Articles

Fifty Shades of Black

A couple of weeks ago, I was riding in a South African taxi cab. The driver was a middle-aged fellow, with dark chocolate skin and pinkish lips. He’d been born and raised in Cape Town.

 

It’s my habit to talk to cab or Uber drivers. I like to show genuine interest in and kindness toward others. So, I strike up conversations about various issues — political, cultural, meteorological, familial, and the like.

 

On that particular day, we were talking about Eskom, the electric company.

 

I said, “I just can’t figure out what’s going on with the Eskom load shedding schedule for when the electricity will be turned off. They send out a warning that it’s going to happen … and then it doesn’t.”

 

The cab driver responded with, “That’s because Eskom is run by Black people, and they can’t get anything right.”

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South African Hair Affairs

Have you ever thought about just how preoccupied humans are when it comes to their hair? It can be a critical part of our identity. How often do you describe someone without saying word about his or her hair (or lack thereof)? “The redhead.” “The bald guy.” “You know, that girl with the long blond hair.” We even ascribe the overall tone of our day by it when we say we’re having “a bad hair day.”

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Waste Product or Waist Product?

One of the things menopausal women hate most is the accumulation of fat around their waist. Even if you never had a fat waist before, you notice an increase in its size at menopause. No more hourglass figure. No more firm, flat belly. 

Suddenly, every gram of weight you gain seems to end up around your waist. It’s as if everything you eat becomes a “waist product”!

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Beauty and The Beast

Remember the fairytale “Beauty and The Beast”? The beauty was the lovely young, feminine, elegant, sexy, desirable, kind woman who seemed to have everything going for her. The beast was a big, hairy, ugly, mean, cursed animal who inflicted pain and misery on others.

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Face Fat or Belly Fat; That is the Question

It seems that life is all about trade-offs. You just can’t have things both ways. For most matters, we’re pretty used to these trade-offs. We know we can either spend our money or save our money. We trade freedom for companionship when we enter into a romantic partnership. We accept that we have to forfeit sweet treats if we want to maintain our girly figures. These trade-offs make sense to us even though we don’t necessarily like them.

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Leakage and Shrinkage

We live in an era of name changes. The reasons for name-changing vary, but some are quite baffling to me. Let’s see, the “trash man” is no longer the trash man. Now he’s a “waste management worker.” A woman who stays at home rather than going to a job somewhere else used to be called a “housewife.” But, now she’s a “household engineer.” A waiter at a restaurant is now called a “server.” And a secretary is now an “administrative assistant.”

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Generally Beneficial or Specifically Detrimental?

How many times have you heard that something is “good for you”? Do you ever wonder if it’s good in general? Is it good for everybody? Is there really anything that’s all good, no matter what? Is there anything that’s actually good for everybody, regardless of your situation?

The fact is that most things have both benefits and detriments, advantages and disadvantages, pros and cons. Hardly anything is completely risk-free.

Much of what you hear about health matters boil down to what’s generally beneficial: “Carbs are bad for you,” “Estrogen is dangerous,” “Red wine is good for you.”

So, is that it? Do any of these beneficial things have any detriments? And do any of these detrimental things have any benefits? Continue reading “Generally Beneficial or Specifically Detrimental?”

Mama Comes Unglued

Mama! Good ole’ mamma. She’s everybody’s favorite. She takes care of us, pampers us, spoils us, and understands us. Mama is selfless. Never does she place her needs above ours. Her schedule yields to our wishes and desires. In essence, there’s nothing Mama won’t do for the ones she loves.

Mama! What would we do without good ole’ Mama? Continue reading “Mama Comes Unglued”

Who Moved My Estrogen?

Have you ever heard of a book written by Spencer Johnson, M.D. entitled Who Moved My Cheese? It’s a tiny little book of about 97 pages, easy to read, and unforgettable. It’s not really about cheese, though. It’s about change, and the cheese is a metaphor for something that disappears, forcing those who are affected by the change to adapt.

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Hot, Sexy Condom Burgers

George and I have successfully made our move to Barcelona, Spain.  We arrived on July 3rd, got all set up in our apartment, and started our new life here.  I, of course, started Spanish school six days later.

“Oh, good!” I thought.  “Spanish will be so easy for me.  I lived in Texas for way longer than I desired, but heard a lot of Spanish there.  And when I was in medical school and residency, I had to take care of Spanish-speaking patients.  So, the language is familiar to me.  I should have no trouble at all.”

Well, I was wrong.

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Puberty in Reverse

Puberty!

Wasn’t it just wonderful? There were so many changes occurring all at the same time.

Remember your first period? Did you think, “Oh God! Am I going to have to put up with this mess for the rest of my life?” Wasn’t it inconvenient to have to have pads or tampons on hand all the time? And didn’t your periods interfere with your fun at times?

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Male Menopause

Women (and men) sometimes ask me if there’s a male menopause.

The answer is, “Yes.” But it goes by a different name. And it manifests in completely different ways than does female menopause.

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Here Today, Here Tomorrow … and for the Rest of Your Life

Here today, gone tomorrow. It’s an expression that applies to many things.

Fashion trends are definitely here today and gone tomorrow. So are fads, like big hair, piercing, and favorite songs. Even figures of speech come and go. When was the last time you heard someone say, “Groovy!” What about, “Well, I never!” (I always picture an older, refined woman saying that one.)

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The Male Perspective of Female Menopause

I think it’s beneficial to “get out of our own heads” once in a while and see the world through different eyes. So let’s shift our perspective to look at menopause through the eyes of a man.

You see, sometimes we get so caught up in how we’re feeling that we fail to consider what someone else is seeing. So, let me shed light on your menopause from your man’s perspective. 

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How to Tell Your Kids About Menopause

Parents often find talking to their kids about puberty a bit awkward or difficult. Likewise, talking to them about menopause can be even more off-putting. But, face it: Most parents want to “have a little talk” before the onset of puberty so that their child knows what’s happening when puberty begins. And wouldn’t it be nice if your kids knew what was happening to you when menopause began?

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Why The Weight Gain While We’re Waiting To Gain A Grip On Menopause?

Do you ever feel like things get out of hand before you have a chance to even get a grip what’s going on? I guess this happens with many things in life. You get married before you realize he’s not the right guy for you. You have children before you fully comprehend how difficult it is to raise them. You get a tattoo on your abdomen before you consider the effect that stretch marks will have on how it will look years later.

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Progesterone, the Super-Powered Super Hero

Have you ever noticed how many storybook and movie characters have super powers? I mean it’s like there’s a super power for everyone. There are so many super powers that we now have super heroes. Spiderman can scale buildings; Superman can fly faster than a speeding bullet; The Fairy Godmother can grant wishes; The Wicked Witch of the West can “get you, my pretty Dorothy … and Toto, too.”

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Which Bone-Sparing Substance Wins The Wishbone Contest: Estrogen or Calcium?

What comes to mind when someone mentions the need to prevent osteoporosis? I’ll bet the first thing you think about is calcium. And why is that? I know; it’s because you see commercials and advertisements everywhere about the osteoporosis-preventing effects of calcium. It’s what all your girlfriends talk about. Continue reading “Which Bone-Sparing Substance Wins The Wishbone Contest: Estrogen or Calcium?”

“Natural” versus “Synthetic” Management Options for Menopause

Have you ever noticed how people talk about “natural” things? There’s usually an air of superiority associated with that term. It’s as if “natural” things are better than the alternative. And what is the alternative to “natural” anyway? Is everything that’s not natural “unnatural” or “artificial” or “synthetic” or “faux”?

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