Here’s a medical newsflash—menopause is not a natural function of aging. It’s triggered by teenage daughters surreptitiously siphoning off your hormones.
Fact: somewhere around a daughter’s twelfth year of life the cosmic whistle’s blown and the red flag thrown down. What once was the symbiotic relationship of mutualism, where mother and daughter got their warm fuzzies in each other’s presence, is all done-y. Game over. No longer does the little girl yearn to have her mother stroke her hair or hold her hand. The mother’s smile, the one she’d searched for in a crowd, the one that calmed like maternal Oxycontin, is perceived, according to the brain of the budding pubescent, as a fangs-out “you’re all mine” attack.
Faced with the peril of being smothered, the organism mutates. Symbiosis still exists, but it’s the parasitic version. And what would any self-respecting parasite do? Don her own fangs and suck on the jugular. Estrogen is what she’s after, and hold on, mama, cause she’s going after yours.
Prime feeding hour? Ask any mother. Before and after school followed by a little nightcap just before bed to keep her sated till morning. If you pay attention you can feel the hormones drain from your pituitary. It’s the fuzzy thinking, lifeless-zombie, pushed-over-the-edge-lie-down-you-might-as-well-feast-off-me feeling that comes over you.
Face it, you are the consummate host-ess. Undoubtedly some clever Y-chromosomed scientist offered up the perky “ess” suffix to make the “host” sound like a party with a conga line. Who wouldn’t want to sign up?
But didn’t we mothers already give at the office—during pregnancy, when our parasitic tadpoles leeched calcium from our bones? Apparently that wasn’t enough, now they’re after the last vestige of our womanliness, the ultimate elixir of life propagation itself. And while our breasts shrivel like dried fruit on the vine, our daughter’s breasts are plumping up. Drunk on estrogen milkshakes, our progeny calls, “Hey can I get a side of fries with that?” But don’t panic, she’s not going after every last hormone of yours. Heck no, she’ll leave you with plenty of testosterone, enough to grow some stubbly chin hairs and maybe a mustache. Who said your parasite wasn’t a giver?