One of my favorite movies from the 80’s was flashdance. I didn’t like it for its depth and breadth of plot or acting…I just loved the dancing. Lately, though, I’ve been having flashbacks of that infamous scene in the movie when she throws herself back in a chair and a bucket of water dumps all over her. Then, I was thrilled at the sensuality of that dance….these days, I simply daydream about that cold bucket of water. With the coming of the new school year, when both boys are finally in high school, also came what I’ve been dreading to come for awhile….hot flashes. Not that I lack any information on the subject, I do work in health care after all. But what they really can’t prepare you for is the horrific psychic time travel when you are forced to revisit the emotional upheaval that were our bodies in adolescence when they raged with hormones and did things without our permission throwing us into a continual tailspin. But, since I had the added degradation of travelling through highschool as a 12 year-old boy, and pretty much spent my freshman year in college squeezed into underwear that was too tight because I was too far away from home and too broke to buy a bigger bra and even my loosest sweaters made me feel like Marilyn Monroe…except for the wicked case of acne…my revisit of this lack of control over my body has shattered even my super hero power of common sense like kryptonite did to super man. It isn’t enough that I was just getting comfortable in my body after all this time, now I had to go to the store and again buy a bigger bra ( yeah I bet they didn’t tell you that little tidbit) and I have to change my shirt at lunch time because I sweat through it and just as I neared spontaneous combustion, my thermostat completely shut down and I froze the rest of the morning in my “wet” t-shirt and had to tape down my nipples that reacted to the cold. My body was saying porn star against my will. The advice I get from other woman is to dress in layers, but yesterday when I brought a light sweater to cover up once the freeze hit after the flash, all that did was send me into another hot flash. I work in a field where dozens and dozens of people walk through this door every day, and the last thing I’m sure they want to see is a sweaty woman with a delicate wardrobe malfunction. I am waving a paper fan continually just to keep the makeup from running into my eyes and trying desperately not to surrender to the heat. I’ve tried supplements…including the ones with black cohosh and they don’t do bupkis, but with the memory lapses I’d forget to take them anyway. It just doesn’t seem fair. Last week during the morning frost, I actually went outside in my underwear and the steam that rose off my body was in close competition to the fog that blanketed our valley. I actually choose dress clothes that won’t show perspiration stains…THAT SUCKS! I remember now when I was a young teen that it didn’t really matter how cool I felt inside my brain when my body refused to cooperate and I just looked awkward. Today it feels no less frustrating. Right now as I am writing this I have stuffed a kleenex on my lower back to catch the sweat that is now running down my back. It will be alright, I have learned to adapt with a lot of ice, multiple t-shirts to change into, and the promise of a cold winter soon on the horizon. For the time being though, to all you sweaty women out there I stand in solidarity with you, I would hug you too, but I wouldn’t want to stain your clothes….