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Managing Hot Flashes While Out To Eat

stay cool during a hot flashShelley can be found at Shell Tells where she writes about family, society and dumbfounding human behavior. 

I’ve discovered there’s no good reason to excommunicate yourself from a fine dining experience just because you sweat like a pig in public. Menopause is at best inconvenient but it’s no reason to go hungry. I have a few tips that will help you disguise one of your worst menopausal symptoms when you’re out for a meal. I hope my advice will guide you to a pleasurable dining experience. (Please ignore the following if you prefer eating TV dinners alone in front of Lifetime.)

1) Before being seated, quickly spot all the air conditioning vents. Remember to check the floors as well as the walls and ceiling. If you don’t like where the door hostess parks you, politely point to another location, (preferably one away from a coveted booth and closer to a vent) and say, “May I sit here, please? I don’t mind a table.” And he or she will shoot you that, “Thank God this person isn’t a jerk” smile.

2) If the AC vent doesn’t help and your face is on low boil, touch your forehead lightly with the fingers of your right hand. Do this in consternation, relief, surprise, euphoria–anything but the absent, obvious sweat swipe across the face. And remember not to exclaim something like, “Shit, it’s hotter than a tater on a tin! Know what I mean y’all?”

3) Okay, let’s say the vent and brow thing don’t work. Then always make sure to ask for ice water, (unless you’re in Europe or the desert) even if you’re already drinking iced tea or soda. You need additional cold compensate to grasp onto, (discreetly, of course) to stave off the fire that’s spreading throughout your body. You know, the fire that’s about to soak your Neiman Marcus ensemble. It feels good to clutch a tall glass of watery something. Plastic glasses are okay, too. Especially those big red bumpy ones.

4) Okay, nothing’s worked so far. Shit, this is serious. The next step, after sitting on top of the air conditioner, slapping your face with joy, hanging on to a cold glass or water pitcher etc., is to actually remove the cold compensate from the glass with the palms of your hands, (discreetly, of course) and place them on the nape of your neck. Or your forehead. Or your thighs. (If you’re not wearing pants, of course.) NEVER ask for a menu to fan yourself wildly.

5) If none of these ideas work then I suggest not going out to dinner until wintertime. That’s when you may rise from your table and pretend you need to smoke outside, or vape, or yell at someone on the phone with your outdoor voice. Or you could say you forgot to call your mother and it’s just too loud to hear yourself talk. “It’s just too noisy in this noisy place! Be back in a tic.” Then go outside, fake the call, and allow your body to melt every snow flake that blows your way.

I hope this has been helpful. If you need any additional advice on this topic please email me. I’ll be checking my messages in front of an open freezer.

Shelley Segal

    Shelley Stolaroff Segal is a playwright, actor, composer, and essayist living in Greensboro, North Carolina. She enjoys wearing different artistic hats so long as it doesn’t interfere with raising her husband, twin teenagers, and three cats. Her latest play, My Son, is about autism and race, and premiered in New York City. It was presented as a TED talk at TEDx East in NY and continues to tour. Publishing credits include the anthologies, Voices from the Spectrum, Cup of Comfort/Autism, Chicken Soup for the Soul, and Multiples Unlimited. Humor is a must in her home so in her spare time she guest blogs and posts on her own website, Shelltells. She’s been working on the same book for six years now and is hoping it will literally write itself one day.