Are you hot, or is it just me?
I’m so frickin’ sweaty and uncomfortable. All the time. Are you?
If you’re female and more than 38 years old, you probably know exactly what I’m talking about.
I’ve been sweating pretty much nonstop since the day I first got preggers. But it’s getting worse. It’s not just the damn external heat, although that’s bad right now. After all, this June and July have been the some of the hottest Junes and Julys in recorded history (actually, July isn’t over yet, so the data’s still pending, but I’d bet my swamp-butt panties on it).
Yes, we’re having heat waves and 90-something-degree weather in Asheville. I know those of you down in South Carolina and Georgia must be dripping like ice cream in a toaster oven.
At least you’ve probably got air conditioning. Many folks here in the mountains don’t because, well, it usually doesn’t get that hot up here. Of course, burning coal to power all the a/c is part of the whole climate-change problem, but still, I’m jealous.
The heat makes me as irritable as a duck stuck in a pâté pen. I feel claustrophobic and chubby, and I’ve got heat rash on the inside of my thighs from waddling around while runnels of salt water irrigate my skin.
And no, it’s not just the external heat; it’s that internal combustion engine that my unstable female hormones attempt to control. You’d think someone could have built us a better engine.
Yes, I’m perimenopausal and I’m melting here. (Why don’t the docs just say premenopausal and use a prefix we all understand? Damn doctors!) Plus I look like, well, a feisty middle-aged woman who can’t be bothered to blow-dry her hair or put on makeup, because both of those make me even hotter. Nothing’s sexier than a woman wiping her glistening brow and coming away with a bronzer-coated palm, right? Glistening, my heinie.
And while it’s worse now than it used to be, being hot seems to be a lifelong female boulder we carry. Even my pre-adolescent daughter is hot all the time. In fact, her second favorite sentence (after “Leave me alone”) is “Are you hot, or is it just me?” I don’t even want to think about what her hormones are up to right now.
Example: The other day, we drove by the dude who dresses up in a chicken suit and dances on the side of the road in front of Picnics restaurant. The management seems to believe that seeing a tall guy wearing a chicken suit will make motorists crave actual chicken, slam on their brakes and swerve into the parking lot for a snack. But, hey, I’m clearly no marketing genius. The ploy seems to work.
“Wave at the chicken guy,” I say to the kids as we drive past fast, way too fast to even attempt a snack break without getting rear-ended on the racetrack otherwise known as Merrimon Avenue.
“He must be burning up,” says my girl. I can tell by her tone that she truly feels for the chicken guy.
“Yeah, he must be really hot,” I reply.
“I’m so glad I don’t have to wear a chicken costume,” she says.
“Me, too,” I say.
I think, oh my God, am I glad.
The boy, who came down from his room wearing a long-sleeved turtleneck the day it was 94 degrees, has no comment.
Then I wonder, what if? What if my job consisted of dancing around on super-heated asphalt in the blazing sun wearing a chicken suit? What if I had no other choice?
The result, I’m sure, would be death from hormone-induced heatstroke. Or I’d just go frickin’ crazy and start throwing chicken legs at passing vehicles.
Chicken guy, are you hot? Or is it just me?