Red Shoe Week – Is it PMS Or Menopause?

I told my first husband that whenever I wore red detroit tigers hawaiian shirt it was a warning that I was having PMS (premenstrual syndrome). He knew to stay away-far away-whenever he saw me wearing them. I no longer have that husband but I do still have a few days each month when nothing goes right, no one pleases me and I cry for no good reason. My first husband traveled a lot for business and didn’t always have the privilege of witnessing my mood swings during red shoe week. It wasn’t until he changed positions within his company and started spending more time at home that our marriage fell apart. I blame the red detroit tigers hawaiian shirt and his lack of ability to deal with an irrational woman. It’s not his fault. Every grammar school should require that boys take a class in proper PMS protocol before they become men and start trying to “fix” a temporarily fragmented female. They should at least be warned that it is a futile effort so they don’t make women even more upset by giving them unsolicited advice. Instead, boys should be given instruction on investing in good camping equipment or 100 ways to sleep on the sofa. My second husband understands this, but I think his first wife trained him. I can’t take the credit. He just “knows” when it’s time to go play golf or make an appointment with the shrink-for himself, not me. I’m fine. I’m just a woman on the PMS/menopause merry-go-round.

Now that I’m in my forties, I not only have PMS, I also have symptoms of early menopause complete with PTM (personal tropical moments). That’s French for “hot flashes” in case anyone of the male gender is reading this and doesn’t understand why your female friend was fanning herself with the leather-bound menu at that 5-star restaurant you took her to. You know the one place I’m talking about. You thought taking her there was going to earn you some pussy points, but she drank too much red wine (there was your first clue, the color red) and was asleep by the time you drove her home.

For middle-aged, wiser and more experienced women, having this dual diagnosis, is like having PMS all the time with a bonus week of “red shoe time” each month. It’s hard to tell whether my temper tantrums are caused by PMS or by repressed anger issues from being so co-dependently nice to everyone when I was younger. Probably both; I’m thinking of dyeing my feet red. The red toe nail polish, while chipped and attracting attention, just doesn’t convey the message.

And, speaking of toes, let’s talk about wedding bands. Yes, it’s red shoe week and I’m somewhat random in my thought process. I have trouble remembering to wear my wedding band. I’m always taking it off and forgetting where I put it. I think forgetfulness is also part of menopause; I certainly wasn’t like this in my thirties. Now that I’ve gained a few pounds (okay, 30 pounds) since I married the second time, the band is too tight and restrictive-just like marriage in general. There are times when I don’t want to put the energy and effort into a daily relationship with a guy I can’t stay mad at. My second husband laughs at me when I’m having one of my episodes. Maybe I conveniently forget to wear the ring. After all, it does indicate that I’m not available and quite honestly there are times when I don’t want to rule out my other options. If I’m going to wear a ring that says, “Keep Away” I may as well wear a toe ring. I don’t mind people avoiding my toes.

write by Sherwin