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Worth Repeating: “Menopause Made Me Do It.”

November 19, 2012

As you may have noticed, I’m kinda big on story-telling around here. I think story is at the heart of the matter. Story grabs and sucks us in, it lends credibility and value to a point. Show, don’t tell.

I’m reading The Memoir Project, finally, after it sat beneath a pile of books on my nightstand for nearly a year, a gift from Cheri Gregory, author, blogger, and speaker who truly knows and demonstrates the value of story-telling. It is, in a word, fabulous, delightful, intriguing, thought-provoking and downright funny. Here’s a snippet the author entitled Menopause Made Me Do It.

A car zipped by with one of those oval stickers on the bumper portraying merely a number. Have you wondered what they mean? I have. Those little oval stickers used to mean only that someone had touristed in some European city, perhaps even purchased there the vehicle they are now driving and proudly want to display that. Then those little oval stickers started to mean more (or less) than that, and I got confused.

The sticker on the car read “70.3” Nothing more.

As we drew closer, I gave no time for the fairly sane man whose job in life is has become to reel me in. Instead, before asking what the sticker could possibly mean, I stuck my head out the window and yelled, “Thirty-eight Double D!”

You know the feeling? Maybe cats feel this way after hurling a hairball. I hope so.

My husband was silent for a moment; the look on his face was the one he gets when he is forced to quickly shove together the evidence before him into some narrative he can live with. He looked at the bumper sticker. He looked at me. And then he began to laugh in that way I have come to value as the ultimate paycheck of my life. If marriage is the hardest room to work in Vegas – and it is – at that moment all the slots were pouring in my bucket as he laughed and laughed and laughed.

When he was finally able to speak, he calmly asked, “You don’t know what those are, do you?”

“Nope.”

“Triathlon. Half Iron Man competitions. Those are the distances that people have gone.”

“Huh.”

Now I know.

Marion Roach Smith, The Memoir Project: A thoroughly non-standardized text for writing and life. 

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