Midlife Confusion

As I inch towards my 50 year milestone I’ll be the first to admit that I have no idea about anything at this stage in my life. Hitting my 40’s meant changes in my shape, hair, skin and as I’ve moved through my 40’s I’ve spent the bulk of my time mastering things that I never before had to think about such as diet and exercise. As I’ve continued the process of decomposing I’ve often been grateful to be single, assured there will be no witnesses to recall any painfully awkward transition periods. I bring this topic up because I’ve recently had a string of strange experiences and wonder if hormones may be the influencing factor.

On Wednesday I stopped at a small gas station, so small that you couldn’t swipe a debit card you had to go in and pay. When I entered there was a line, a woman paying and 3 men behind her. The man who was next in line to check out glanced at me then looked again like a deer in headlights muttering “hi” seemingly without realizing. It was like his own words pierced reality and he was slightly embarrassed having uttered something out loud. Man 1’s reaction caused the man behind him to look at the object Man 1 was stuttering over and his reaction was almost identical…blank stare like a spell was cast followed by yet another stilted “hi”.  Then man 3 put the gum package he is reading down, glanced over his shoulder and offered me a long slow….”hey”.  At this point the cashier who was slightly younger male than the other 3, scans the line of men trying to piece together all the hi’s and hey’s …but he only scans until he reaches me at which point a half smirk pulls one corner of his mouth…like it suddenly all made sense.

At that I decide that the line was no longer curving towards the door instead I stepped to the far back so I was stacked behind the men and no one could see me including the smirking cashier. Naturally, before the men left the convenience store each one stopped to wish me a happy Thanksgiving…I felt like the Pope minus the ring to be kissed.

When I reached my car I promptly locked the doors of my vehicle unsettled by the whole experience and drove off glad to have innate reclusive tendencies.

This was but one example, since I had other errands that day it turned out that the phenomenon wasn’t confined to gas station pod-people. I had a similar experience later in the grocery store, the following day at a different gas station… where a man walked into a stationary trash can while looking over his shoulder at me more times than he should have and then again at a pharmacy.

This made me wonder…do pre-menopausal / menopausal women cast a hormonal spell on select men that stop them in their tracks and render them momentarily brainless? Like a giant neon sign saying.. Now! She’s going out of season,  which causes their  autopilot switch to be flipped, triggering a blank stare followed by a garbled, uneasy…hi  at which point man regains consciousness realizing he’s mid sentence with a women he’s never seen before and suddenly has no idea why he started talking let alone what to say to her next.

The only thing I could think of to account for this referenced rutting season, if it isn’t hormonal then I’m back to the pod-people from a womanless planet theory.



Filed under Aging, Life

9 responses to “Midlife Confusion

  1. Huh, that’s interesting. And weird. I like it when men notice and chat with me, but if four men in a gas station all made a point of checking me out like that, I’d wonder what was up too!

    I turned 40 last spring and my hormones are definitely changing, along with my body. But I have not yet become magnetically attractive to the other half of the species. Maybe in a few more years?!

  2. I like it when they smile and say hi or just quietly notice. This was just different…very odd and very unsettling.

    I thought turning 40 was a dirty trick, I had to refigure everything from wardrobe to hair style to make up. It was like going through my teens all over again.

    I went to your site, I see you are a writer so I’m especially glad to know you:)

  3. Yeah, the gas station thing was creepy. I would have felt like a guppy in a shark tank and responded just as you did.

    I love writing! I just finished my first novel. Of course, the publishing industry imploded today, so I think I’ll hold off on querying agents while the dust settles:


    Anyway, I noticed you on Mary’s blog and realized when I got here that you write too. Nice to meet you as well! And thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving a comment. 🙂

    Would you like to trade links?

  4. That’s soo funny. As I was posting the comment on your blog I noticed that Mary posted to your blog too. I didn’t realize that you knew her…small world.

    I’d love to trade links!

  5. Jody, Amy. Amy, Jody. Glad you both got the introductions out of the way. Along with being writers, we’re all Minnesotans, too, so there’s a chance we could all cross paths at the same time.

    Amy – Jody is a good friend of mine and we get together often.

    Jody – Amy is an online friend and we’ve talked about getting together some time.

    As we’re all writers, a gathering would make for some interesting conversation.

    As for your curious experiences, Jody, I’m going with the theory of pod people from another planet, although I have heard that menopausal women are more psychic, so maybe the pod people are picking up on a vibe.

  6. Thanks for the intro Mary…I see too little of you these days.

  7. I didn’t realize you are a Minnesotan too, Jody. I’m actually a transplant from Ohio, but I’ve been in the Twin Cities since 1990.

    Thanks for exchanging links!

    Thanks for the intro, Mary. It would be fun to get together sometime. I only know two writers in the Cities. One is a close friend of mine who I don’t get to see now, because he became a friar and is too busy. The other is someone I met in an online writing group, but our schedules don’t mesh well, so we’ve only met a couple of times.

  8. Up until 5 years ago I worked in Minneapolis, lived in the Coon Rapids area for a number of years. With the current job market I may be moving back…yes, we should get together.

    I’ll post a link to your site.

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