(note – blog also on facebook where you can read peoples comments on it – http://www.facebook/menopausalwoman – the blog is called ‘isitjustme?’)
On Saturday I went to a Menopause Cafe (also known as a Rest and Rant – Restaurant…geddit?). They are currently running throughout the UK with the objective of ‘increasing awareness of the menopause cafe on those experiencing it, their friends, colleagues and family’.
I was a little apprehensive. My aunt has been pushing for me to go to a Menopause Commune where women rub oil into each others feet and exchange stories on their menopause journey. They then recite poetry and sing supportive songs while standing in a healing circle. They all bring presents for each other apparently that demonstrate their journey. She even offered to make me a fabric heart with a little tear that had been sewn back up to take along as my gift (she thought it might be the lack of a present that made me so reluctant!!! Had to beg to feckin differ and explain I would rather experience a 10 hour hot flush with urinary incontinence and heart palpitations than go to that kind of event).
My friend Tina the Turner (her name is actually just Tina but her moniker has come about due to her uncanny ability to convert straight women to lesbianism) said she wanted to come to. I was surprised tbh – didn’t really think it was her thing – but she explained that she was single again and thought it would be a good opportunity to ‘meet some lovely new women’.
I am not sure if the organiser would appreciate their event being used as a kind of face to face Tinder – but who are we to judge?
She is also looking at potential venues for her 50th and as the Menopause Cafe was being held at Dumfries House which is on her list of options she had two good reasons to go. Me – well they had me at ‘free biscuits and cake’.
We did discuss the possibility of it being utterly depressing with a few sad women eating those cakes that made of beetroot and avocado and so are not really cakes. We worried we would have nothing in common with them apart from more than a passing interest in Tena lady adverts. I also googled the background of the cafe – and found out that they are based on Death Cafe’s where people get together to talk about dying which didn’t really increase our enthusiasm. So we arranged a ‘get out’ plan of having to leave after an hour ‘to pick the kids up’. Then if it was crap we could disappear but if it was good we would pretend that a neighbour had offered to take them.
We needn’t have worried – it was brilliant. Not just the cakes (though they were good!!) but very well organised with a fabulous facilitator. She was unflappable even when the lift jammed and a ladder had to be dropped down and hot grumpy menopausal women had to be hauled out one at a time by a team of strong willing volunteers (not me obvs – one benefit of being a menopausal fatty is that no-one asks you to help with physical activities – Result!).
Tina was a bit raging as she hadn’t worn her hair extensions or make up or false nails as she felt she wouldn’t fit in if she was too glamorous. And it turned out that everyone was just like us – with their hair styled and nails done and everything!). We all had a good laugh though – discussing symptoms with the group – and what worked/didn’t work for us. We also found out that there is a 6 week course being run at the Centre. Tina became very interested when she heard Camilla Parker Bowles gynae comes up to do consultations during the 6 weeks. Camilla is her ultimate girl crush. We are not sure if this is just a rumour but the Centre was set up by Prince Charles – so who knows? In any case I doubt Camilla would be accompanying him – but I am not into bursting bubbles so didn’t say anything.
We were having such fun that we totally forgot about our ‘kids excuse’ so we looked a bit blank when the facilitator brought it up. On reflection it was a silly excuse as we don’t have kids and both suffer from menopausal brain fog. There were a few social workers there that looked a bit disapproving but I think we got away with it.
I would definitely recommend it – I got a lot from it and left feeling happy and uplifted. The cakes are really good too. And Tina is taking one of the ladies we met out for lunch on Tuesday so seems to have panned out alright for her too.