Someone should engineer an oven that works as efficiently as hot flashes. Preheating would become a thing of the past, because the hot flash oven would go from zero to 400 degrees in approximately one second. Of course, it might be a problem when it found itself subsequently covered in sweat and therefore freezing and reaching for a jacket three minutes later. At that point, your souffle might fall, for instance. But I would feel like someone in my house truly understood me, so I would probably love that oven forever.

If you're a boy, about now is when you are beginning to wonder if I'm going to be writing about sensitive girl issues for much longer and at what point you should stop reading. You'll have to make that determination yourself, because unfortunately I have been suddenly thrust into a place that makes me a walking, talking sensitive girl issue. Well, sometimes a crying one too. Quite often, in fact. It's called "surgical menopause", and the only thing that makes it different from when your mother went through "the change" is that it happened to me in an instant. And that I have a blog where I can blab about it like I invented it.

I've always known that women are to be admired. It's not rocket science to understand that any being capable of miraculously growing another being, for the most part without even really trying, deserves a little extra credit. Because that makes rocket science look easy. And of course I've always felt that women also deserve some respect for having to put up with all the monthly pleasures that special talent brings with it. Whenever I hear women speculate about God being a woman, I laugh. Loud. Because it seems to me they're just not really thinking it through. While I feel that God values women very highly, endowing us with what I believe to be His defining attribute (the ability to create), I also believe that when we receive great gifts, we also receive other stuff that sort of balances things out. Evens the score, so to speak. And in this case, those things require their own grocery store aisle.

An aisle I will no longer be frequenting! I can just cruise right on by for the rest of my life! All the while feeling increased admiration for any older woman in sight, because along with this new gift of never needing to send another tampon through the check-out, I now understand that the divine hand again sets something on the other side of the scale. Menopause. For me, so far it consists of brain mush, the kinds of silly crying bouts not seen since pregnancy when the Hallmark ads required actual Kleenex, and sweating. A lot of sweating.

But also a greater appreciation for the continuing splendors of life's journey and a feeling that I have acquired another little piece of the puzzle. Initiation into a new club. Or maybe it's more like beating that level of the game and finally moving to the next level. And my first question about this level is...can I get a refrigerator/freezer to fight my new oven?