I’ve started walking a new dog named Lilly. She’s a two-year-old Greyhound and both her and her owner are going through Menopause.
I was confronted by this reality one Monday morning at 8am. Okay, 8:15 – I was late. I opened the door to find Lilly laying lifeless on the ground, with a tortured look on her face. Like she is still in that cage she lived in for the past two years. Except that now life was her cage, with the temperature set at 40 degrees Celsius.
“Apparently they gut the Greyhounds of everything when they desex them,” the owner, wearing a Tree of Life, tells me. She has paintings of Celtic symbols covering her walls and and a fairy tattoo sitting on her shoulder. Long blonde hair flows straight and silky down her back.
I look at Lilly again. “She’s always hot, the poor thing.” I spot two fans in the same room and wonder if they are for the dog or the owner.
“Wow,” I say, looking at Lilly like she may explode at any minute.
“I thought that happens later in life.”
“No, I’m in Perry Menopause now, at 40-something,” she tells me, as casually as if I’d like Almond milk with my tea.
“Perry – who is she?” I say out loud.
“Oh yeah, so Perry comes before Menopause. It means…” and then she goes on to discusses with me her irregular periods…..
“… And my cervix walls shut like a clam. I also get blind fits of rage, out of nowhere sometimes…. “
During these detailed descriptions, my uncaffinated mind thinks back to how I was planning on asking her for $10 extra since she’s asking for double the service, to which I decide it’s possibly safer to ask over text…
“Far-outttt,” I say, looking at Lilly again.
“And some women even bleed continuously. It’s really bad.” GASP.
I thought being a women is hard enough but this shit sounds horrific. Our ovaries try to defeat us before we even die? Why don’t Menopausal women get paid-leave to deal with this, like with pregnancy, take two!? Wtf society, you stupid old white man probably called George or Jake.
Upon departure I rustle up a depressed, now fluorescently dressed Lilly ( her raincoat an unappetising shade of yellow ) and we adventure out into the spitting rain.
The weather in Summer over the last two months has made me extremely suspicious that we have lost a game of cards with Britain and now it’s our turn for the shitty weather. That or Climate Change is in competition with COVID to see who can kill the human race first. Australians are overall pretty easy-going people however, we cannot deal with bad weather. We have made our peace with being convicts and Britain’s off-cuts situated on the other side of the world, but we will not be rained on. No.
Anyway, and so in a flap I do what any kid in their 20’s does when confronted by an uncomfortable adult truth, I google it. And then call my dad, mid-search.
“ Dad! I’ll need nappies soon! I can go Perry any day now!”
“What? Since when?”
“Since a girl as young as 28 went Perry.”
“Perry Menopause Simon- gosh keep up!”
“It’s like the pre-drinks of Menopause where you can bleed out and have fits of rage.”
“Wow,” he says. (Like he hasn’t been married to two women who have Perryed all over him without his knowledge.)
“Yeah so I’ll need nappies dad! Maybe I should add that into my savings wall of envelopes at home…. Starting now.”
He laughs. “Well I mean, probably a smart move. But atleast you have a few more years ahead of you,” he says.
“Maybe… who even knows. But atleast… when I get into nappies so will you probably. We can do it together, like a bonding thing!”
He laughs again, “Yeah just not for the same reasons.”
“Yeah but an adult nappy is an adult nappy Simon. No matter what way you put it on,” I tell him.
He laughs again. “Very true. Well I must go, market’s about to open.”
“Okay, bye Simon!”
After that flustered call I feel immediately better, like Simon in all his confused male-glory has become a sedative of sorts.
And then my Menopausal friend and I get lost in the labyrinth of streets and find a coffee shop and a Haberdashery with Christian Dior buttons in the front window….
“Wait here Lilly,” I tie her up to the pole. She takes up the same sad puddle-position as before and I spend the next 10 minutes in the shop looking through white linen and pink poly-cotton.
All up it comes to $30 which is super cheap for 5 metres of fabric, so I’m feeling a little better.
I’m also quite excited about making one of my smock dresses again. After chatting to those ladies, my tactic is not to be the best but rather try and see how it goes. Trial and error. Otherwise nothing will be made, which nothing has.
I return Lilly after manually lifting her into her feet for the walk home in which we return very wet and only lightly upset.