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Where Did I Put My Ginko Biloba?

Feb 8, 1999
Kimmy Sophia Brown
I reluctantly have to admit that I am hitting many-pause. I call it 'many-pause' because I have to rest a lot, and I have to stop and think why I put my car keys in the sugar bowl. I find myself driving down a neighborhood road, and I panic, wondering if I am approaching the International Border with Mexico. (We live in Virginia.)

I was reading in a woman's magazine that this is the time when women my age are supposed to be accomplishing great things. We are supposed to be more confident, more self-assured and attaining levels of greatness that we've never known before. I am sure I am experiencing all those things, I just can't remember if I am. The women's magazines say that during this phase of life, high and low levels of estrogen can cause mood swings, irritability, depression, forgetfulness, and other problems. Often during a crazed moment, my bewildered husband says, "Kim, I'm your ally, sheathe your dirk!" Then there's a lucid split second when I manage to blurt out, "Don't listen to me! I think this is chemical!"

He has been more than patient. About three times a month or more, I have symptoms that manifest like Mrs. Danvers from the Daphne DuMaurier novel, Rebecca -- as if the bun on the back of my head is twisted too tight causing my eyes to bulge demonically: "How am I feeling? Are you inferring that I am feeling something other than fine? Who are you to suggest that I am not myself?" (the head swivels 360 at this point) "I'll have you know that I am at my peak right now, this is my pinnacle of womanhood, and if you question me, I'll transform you into a stick of pepperoni."

I think this kind of behavior is what causes men to think that women are an enigma. An average man might say, "What do they mean by chemical influence? I have one, constant chemical that never changes day or night. As a matter of fact, my chemical is my friend."

The women's magazines talk about using herb therapy to help with the side effects. St. John's Wort for depression, and ginko biloba for memory problems. But, I can't remember where I put my ginko biloba. Besides, what the heck is ginko biloba? Isn't a ginko a lizard who licks its own eyeballs? Wasn't Biloba the name of a character in Tolkein's Lord of the Rings? Now how will that help my memory? Isn't it overkill to use chemicals, albeit herbal, to fight chemicals? Maybe it's rather like the tactic of firefighters, starting a second fire to battle the first. (Although I could never figure out how that tactic works. Don't they just end up with a bigger fire?)

These afore mentioned women's magazines feature people on their covers like Marilu Henner and other healthy, fit women, as examples of typical pre-menopausal women. (I am more in the Kathy Bates realm. On a bad day I could smack James Caan on the foot with a sledge hammer like in the movie, Misery. Then again, on a happy day, I could jitterbug with Peter.) Those fit women say things like, "Well, I've eliminated the symptoms of many-pause. I just started to watch what I eat. I find if I eliminate sugar, fats, coffee, grains, protein, fruits, and vegetables from my diet, that I feel great!"

My goal is to be just like Marilu Henner when I grow up. Just give me a few more years and I'll have this thing licked...that is, if I can remember where I put my ginko biloba.

Kimmy Sophia Brown has loved humor and music and freedom for as long as she can remember.She is especially passionate about the environment and caring for animals.

She writes the column "From the Back Porch" as well as reviews of music in her column "MusicViews". Her goal in her music reviews is to introduce music she loves to people who may not have heard that particular artist or CD. For information about how to submit a CD for review, click here.

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