Good morning everyone!
This weekend I found myself camping with my son and husband while the daughters ditched us and refused to partake in our weekend of over-drinking, over-socializing and general lack of parenting. I can't understand why, we have some deep family discussions around the campfire that I am sure they will remember for a long time.
In any case, our weekend of three was like most camping weekends when we pull the oversized (like everything in our lives really) fifth wheel to the bike park that is two hours from our home. We generally take all of 15 minutes to get set up (we have become pros) and don't even jeopardize our marriage anymore while I try guiding my husband into a campsite that is framed with large trees. This weekend's setup was uneventful and ended in a high five between spouses and quickly followed by the filling of two red solo cups while humming the song, "red solo cup, I fill you up… let's have a party".
The whiskey was flowing and the energy was perfect for a night of fun. We head out around the campsite on foot with the red solo cups in our hand pausing occasionally for a swig of the nectar of the gods that is sloshing around in our receptacle of choice. We scope out our neighbours and it takes our son less than the length of the walk to have a following of new "friends". They escape to the park and my husband and I go back to the trailer and start the fire, for tonight we drink and relax. With the fire ablaze, the lighted palm tree and the string of LED lights glowing (YUP, just call us weekend white trailer trash) and the cooler filled with icy beverages the evening was off to a perfect start. That is until my husband decides to blast his tunes over the outdoor speakers and I realize that what Sandra Tsing Loh describes in her glorious book (which I am 1/2 through reading), THE MADWOMAN IN THE VOLVO My Year of Raging Hormones, That is a perfect description of my husband and I declare to him that he is in MANOPAUSE. (If you haven't read this book it is a must-read according to yours truly. I will do a full review once I complete it)
Sandra has dedicated three pages of her book to manopause, a man's experience with their own menopause, and could only come up with two known symptoms:
1 - Obsessive you-tubing of old college rock bands **
2 - Declaring their LOVE of old songs they hear **
** This is as I recall it. Certainly paraphrased and in truth my short term memory is so bad that I almost hate publishing this entry wondering how far off I was from the actual written work of Ms. Tsing Loh. **
I sit back in my favourite lawn chair, with my favourite drink in my favourite cup listening to Nirvana once again. I look over at my husband who has his head back, eyes closed and singing like he is Kurt Cobain himself. I realize that he too might be going through Manopause albeit pre-manopause because we are far too young to be "mid-life" :P
However, I must add to the list that Sandra began because my husband has also taken to the following:
3- Reading the likes of Christopher Hitchens, Sam Harris, George Orwell and Richard Dawkins.
When we were children (since we have been together since children) all he would read was magazines or Stephen King. Never would he consider reading 1984 or Animal Farm from cover to cover. So where did this man come from all of a sudden?
4- Questioning everything that makes him complete.
Suddenly my husband of 16 years (boyfriend of 24 years) has began to question his essence. What does he believe? What makes the universe tick? What should we be teaching our children? This has been hard for me as a Christian but the more we research and study together the more I begin to see why he is questioning; however, why now? Could it be another part of manopause?
As I sat there watching my husband float back into the days of our youth I realized that although men, in general or at least the men in my life, are more logical and less emotional than females (or at least those in my life which includes me) that they themselves must also be experiencing changes. Imagine that!! No hot flashes, no saggy boobs, no erratical emotional spasms but still some changes that make you wonder how they get off so lucky. Reminiscing and wanting to re-experience youth… that is what they get?? (insert some rolly-eyed emoticon here)
OK, rant over! Are you married? Is he going through manopause? What are your experiences with it and can you add to our list? Leave me a comment and let me know :D
Facing Forty with a husband entering Manopause