never fails that by the time I get to the checkout counter, the angry woman in front of me with three returns and a missing receipt was once the president of her high school debate team. My eye starts to twitch the moment she engages in refund warfare with the young girl behind the cash register. Obviously neither one of these women knows I'm two hours late getting home to walk a dog known for bouts of IBS. That's one "WELCOME HOME" surprise I can do without.

     Along with the shopping spree comes the daunting task of cleaning out the old clothes to make room for the new. I'm a firm believer in recycling and have found some creative ways to repurpose my granny panties with a needle and thread. By sewing them together, I can make an outdoor patio umbrella, a tent for camping trips or an heirloom quilt for the grandkids. Pinterest has nothing on me.

     The reality is that when I try on the new clothes at home, they don't look as good on me as they did in the dressing room. I'm convinced that department stores use trick mirrors so that every woman appears as shapely as an hour glass. When I get home and look in my own mirror, all I see is a pear dressed up in a shower curtain.

     Chances are I'll be returning my one-size-fits-none clothing to the mall….but only after a quick stop at the Burger Barn.

***You can find more Meno Mama this week at where I dish on the (funny) effects of too much wine.

        ***********************BREAKING NEWS!!!*************************

 I'm pleased to announce that Menopausal Mother's first book, "Who Stole My Spandex? Midlife Musings From A Middle-Aged MILF" will be released this coming fall!!!

     Many of you dear readers have been asking me if I would ever consider putting my nutty life in a book so that you can enjoy my wackiness 24/7. That time has come, and I hope you will spread the word, join my author site here: and sign up for news of the official release here:

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: Evil Joy Speaks

    My WWW guest today is one heck of a funny lady! Please welcome Joy Hedding of  Evil Joy Speaks! Joy writes mostly about her family life but throws in the occasional (and totally relatable!) rant or a clever poem, and she participates in several group blog postings each month. She is one of the few writers I know who doesn't like coffee (GASP!) but still gets her caffeine fix through tea. She also has an interesting nickname for pinot grigio wine but I can't repeat it here. You'll just have to check out her hilarious blog to see for yourself!
     "Evil Joy" really isn't evil at all---I think she has a kind heart and is very supportive of her peers in the blogging community. I'm betting you're going to love this lady as much as I do! Please welcome Joy to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love!

                                         NEW FORM OF SELF TORTURE

Alright.  I’m just going to lay it on the line.
I’m hairy.
Yes, you read that right.  I have the male equivalent  of the 5 o’clock shade by 10 am on my legs and underarms.  And yeah…I have super dark hair.  Evidently the grays don’t start invading the areas of your body (other than your head) until later.
So…while out visiting a friend, I learned about Nads.  And how Nads actually rips hair from the its follicle and makes me ‘shout’ obscenities under my breath.
Excitedly, I opened the package.  I looked in awe at the few supplies that were going to Change.My.Life.
I would no longer fear panty hose ripping.  (Well…like I ever did that before……)
I would no longer hide my face in shame at the park when Littlest said, “Mama – your legs are super prickly today.  Way worse than yesterday!”
I would embrace my man sized calves.  I would flaunt my smooth legs.  I would show off my tattoo of gibberish.


I tried it on my Second Eldest Spawn first.   On vacation.  Away from home.  (And from her brother who would have teased her without mercy.)

Yup.  I did that.
 I’m not a coward.  She wanted to shave.  And I think she’s too young.  But she’s on a ball team with girls two years older than she and they all shave.
So she willing sat on a bathroom counter.  I put the warm goo on her legs.  Rubbed the strip on.
And ripped that shit off.
She did it.  She survived.  She didn’t cry.  She said, “By the time I’m 18, my hair should pretty much have gotten the idea to NOT EVER come back!”
We got home from vacay.  I decided it was time.  It was time and if I did that to my kid…..I could do it myself.  I mean, how bad could it really hurt?

It could hurt like a fire filled hole of steaming lava coming up and eating your skin, laughing at you the whole time saying, “SUCKER!!!”.  How the HELL did Eldest Female Spawn not cry?!  Man…I had tears in my eyes.  They didn’t fall.  I held strong.  I remained stoic on the outside since Eldest Female Spawn was watching Scooby Doo and waiting to see what my reaction was.
Then….. after the 87th strip of hair I ripped off my man sized calves…it really didn’t hurt that much.  Or I was so numb to the pain that I was slap happy.  Not sure which, but I didn’t care because it didn’t hurt like the sting of fire ants on your bare feet but alllll over your legs.
And just think….people do this to other areas of their bodies.  Ummmm.   Not today sista.  It hurt my legs that much and my legs are exposed to the elements  - there’s no way I’m waxing parts that don’t see the light of day.  No way in bejebbers.
But…I didn’t have to shave much for 3 weeks.  (only those random areas I realized I missed…you know – the 1/8th inch strip up the inside of your knee…yeah…that part.)
And…it’s almost time.  To once again.  Willingly.
Rip. My. Hair. Out. Of. My. Skin.

EJ out – to put on pants to hide my 10am leg hair shadow.

Twitter @eviljoyspeaks
Pinterest @EvilJoy
Evil Joy on Google+

Joy is a wife, mother, and general comic relief to those who know her.  She spends her days carting around her four children she loving refers to as spawn while trying to maintain a small shred of sanity.  Often funny, sometimes serious, she has a unique view on life.  Come along and see what life is like on the Evil side of things.  

Monday, April 21, 2014

The Cat's Out Of The Bag!

     A few months ago I wrote something on my Facebook wall about having faith in dreams coming true. I hinted that something special was about to happen, and now that day has finally arrived.

     I' M  G I V I N G  B I R T H ! ! !

     Noooooo, not to a baby. I'm too old to even lay dinosaur eggs. I'm talking about giving birth to a dream that has been gestating for a very long time.

     Today I'm pleased to announce that Menopausal Mother's first book, "Who Stole My Spandex? Midlife Musings From A Middle-Aged MILF" will be released this coming July 2014!!!

     Many of you dear readers have been asking me if I would ever consider putting my nutty life in a book so that you can enjoy my wackiness 24/7. That time has come, and I hope you will spread the word, join my author site here: and sign up for news of the official release here: Here's a little teaser that was written by my publisher about the book:

Who Stole My Spandex? Midlife Musings from a Middle-Aged a humorous collection of stories based on Marcia Kester Doyle's hilariously popular blog, Menopausal Mother. Take a ride on the midlife wild side with a wacky journey through menopausal pitfalls, raising a family in a madhouse, maintaining a spandex-worthy booty, and all points in between! Nothing is off limits!
The collection includes laugh-out-loud brain candy, such as "9 Signs You Might Be a MILF," "How to Annoy Your Children," "You Might Be Menopausal If...," and "Menopausal Cuckoo," along with some of her newer tales of midlife mayhem. With a dash of wit and a heavy dose of humor, this is the greatest therapy ever offered in book form…and cheaper than any therapist's bill!

     Some very special bloggers are promoting my book today on either their their blogs or their Facebook pages as part of the book cover reveal. I am honored that they have offered to do so, and would love it if you could stop by their sites to thank them and see what they have to say. BIG hugs and thank you's to the following bloggers for helping Menopausal Mother spread the news today! 

Sarah Shaw AlmondThe Sadder But Wiser Girl
Kelly FoxFoxy Wine Pocket
Teri BiebelSnarkfest

Angela KeckWriter Mom's Blog
Crystal PontiMommiFried
Crystal PontiBlue Lobster Book Co.
Beth TelihoWriter B is Me
Amanda MushroQuestionable Choices in Parenting

Sarah NolanThe Momisodes
Alyson HerzigThe Shitastrophy

Jennifer Cooper CedenoMy Daily Jenn-ism
Stacy BurnettStacy Sews And Schools

Linda RoyElleroy Was Here
Mary WiddicksOutmanned Mommy
Tamara Gerber-Stutz                                         Confessions Of A Part-Time Working Mom
Vikki ClafinLaugh-Lines

     ****Stay tuned for news of the official release date. We're about to get this party started!!!

Friday, April 18, 2014

Funny Things I Learned At A Weekend Conference

    Anyone who knows me well knows I don't fly. Ever. For this reason, I have missed out on some spectacular opportunities due to my debilitating phobia. I'm left to daydream about trips to exotic places from the comfort of my La-Z-Boy chair.
     For quite some time, I've been trolling through my friend's vacation photos on Facebook with a twinge of envy. Although I'm not a fan of the airbus from hell, the thought of driving to a destination that takes longer to reach than the hours between lunch and dinner is even less appealing to me. Long road trips bring out the fidgety kid in me who has to pee every ten minutes, eat every five and whines, "Are we there yet?….ARE WE THERE YET???" My family knows if they want a happy passenger riding shotgun in the car, it's not going to be me. They're better off taking the dog.

     When word spread across the internet that there was an Erma Bombeck Writers Workshop taking place at her alma mater in Dayton, Ohio, I wanted to go. Badly. Tickets were selling fast and the list of attendees read like the Who's Who of the blogosphere. I was instantly swept up in the tide of excitement generated by my blogger friends who'd already purchased tickets. Within minutes, I found myself scrolling through the registration form and clicking on the "Pay Now" button. Before I knew it, my reservations for the three day conference and hotel room was confirmed.

     And I had no freaking idea how I was going to get there from Florida.

     My husband generously stepped forward and volunteered to drive me to the conference. Seventeen hours up, seventeen hours back. That's thirty-seven hours of interstate purgatory.

     Somehow we did it, and we survived without throttling one another at the end of the day. It was one of the most rewarding experiences in my life, not just because of everything I learned at the conference but in the friendships that were made.

     Rather than bore anyone with the details of the new writing and publishing techniques I learned, I'm going to share instead some valuable lessons gleaned from roadside observations and my first foray into the conference world.

     During this six day adventure, I learned the following:

* Hair dyed the color of a red velvet cupcake is frowned upon by the A&W lunch crowd in a small town populated by people who are all related to one another.

* There's enough roadkill between Florida and Ohio to feed a family of six for a year.

* Places with names like Big Bone Lick State Park really DO exist.

* Every roadside restroom is NOT created equal.

* Don't get lost in the dark mountains of Kentucky late at night where the only visible light comes from a cell phone. Nothing motivates you to drive faster than a highway dotted with "BEWARE OF FALLING ROCK" signs.

* If you eat more carbohydrates in three days than you consume in one year, don't be surprised if your sphincter muscles go into shock. You might need the jaws of life or a garden hose to get your inner plumbing right.  * I also learned that it IS possible to gain ten pounds over the course of a weekend.* 

* Avoid driving through Atlanta, Georgia during rush hour….unless you enjoy sitting in standstill traffic and watching a guy in the car next to you digging for gold in both of his nostrils.

* It's all fun and games staying up late in the hotel bar with the other conference attendees until you see your reflection in the mirror at 6:00a.m.  By the look of everyone else, I wasn't the only one sporting puffy under eye baggage. I haven't seen that much luggage since the great carousel jam-up at the airport in 1989.

* Invest in satellite radio for long road trips, otherwise you'll be subjected to Mexican opera and hours of country music that will cause a permanent twang in your voice.

* At the convention dinner, if you decide to skip the fish dinner in favor of a meatless meal, you might end up with something resembling cat yak.

* You'll laugh so much that all those Kegel exercises you did twenty years ago will be put to the test.  

    The Erma Bombeck conference will return to Dayton in 2016, and I already have my packing list ready of the next trip. This includes an extra supply of fiber pills, a flashlight and a fold-up Port-a-potty. I also have my list of expenses prepared:

New friends made at the conference…..PRICELESS!


**** Menopausal Mother has been all over the internet this week! I am very excited to be featured on BlogHer ! You can read that post here:
I was also featured on Midlife Boulevard this week, which you can read here:
My next surprise is that Menopausal Mother has a POEM featured this week which you can read here:     
And HEY!!! Check this one out: I'm the spotlighted contributor today over at" What The Flicka? "How cool is that? Want to read my funny interview where I reveal one of the most embarrassing moments of my life? Find it here:

Friday, April 11, 2014

My Blog Has Been Kidnapped!

      So……I decided to step WAY out of my comfort zone this week and do something I have never done before: attend a writer's convention! But not just any convention----this is the Erma Bombeck Writers convention! How cool is THAT? By the time you read this, I'll be laughing it up in Erma's college town of Dayton, Ohio, with a bunch of other funny writers. The only thing missing is one of my blogger besties. I wanted more than anything for her to be here with me, sharing a glass of vino and making each other laugh. But since she couldn't make it, today she is doing what every good bloggy buddy does--she is taking control of my blog. BWHAHAHA!!!! I love this blogger so much that I invited her back for a third time on my site! Please welcome my dear friend Sarah from The Sadder But Wiser Girl! When I met Sarah over a year ago, I knew immediately I had found a kindred spirit in the blogosphere and she has been one of my favorite bloggers since then. I always look forward to reading her new posts because she consistently makes me laugh. Sarah and I share a really weird sense of humor that often leaves others scratching their heads---but we totally understand each other and have spent many nights on the computer until the wee hours laughing over stupid stuff. Our conversations are hilarious and we do some of our best brain storming this way.
     Besides being a very talented writer, what I value most about Sarah is her friendship---she is so kind, sweet and loyal---I know I can depend on her in a pinch. She has always been incredibly supportive of Meno Mama and knows how to lift up my spirits when I'm having a craptastic day. Please welcome this talented, hilariously funny lady to my site with lots of comment love!

Support Your Local Blogger

While I spend my time these days doing more work at my “real” (paying) job and being a mom and wife (don’t look in my sink), I still try to stay active in the writing world where I crank out a post or two when I can. Some weeks I’m full of inspiration and other weeks the instructions to a box of Hamburger Helper are more interesting than my writing. I’m in a couple of different groups for bloggers that help me tremendously when I need some inspiration or some support. I just wish I could spend more time chatting with them and writing than I get to do most weeks.

It suddenly came to me one evening as I sat staring at Facebook with an empty head and even emptier stomach-what if there were actual support groups that bloggers could join if they needed help with certain things?  And it went downhill from there…

Having technical issues with your blog?  Don’t understand how it all works?
Never fear, you can join B.U.T.T.S-Bloggers Undergoing Tremendous Technical Stress

Or this one:  W.H.A.T.-Writers Helping Acute Technophobes

Tired of spam? Then this group is for you!
B.R.A.S.-Bloggers Rallying Against Spammers

Are you sick of reading blogs by people who slept through English class?
I could so join this one in a heartbeat:
C.A.G.S-Crimes Against Grammar and Spelling.

Are you one of those people and are admittedly in need of help?  How about joining R.A.W.M.E.A.T.-Read And Weep, My Editing is Always Dreadful

Spending too much time blogging?  Then you need a support group!
I.N.E.E.D.B.I.B.S-I Never Eat, Excrete, or Dream Because I’m Blogging Seriously

AND there are some that sadly just need to join this group.
B.O.O.B.S-Bloggers Obviously Only Being Stupid.

What support group do you think you need to join?  Don’t you think the world would be a better place if these actually existed? Wait… don’t answer that…

Librarian and Mom by day, blogger very late at night, Sarah Almond The Sadder But Wiser Girl knows a thing or two about sleep deprivation, chocolate consumption, and cheap wine. Check out her random creative outbursts at her blog Bring caffeine.

Friday, April 4, 2014

8 People I Love To Hate At The Gym

I'm a sucker for those late night weight loss infomercials, and as a result, own a library of workout DVDs and a machine that transforms into a torturous, in-home gym. At first I enjoyed exercising on my own schedule in the privacy of my home. I wore my old, ratty Lycra shorts and didn't care if I looked like a Richard Simmons reject.

After months of listening to the same, peppy instructors encouraging me to sweat through the pain, I wanted to kickbox the television. It didn't help that my daily exercise regimen included an audience of snickering children.

I ditched the DVDs in favor of a membership at a women's gym. Now I actually look forward to my workouts, but this enjoyment comes with a price. And I'm not talking about the cost of a one-year membership. While most of the gym women are considerate, there are those who make the experience less than pleasurable:

MIRROR HOGS: These are the women who run into class late and scoot in front to get a spot by the mirror. Coincidentally, they're the same people who lack coordination and throw the entire class off. I can't be responsible for what happens if my elbow connects with their face.

YAPPERS: After living on rabbit food for a month, the last thing I want to hear about is your orgasmic experience with a seven layer brownie cake.

BOMBERS: These ladies drop their stink bombs off in the gym bathroom before hitting the treadmills. I understand the need to clean out the bowels before working out, but do us all a favor and take your fiber supplements AFTER you exercise.

DNA SWAPPERS: Some people think nothing of leaving sweat puddles on the equipment or hacking up a lung while recovering from the flu. DNA samples are not necessary unless a forensics team needs them after drawing your chalk outline on the gym floor.

CHRONIC FARTERS: These women have blow holes like whales and no interest in corking it for the sake of other people's olfactory systems. When I zumba into their fart clouds, my nose hairs feel singed and my eyes water as if I've been hit by tear gas.

EXHIBITIONISTS: Women who come to the gym in shorts that reveal every inch of uncovered lady bits and tank tops begging for a Janet Jackson wardrobe malfunction. Go buy a freakin' bra.

EQUIPMENT HOGS: These people get lost in a daydream and sit for an hour on the machine instead of doing their reps. Makes me wish I had a pocket defibrillator or a taser to shock them into moving.

BARBIE DOLLS: You know the type. Perfect bodies. Botoxed out the butt....and yet they whine, “OMG, I need to lose 20 pounds!” Just. Shut. Up.

The real heroes of the gym are the 70+ crowd of ladies still shaking their retired money makers in class. I admire their fortitude and hope to be just like them when I'm older. Flatulence and all.


***This week you can also find Menopausal Mother dishing on what it's like to be married to a menopausal man at:   

***I also did a funny interview over at Questionable Choices In Parenting this week. You can find it here:

***Last but not least, Meno Mama was featured again on one of her favorite sites, The Erma Bombeck Writer's Workshop! You can read my funny take on aging here:

Wish me luck, Folks-----heading out next week to my very first humor writer's conference (Erma Bombeck Conference) in Ohio!! WHOO-HOO!!!!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Wacky Wednesday Writers Guest Post By: Bryan Jones' Diary-The Ramblings Of A Menopausal Man

      I am SO EXCITED to introduce you to my special WWW guest today----Gary Sidley of  Bryan Jones' Diary-The Ramblings Of A Menopausal Man! Naturally I was drawn to his blog because of the name "Menopausal Man," but I was even more thrilled to discover a kindred spirit in him. He could easily be my better half in the blogosphere since we share so many of the same, midlife symptoms. I love the fact that he finds the humor in aging….and oh, what I wouldn't give to meet this hilarious man in person to compare notes! Gary's blog is one of the funniest ones out there and a refreshing change since it's written from the male perspective. Do yourself a favor ladies AND GENTLEMEN, and check out Gary's blog. I promise you this comedic writer knows how to deliver the belly laughs. Please welcome him to Meno Mama's site today with lots of comment love!



I’m thrilled to have been asked by my Internet soul-mate, Marcia Kester Doyle, to contribute a guest post to her splendid ‘Menopausal Mother’ blog. But what topic would be suitable for such an esteemed host? In keeping with the maxim, ‘If you can’t beat them, join them,’ I opted to steal one of Marcia’s ideas. A few weeks ago she posted a hilarious list describing the advantages associated with being a menopausal lady. So today I give you the male version: the eight best things about being a 55-year-old man.

1. Hugging women
At my age, I can hug younger women without them believing I’m trying to get into their pants. And it’s true, I’m not. Honest! There are times when I just enjoy interacting with females. But then again, maybe it’s because I’m aware that, at a wrinkled and greying 55, I have more chance of winning Simon Cowell’s X-Factor than extracting sexual favours from attractive young ladies – not that I’m seeking such reactions (just in case my good lady’s reading!).

2. Answering quiz questions
Although not gifted with extensive general knowledge, over half a century of wandering the planet – usually, but not always, with my eyes and ears open - has endowed me with sufficient experience to correctly answer the occasional question on TV game-shows, thereby impressing members of the younger generation. So whether the jackpot-winning question is, ‘What was the first number 1 record by the Rolling Stone?’ or ‘Who was the goalkeeper in England’s 1966 World-Cup-winning team?’ I can give the (misleading) impression of being extraordinarily clever.

3. Hemorrhoid expert
Since my throbbing, bulbous friends pitched their tents deep within the crevice of my arse two decades ago, I have developed into a world authority on the subject of hemorrhoids. Whether you wish to know about the range of ointments available, the pros and cons of the surgical options or buttock positioning to minimize pain, I’m your man.

4. Pooing in peace
As my wife and two grown-up children are familiar with the eccentricities of my bowel – an enigmatic bit of tubing that randomly alternates between frenzy and stagnation – they no longer disturb me when I am sitting on the toilet. Therefore, I am able to spend a peaceful hour on my throne, reading a book or newspaper, without intrusion. Come to think of it, that’s probably why I suffer with hemorrhoids!

5. Wisdom
My hair may no longer be ebony, and my features droopy rather than chiselled, but advancing years have bestowed upon me a wisdom I didn’t possess in my younger days. When I’m criticized I’m able to laugh at my short-comings, in stark contrast to my 23-year-old son who responds to disapproval with a hissy fit and a life-threatening elevation in blood pressure. When out with my wife, and an attractive young woman wanders into view, I choose my words carefully; where once I might have said, ‘Wow, look at the arse on that!’ I now say, ‘That bonny lass reminds me of you, darling.’ (I suspect this change may have extended my life-expectancy!)

6. Kids, it’s payback time
It is a time of life when one can settle a few old scores, by punishing my grown-up children for all the hassle they’ve caused me over the years with their tantrums, thoughtlessness and verbal abuse. So when my 23-year-old son plucks up the courage to bring his girlfriend to our house, it just happens to coincide with me flicking through the family photograph album and passing around the snap of my 3-year-old son bare arsed on a beach in Corfu. And when my 19-year-old daughter invites her mates around for a girly night watching a video, I just happen to wander into the room, without trousers, loudly asking my wife to remind me what time the swingers’ party starts.

7. No more early arrivals
Many years ago, as a virile, warm-blooded young man, sexual encounters were characterized by plentiful energy, plentiful excitement, plentiful lust, but little staying power. Indeed, on occasions I arrived before I’d set off (if you know what I mean). None of that nonsense these days; no sirree! There’s nothing premature about me at 55 - although it might require the perseverance of a single-handed, transatlantic rower to deliver me to the destination!

8. Less laundry bills
There was once a time when I repeatedly changed my clothes. A fresh shirt and trousers were required each morning while socks exited my top drawer at a rate of two pairs per day. At 55, I’m a tad less fastidious. My Wrangler jeans can last a fortnight, a T-shirt about the same. And as for my boxer shorts, they tend to crawl off on their own after seven days of heavy-duty wear.

Yes, there are definitely some distinct advantages of being a menopausal male; for me, that is, rather than for those who have to live with me.


Gary Sidley is a freelance writer who recently opted for early retirement following 33 years of continuous employment in the UK’s psychiatric services, mostly as a clinical psychologist. Since retirement, his writing focus is shared between a humor blog (Bryan Jones Diary), humor articles for magazines, and criticisms of western psychiatry (his book, Tales from the Madhouse; an insider critique of psychiatric practice will be published later this year).

More of Gary's mental health stuff can be found on:

Humor articles and chit-chat


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