I used to strip only at night. For years in fact. But in the past year, I’ve become a daytime stripper as well. I even strip in front of my family. They smile as they watch me, my nearly 17 year-old son’s eyes growing wide with disbelief that his mother could do such a thing. I can read his mind behind his bulging blue eyes . . .
“Oh my gosh! She’s stripping AGAIN!? What will my friends think if she starts stripping in front of them?”
I watch him shake his head as he says out loud . . .
“ANOTHER hot flash, Mom??!!”
Yes, my darling son, ANOTHER hot flash.
My poor children and husband and dog have moved with me into Hormone Hell. Bless their hearts. For many 40+ women, I could stop right here. You know what I mean. You empathize with me.
I’ve been in Night Hell for years. Now I’m enjoying all the benefits of Day Hell as well. And so is my family. And so is the dog.
Some women say they’ve had only mild “private summers”. For reasons beyond my ability to understand, God assigned these dear women only to the far outskirts of Hell.
I’m in the inner-city, Baby! Right there by the big face of the blast furnace!
Want to take a tour of my digs?
It starts like this, in my mind . . .
Here it comes again!
Help me GOD!
Then something in my body takes over. Something sinister.
Up from the bowels of the earth comes this horrid heat causing my inner thermostat to rise faster than a meat thermometer thrust into the breast of a roasted Thanksgiving turkey. I begin to feel juicy. Suddenly, I think my head could pop off. I might just vomit—or pass out—or both. To save myself and others the embarrassment of scooping up a roasted, headless, juicy older woman from whatever platter on which she has landed, I start stripping—fast and furious.
I emphasize the words FAST and FURIOUS.
I do not accept this neighborhood of Hell! I am determined to emancipate myself, FAST. And I’m FURIOUS that my body threatens to overpower my will! This is WAR!
I must find a way out of Hormone Hell as quickly as possible.
The lives of my family and dog are at stake!
Our passport to peace?
And, as you know, any good stripper must have good music. Mine is in my head so it’s ready to go whenever I might be called strip, which is usually without advanced notice, but at least several times in every 24-hour period. My song is from the introduction to Flipper—that TV show about an adorable dolphin I used to watch as a kid. It goes like this . . .
They call him Flipper—Flipper—lighter than water . . .
I change just a few words and I’m good to go . . .
They call me Stripper—Stripper—hot, growing hotter . . .
Lord, save my soul! (And my body, while you’re at it.)
My latest stripper episode from last night . . .
We’re on our way home from being turned away at the movie theatre where we found that the show was sold out and there was no way to purchase the tickets on-line. I was only a bit miffed. Well, actually . . .
So John Wayne is driving us home. (He named himself because we live on a horse farm and ride together on our trails, off into the sunset). Might have well been a cattle drive, the speed we were going.
With “John” at the helm of our vehicle, I’m trying to stay calm, extremely aware that I’m covered from neck to knees in a North Face down coat and, from feet to knees, in black leather boots. On top of that, I’m strapped firmly into my seat, ready for blast-off.
He’s driving slow—REALLY, REALLY—S-L-O-W.
At least that’s how it seemed to me over there in the Hormone Hell district of the car. I’m inwardly screaming . . .
Like what are you DOING!? Star-gazing? I’m about to DIE over here if I don’t get out of this car really, REALLY fast!
Of course, I don’t say a word. I just sit there and burn. The heat of Hell oozes up through my legs. I swear Satan lit a match. Up, up, up goes my internal thermostat, all the way to my hair, which already looks like I put my finger in a light socket. I start scratching.
I tell myself . . .
Just be patient. He’s turning into the driveway now. You’ll be free in a moment. You can handle this.
To heck with the self-coaching!
My brain starts to scream . . .
IF YOU DON’T DRIVE THIS CAR ANY FASTER UP THIS TOO LONG DRIVEWAY I THINK I MIGHT JUST HAVE TO SHOVE YOU OUT THE DRIVER’S SIDE DOOR AND DRIVE IT UP MYSELF! I NEED TO STICK MY HEAD IN THE FREEZER—NOW!
My armpits are dripping. My forehead is beading. My eyeballs are bulging. But because it’s a dark and starry night, and I’m trying to be polite, John Wayne doesn’t know that his riding buddy has just been abducted by demons and is in the midst of being tortured with licking flames of fire.
Just when I think I’m about to self-combust, John Wayne opens the garage remotely and we pull in.
For God’s sake . . .
For MY sake, and YOURS . . .
PUT IT IN PARK!
I whip open the car door as my wings sprout. I become the fastest bat out of Hell you have ever seen! If you’ve ever seen one. Off comes the down coat as I’m running into the house, clicking my black boots on the oak floor like a metronome with the weight pulled off.
And exactly WHY do I choose a buttoned oxford shirt in this stage of my life?
I start frantically undoing the buttons in the kitchen, walking around the island real fast, clicking, because I’m all agitated and I don’t want to throw up or pass out.
The nearly 17 year-old looks at me from the family room, that silly grin spreading across his face and he says it. Dag nab it!
He says it out loud for ALL to hear, which would be only the dog, who by this time has already put her tail between her legs and trotted off to the shelter of his side, forfeiting the scratch she usually gets as a greeting from me.
“Mom! You’re having a hot flash?”
His inflection goes up at the end of “flash”.
Like really? You’re questioning why I’m stripping right here in the kitchen? Right in front of you? And the DOG?
Off comes the shirt. I flip it on the floor. Then the tall leather boots. I throw them on the floor too. Then the socks. I forget where I threw them. I’m thinking about the pants too, but I hesitate. After all, he is my son and he’s nearly 17. And the dog might just die of fright.
After my partial strip, we all experience a bit of relief from the tongues of Hell licking my entire body. Being the drama queen that I am, however, I decide to have some fun with this captivating stage of life and my captive audience of son and dog.
“Why YES, dear son, I AM having a hot flash! What was your first clue?!”
“Well, you started stripping pretty fast as soon as you came in the door.”
“Ah, Grasshopper! You are very, very careful observer!” I say in my very best Chinese accent, dripping with sarcasm.
He goes back to his Robinhood show.
I start screaming—panting—falling on the floor dying.
The poor dog who does not understand drama! The poor son, just trying to finish his TV show!
I retreat to the bathroom and wipe Satan’s saliva off every inch of my body. Tongues of flame leave quite a residue.
And there you have it . . .
My latest episode of Hormone Hell.
Sure would like to cancel this series. It’s not getting good ratings from me. But hey, who am I to criticize the Creative Genius or His production studio?
We’re all fearfully and wonderfully made! Sometimes I lean a little more towards the fearful than the wonderful, it seems. I thank God for GRACE! (and my family—and the dog!)
What’s burning YOU up at the moment? Know that God’s grace covers you in cooling relief. His love soothes and heals any burn we might have—if we’ll let Him.
Now ladies (and gentlemen), go out and have a really COOL rest of your day—and night!
You are loved. No matter what.
You created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-14
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. I Peter 4:8