Should You TOY with an “Older Woman?”

photo-139There are games meant for almost all phases of life – – childhood is obvious, (think Parcheesi and Trouble) and teenagers have their own particular brand of games (“Spin the Bottle” yes, but who remembers “Mystery Date?”) and currently there’s “Say Anything,” “Apples to Apples” and of course, “Telestrations!” At Bridal Showers we play Marriage games and on to Baby showers where we play pregnancy games like guessing how many inches it is around the mother-to-be’s stomach. Dignified fun! Of course, the older retired crowd gets to gather around partaking in Gin Rummy, Bunko or Mahjong. Here then are my versions of those beloved boardgames you learned to love and lose at, newly revamped for the left-out 40 to 55 year-old female demographic.

Menopauseopoly – – The classic game of monopolizing stuff from your opponents as you wearily drag your little pewter token – – a miniature fan, a Naturalizer high heel shoe, haircoloring kit, Prozac pill, a syringe of Botox, an iron and a thimble (see, I told you it would be classic, therefore still Chauvinistic!) around the board attempting to purchase back the properties of your Mind, Body & Spirit that you once possessed control over. Memory Lane, Sex Drive, Brain Cell Way, Stability Street, Metabolism Court and Smooth Skin Avenue. The Utilities are represented by Energy & Pep and Hydration. Take a ride on the Wispy Waist-Line Railroad. But if you land on the unmade bed you must go directly to Never Satisfied Husband, do not Pass the Doctor and do not collect your 200 mg prescription for testosterone.

Chest – – This is a game of the utmost strategy and wits wherein you move your Queen many various bra sizes around a black and white checkerboard until you capture your current correct cup size which will vary depending on if you just ate a grain of salt or are up ½ a lb. But breast assured, once you do this, there will be an immediate “Chestmate!”

Hoots On Ladders – – Best if played directly after a good, satisfying game of “Chest.” The object is to walk by a construction crew and if you can still get any man at all, (even the male parrot on the drywall contractor’s shoulder) to wolf-whistle after giving you the once-over, you win! Batteries sold separately.

I Apologize – – It’s “Sorry” redone with an Anger Management theme. Simplistic little game with easy to follow rules, 1. I yell or throw my estrogen at you. 2. I try to atone while making flimsy hormonal excuses. 3. You forgive me. 4. I do it all over again on the next roll of the dice. Once I grovel enough, I graduate to the brand new 12 step game, “I Surrender” which culminates at the finish line where I sheepishly admit that even my Higher Power has no control over my temper during menopause.

Afflictionary – – Be the first to draw what ails you and let your partner guess before the timer runs out. You’ll sketch a body with sweat pouring out of it and they’ll guess “a bee sting.” You’ll doodle a giant stomach with lots of excess skin and they’ll guess “fallen arches.” At this point you’ll need a new partner. Makes a great party game until you draw your biggest affliction ever…a realistic picture of all the guests attending who have gotten on your last nerve. They guess correctly. Party’s over!

Thoughtzee – – Who needs “Yahtzee” when you can noisily rattle 6 dice in a little jar, simultaneously giving yourself a migraine, just to eventually spill them out on the table to formulate thoughts that are so fleeting in your own head, you usually can’t remember them in time to vocalize, write or act them out. But be sure to scream out “Thoughtzee!!” at the top of your lungs so other players will run out of Tylenol and need to borrow yours. Comes with Advil bonus bottles.

Get A Clue! – – Oh that Miss Scarlett – – she’s still sexy and hot, especially with this new Night Sweat edition. But watch out Professor Plum and all other male players – – She’ll conspire with her Gal Pals and then the crime will be “a lethal male bashing with Mrs. White, Mrs. Peacock in the Ballroom with The Mouth” – – the deadliest weapon of all.

Trivial Dispute – – It’s the game of Life…in other words who argues it better? The never-ending quest to always be right is the central theme of this fast-paced question and answer card game played in teams. Remind other players (your children) that you could’ve gone to law school if you hadn’t gotten married and devoted your life completely to family. Fight with them over your borrowing skirts from your teenager’s closet. How else are you supposed to look younger? And that if they told you they were staying late after school but you forgot, it’s still their fault for not reminding you. Always remember to play The Guilt Card (find it at the bottom of the deck) and also you have one free, “Because I said so” pass to be used anytime you appear to be losing. Good luck!

Tragic 8 Ball – – The Magic 8 ball just as you remember it, but this time you will receive prophetic answers to all your earth-shattering calamities. Go ahead and ask questions like, “Am I destined to have a muffin top in all my jeans or just the Skinny Jeans?” and “Am I wrong for wanting men to suffer through every single one of these 34 symptoms too?” and of course, “Didn’t Heather Locklear look majorly photo-shopped on the cover of this week’s People magazine?” The answers of course will always be “Reply Hazy, try again” because the “Tragic 8 Ball” is now a fifty year old toy and therefore also going through menopause, with brain-fog of its own.

Now, I’ll race ya to the nearest Toys R Us, where thankfully they still have the plain and simple “Candyland” with no age limit to the joy it brings!

Now Playing! (while you’re praying….for sleep!)

photo-122Disney producers know women are eternally exhausted. Why else would Sleeping Beauty and Snow White suddenly nod off, “only to be awakened by Love’s First Kiss?” I suppose, “only to be startled by husband’s irritating snores,” just wouldn’t sell as many tickets! With that in mind, here are some other “Menopausal Movies” that might have passed you by. Rewatch them on Netflix …if you can stay awake long enough!

The Wizard of MenopOZ – – Hiding behind a curtain (typically male) a great and powerful Man claims to have discovered the cure for All Female Fatigue…. MORE SEX. Ha! DVD includes never seen before footage where he gets the “Courage” to admit he doesn’t know everything, a “Heart” to hand Dorothy his VISA to shop Nordies for more ruby slippers, and the “Brains” to stay clear of Wicked Witches who haven’t slept in weeks!

Forest Slump — A woman named Forest (don’t ask!) slumps over with exhaustion while working, shopping, cleaning, driving, cooking, and exercising. But she’s totally alert when her head hits the pillow at night. Audiences will cheer when a Good Samaritan informs the tired waif that, “Life is like a box of chocolates” and she finally perks up for good! “Run Forest, Run….to See’s Candy!”

Gone With the Wind – – The nights are so hot on this plantation that “Scarlett O’Sweara” can’t get comfortable. Even her Boy Toy/Servant who fans her bare (now 28 inch instead of 18) menopausal waist, can’t create the breeze she craves to fall asleep – – plus the noisy way he parts his hair is so infuriating. What’s a Southern Belle to do when she has to be up by 7 am to eat grits? Rated PG which stands for “Pillow Gripping.”

Malice in Wonderland – – Vindictive, insomniac wife plots revenge as her spouse snores blissfully unaware beside her.

The Postman Always Brings Ice – – Getting ready to celebrate the big 5-0, a woman is grateful to her mail carrier for saving the day because- – a) She was too exhausted to get ice for her own big birthday bash b) She actually forgot she was throwing her own big birthday bash and c) To cool her wrists and neck when her own big birthday bash “hot flash” hit. Warning: Ending will “melt” your heart AND your libido.

Sophie’s Choice – – Predictably dark comedy about a woman who must choose between taking a nap or having sex. Seriously?

9 ½ weeks – – Depressing documentary about the length of time 8 women in a sleep study have insomnia until one of them blindfolds another and feeds her carbs. Now not only is she awake, has gluten intolerance but a nasty Atkin’s fan club is after her.

It Happened One Night – – See this one after you see Miracle on 34th Street. Both have the same bizarre plot twist….SHE FINALLY SLEPT!

SchindHER’s List – – Woman visits her doctor and walks away with everything from Xanax and Ambien to Tylenol PM and Melatonin scrawled in wretched physician handwriting on a prescription pad. Yawn, we’ve seen this all before….but still it fails to put us to sleep.

Alice Doesn’t Live Here Anymore- – Silly fable about a fatigued and overworked woman, living with three jobless, OCD adult children who move back to the nest. Plus no air-conditioning or room darkening shades for naps. When her 26 year-old daughter mutters, “I think you missed a spot,” after Alice moves the girl’s bare feet to dust the coffee table, audiences will wonder, “What in the hell took her so long to leave?”

Other notable films too numerous to review but worth a look are… “Kiss of the Tired-er Woman,” “Look Who’s Balking!” “Casablanket,” “Les Menopausals,” “Withering Nights,” “Maternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “Numb and Number,” “Streetcar Named Expire,” “Total UnRecall,” and “Cloudy With a Chance of Menopause!