Yeah, yeah, I know. I told you my last column was my last column until 2012. I lied. Sue me. I warned you all in the beginning that I would pen something to you on a whim and right now, I’m having one ginormous whim.

Okay, it’s kind of personal. I get it. Men don’t really want to hear about “lady parts” and “lady problems”. Not exactly my favorite topic either, but while my inner child is playing with matches, the little bitch is driving me to distraction.

First, who’s the wiseass who named it “menopause”? Sure as hell feels like menoperm since this phenomenon never… seems… to want… to fucking… END! I can take the wild temperature swings from Arctic chill to sweltering tropical blasts. I can take the insomnia that has plagued me endlessly the past several years. Even the body changes that include not having to spend so much time shaving my legs – which is good because it gives me so much more time to attend to my new beard. It’s the manic mood swings most getting to me.

I’ve always prided myself on being an even-keel kind of gal. My dear brothers taught me some valuable lessons on how to “fight” for my position. The one sage piece of advice I got from another much older woman early in my career was this – “Never get ‘female’ at work.” I thought about that long and hard and took it to heart. One of my first forays in challenging a man at work came when my boss charged into to my office one day and began ranting about a division policy I’d instituted. I had always made certain to institute well-reasoned policy decisions that balanced the needs of the company with the ease of implementation for the employees. I distinctly remember going toe to toe with him and when he called me a dumb broad, I called him a stupid son of a bitch, but since he was the boss, we’d do it his way – and then I asked him what he was doing for lunch. I remember the stunned look on his face that turned to a smile as he shook his head. I looked at him and said, “WHAT?” He laughed and said, “You’re the first woman I’ve ever met in business who fights like a man. You plead your case, you call me out for being an asshole and it’s over. Women don’t do that. I’m willing to admit I may be wrong about this. Let’s talk about it over lunch.” That story somewhat encapsulates why I’ve always worked so well with men. I’ve never carried a grudge, sulked through the dreaded silent treatment or talked about a co-worker behind their back. When I have something to say to someone, you can bet it’s said to their face. It’s because I understand men, know how they think and what motivates them, I’ve learned how to relate to them – without getting female. It also explains why I’ve always been viewed as an even-keel kind of gal, which leads me to the mood vines from which I find myself swinging…

I was a very sensitive child, but learned early to suck it up. It’s not so easy these days. My better half, Von, is a sucker for tears – precisely the reason he’s rarely seen me cry. Imagine the torment the poor bastard has endured of late as I cry at weddings, laugh at funerals and tear up at sentimental commercials. Yes, he met and learned to love an Opinionated Bitch and is now dealing with Sybil – the Manic Opinionated Intermittently Crazy Bitch. I can always tell when my emotions are getting the best of me. My quiet gentleman farmer with the sparkling blue eyes sits like a stone, with glazed wide-eyes, looking like a deer in the headlights – hoping if he doesn’t move, I won’t shoot, metaphorically speaking. The upside? In one stealth move, my man has learned to deftly toss a quantity of dark chocolate at my feet. In a split second of distraction, Von manages to escape and survive until the next manic episode as I slink to a corner and begin gnawing through the paper toward the antidote. Thank goodness, through all of this we haven’t lost our ability to laugh at one another – or ourselves.

Which brings me to the “lady parts” portion of our program. The single facet of menopause to which I have most looked forward, isn’t much interested in having any part of the “pause” part. I mean, how fucking unfair is it that I get all the hot flashes, the insomnia, the body hair that travels so much it needs a passport and the mood swings, yet my monthly trek to the market for those goddamned tampons continues? While personally not prone to paranoia or buying into conspiracy theories, I’m feeling a little picked on these days when Aunt Flow comes for her monthly visit. I’m more than ready to send that bitch packing – permanently.

So, until my body can put an end to the death throes of my long gone fertility, you’re just going to have to deal with a daily, bi-weekly or weekly column (whatever the mood swing strikes me) that goes from political to personal to funny to tragic (I think this one covered most of those) because there are certain things that are beyond my control. Until then, if there are any behaviorists out there who can tell me how to put my pyromaniacal inner child in a time out, I’m all friggin’ ears.

For those of you with any sort of humanitarian spirit, please send Hershey’s Dark Chocolate (by express mail – again, it’s for a humanitarian cause) in any quantity you can afford to:

Sybil, the Manic Opinionated Intermittently Crazy Bitch
c/o Here Women Talk
1297 Professional Drive, Suite 201
Myrtle Beach, South Carolina 29577

I thank you… and believe me, Von thanks you.

Carol Baker is a political writer, satirist, and co-host with Vicki Childs of our Here Women Talk weekly internet talk radio show called BROADSIDED. You can hear their show every Thursday at 11 am Eastern/10 Central/8 Pacific. You can “LIKE” The Opinionated Bitch Facebook Fan Page for regular updates!