Surf’s Up

You’ve all seen it, a woman fanning herself with a menu, a post card, a fan or anything that will give relief. You know what I’m talking about, the dreaded HOT FLASH.

I never really spent much time pondering the ins and outs of a hot flash, I simply thought that they couldn’t be that bad. I’ve always run on the chilly side, “frilleuse” they say in French. The slightest breeze would bring on the Goosebumps. Even today at almost 50 I’ll wear a parka to walk the dogs on a warm balmy beach night. My husband Ken even feels the need to stop strangers and say, “I don’t know who that crazy women in the pink parka is”. I guess it’s sort of embarrassing. Everyone else is in bikini tops, tank tops, skimpy T-Shirts….then there’s me. UNTIL…..

HOT FLASH! Not news flash, how I wish, but a Hot Flash from hell. Yes from hell. There I’ve said it. They come from Hell because you feel like you just fell in! Suddenly from out of nowhere, with neither warning or cause suffocation consumes me. Even if I don’t have on the darn parka (of course). I’ll be innocently sitting reading a book when WHAMO all of a sudden I’m covered with a mist of moisture and there is no more air in the room or outside. I must strip, instantly. I need air, cold air. I need my own personal air-conditioning unit, preferably in a tot that I could wear on my back.

But the oddest part is that as quickly as they come on, they go! Boiling one minute, ice princess the next. It makes life very difficult to plan. I can’t always don an outfit with zippers. Like a magician who with one tug of an invisible string, all falls off!

Especially difficult has to do with my new hobby, boogie boarding and paddle boarding. I love my wet suit. It is perfect for me. I can march straight into the ocean without even looking back; without pause, without flapping my arms like a giant condor. In my new wetsuit I’m hermetically sealed and I love it, until. BAFF, bang, POW – a hot flash. The rip cord, the Velcro, basically I’m doomed. Can you die from a hot flash? I bet you can. I die a thousand deaths a night. Kick the covers off, chill, pull the covers up. Repeat. 1,000 times.

I guess I am lucky. Some women I’ve been told get drenched in sweat, usually during an office presentation. They’ll go from crisp and professional to water logged and embarrassed.

How to describe the joys of being a woman? All I ask is that the next time you see a “mature” woman searching for something to fan herself with, help her out. Give her your menu, your ipad, anything, just help.