Was that a hot flash or a nuclear event?

Our bed has a smoldering pile of blankets in the middle of it. It serves as a burn barrier for the innocents who don’t teeter on the verge of spontaneous combustion at least three times a night. Namely, my husband and the cats.

After several months of menopausal volcanic flashes of heat that somehow erupt from my body without vaporizing everything in the general vicinity, they’ve all become used to interrupted sleep. When I leap out of bed screaming to shed my clothes, it’s no longer foreplay, its survival.

Now, instead of being alarmed hubby just mumbles, “Stop, drop and roll…” and goes back to sleep. Clearly my husband doesn’t understand the distinct risk of me dropping on top of his head and rolling across his face when he says this.

To his credit, he was truly concerned the first few times I shot straight out of a peaceful sleep into whirling fire-tornado status gasping, “Ohmygod how hot is it in here?!” He would actually get up to dutifully check the thermostat, so he could report the median temperature in our bedroom.

“Baby, it’s 69 degrees in here. The heat hasn’t kicked on all night.”

Of course this elicited my response of, “The thermostat is a filthy liar and it’s definitely broken. I’m opening a window.”

Perhaps in an effort to avoid him and the cats freezing to death from an open window during an Ohio winter, he was sweet enough to suggest a fan in the bedroom. Neither of us had any idea hot flashes feel personally challenged by fans. The minute a lurking hot flash hears a box fan it laughs like an evil overlord and cranks up the heat and frequency to obliterate any outside cool-down assistance.

My main concern with the fan was that a burning ember from my newly-acquired facial hair might blow over the established burn-barrier and set the house on fire. Because menopause isn’t fun unless you can grow a full mustache and have hot flashes that achieve white-hot temps.

We’ve been married 24 years. Hubs is smart enough to artfully avoid any conversation about my more-than-fuzzy chin and upper lip. I’m not sure if he’s being kind, or he’s just terrified of the whip-like mood swings that accompany menopause. I have, however, noticed the cats looking at me with what can only be described as envy over my ability to grow a four-inch hair from my face overnight.

The struggle is real y’all. Check on your friends in the throes of menopause. They are not OK.