Monday, March 05, 2007

A sense of humor is "frivolous"?

Here's a bit of interesting news....last month there was a short article in Forbes magazine that mentioned several of the funny businesses that have cropped up because of all the interest in menopause. Yes, of course Minnie Pauz was mentioned, as well as Menopause the Musical and HotFlash the board game, but the main thing that jumped out at me was a comment by Marie Lugano, the founder of the American Menopause Foundation. She said, "....... it's ridiculous and offensive to market such frivolous products, and that the money would be much better spent on menopause research." And...."It's ridiculous. It's offensive. What's next? Prostate Cancer the Musical? A board game about erectile dysfunction? Menopause is a serious health issue. We don't need a musical and a board game, we need more research." What is she hoping to discover, a CURE for a natural process that women go through? In my opinion, we need more research to cure cancer, something that is KILLING women. Of course, HER menopause may be much more severe because she has no sense of humor. Here's a little prayer for Marie and others who think my efforts are useless and "frivolous":

Give us a sense of humor, Lord,
Give us the grace to see a joke,
To get some humor out of life,
And pass it on to other folk.

What are your thoughts on this? Do you agree with Marie? Leave your comments.....


  1. Anonymous12:43 PM

    Hi dee,
    I just wanted to congratulate you on being tobacco free. March 2nd was my 7th year!!

  2. Hi Dee:

    I am a newbie to your site and just got my first newsletter...
    First, I would like to say that FINALLY someone is out there who dares to laugh at our "condition" while offering a practical forum for dealing with the everyday issues of menopause. Anyone who can find the humor in serious issues yet is capable of dealing seriously with the given issue is okay by me. Several of us share the same state of living in our office and have a good time laughing at ourselves. Thank you!

    I read a couple of earlier postings also... Congratulations on your second anniversary nicotine free. I had quit for 12 years, then picked it back up for four more and now am about 45 days smokeless. Sure hope I will recognise the signs of stress triggers and will be able to bypass them...

    Your comments on not knowing what or how personal blogs should be vs. a journal entry... Perhaps taking the stance that a blog can be about issues that bug, inspire, anger,etc. you rather than viewing it as another means of journaling. Topics such as world events, nature, nurture, whatever could be touched on, your opinion/feelings given and see what comes of it after. Issues of your personal being could still be journal fodder, but the insights you gain from that could be expressed within the blog topic as opinions "in your experience". You still have a good idea, and the blog could be your means of reaching out into the greater community. Journaling still has its' place, too.

    You mentioned your son is an alcoholic... I and my husband are too. My son I have serious concerns about, although he has not recognised the signs yet and it is up to him to decide if he is or not.... So I can relate to where you are in this. It is good you are going to Al-Anon. Keep working your own program, and your son will work his as he may. Someday, when the time is right, both of you may find a connection.

    My husband and I have always agreed and maintained a hands-off policy regarding one another's program. He does his and I do mine, but we also support one another and sometimes share problems for additional insight. We only go to one meeting together, any others we go separately, I think mostly to avoid any inhibitions about sharing in front of our partner and to give the other a measure of privacy. Just keep going back, it will get better.

    And to address the topic of this blog...I think anyone incapable of laughing at themselves is probably missing alot of joy in their lives. Yes research should be done, but research on a natural stage of life, when no "cure" is to be expected, I rather question that. How about disseminating education about menopause like you are doing? Suggestions for natural symptomatic relief are proactive, laughter at ourselves, and learning how to manage our own health with informed choices seems to be a practical manner of life. Until doctors figure out how to do ovary transplants, they can take their own HRTs. Until I ran across your site I wasn't sure I was in menopause (hysterectomy in my 20's). With everyone sharing all their symptoms, I am so glad to find I'm not going crazy, although I sure felt like it sometimes!

    And hey! I get to continue with this somemore, I ovulated yesterday, sore breasts, PMS and all... :D Take care.

  3. Thanks to Susan and Lois Anne for your comments and congrats to Susan for your 7 years of not smoking! I'm looking forward to reaching that day too!

    Lois Anne, just as I always know that other women are going to relate to the menopause issue, I should have realized that someone will also relate and understand all the other issues. I'm just one woman with regular problems to deal with, but it always helps to have someone who really KNOWS. Congrats to you and your hubby for your continuing recovery. I pray that your son will find his way without a lifetime of pain.

    Today is the first time I've mentioned the blog in my newsletter so I feel I'm on my way now! :) Just had to get the nerve to step out of my "Minnie Pauz" suit to just be Dee! Thanks for getting the ball rolling with your response! And welcome to Minnie Pauz!

  4. Hi Dee!
    I love the newsletter and look forward to it monthly! I am abit different as I had a hysto. at 38, I just turned fabulouse 40 (and celebrated at disney--were dreams and hot flashes, red face for pictures and a inertube belly show for all the pics) but i'm getting of track lol. I think we need humor, this is not fun all the time and a good laugh goes a major way! I think that women is really a mess with her menapause and should spend a day enjoying all your cartoons and laughing--then she will re-think her comments. I'm going to be in menapause 'forever' so I am always looking for a good laugh and people like me!

  5. Thanks for the comments, Misty!! Glad you are one of the thousands and thousands of women who have thanked me for providing a lighter look at this natural, but sometimes unforgiving time of life!

  6. Anonymous8:15 PM

    I am 51 and peri-meopausal and I guess I don't think it is that funny. I have read this newsletter for almost 2 years and tried to find humor but I can't really see it. I look 10 years younger than I am and I take care of my body. I had my last smoke in 1991. I deal well with the hot flashes and night sweats but the emotional impact that some women have is no joke and when your family has to deal with your terrible mood swings its not funny to them either. Some of us had emotional issues or disorders before menopause or peri-menopause. I have Obbsessive Compulsive Disorder and until I started with the peri-menopuause I was dealing with it fine- now I have lost the love of my life and I live in an old camper in front of my house in New Orleans that was flooded as a result of Katrina, if not for this "funny" phase of my life I would still be at home with my partner of 8 years and the house I own would have been a vacation house and not so devestating of a loss. Menopause is not a laughing matter to some of us no matter how hard we try, and believe me it doesn't feel that "natural" of a phase to someone who has had to struggle all their lives to keep up with the "normals" anyway. What really gets me is how easy it is for you all to make fun and have fun when you are making fun of the fact that you are so grossly overweight and no longer feminine or sexual anymore, thats not so funny to me either. Fat is not excetable to your health or your mental wellbeing so I guess you joke because you can't find the willpower to remedy it. No wonder this is the 1st time in 4 months I have read this newsletter. Take the time and money you spend laughing about how out of shape and hot you are and as the Dr. says spend it on research for those of us that are not as fortunate as you. Stop making fun of those who don't go through it easy as you. To some of us this "natural" phenomenon is a horrible almost suicide inducing time.

  7. Connie f, I'm sorry that you've had so much happen in your life to take away any cheerfulness or laughter. I can hear the pain in your post and I wouldn't want anyone to think I was making light of these serious issues. Many women have written to me that they were literally at the end of their rope (feeling like they had lost their mind) when they came across my site and realized that they weren't crazy. You can read here: and find what other women felt when they found the site.

    My main point with the website, the cartoons and the newsletter is to let other women know they're not alone as they start going through this tough time of life. I've never made fun of the women going through it...except for myself! One woman said she was going to drive herself to a mental hospital until she found my site.

    I have suffered with depression all my life and have found humor to be the only constant that helped get me through, so when menopause hit me, my way of coping was to try to make others laugh by sharing the sometimes unexplainable things that happen once we're going through this "natural" phase. What else are we going to do? Deny that we're getting older, fatter (for some...not you, of course)and less sexual? You're lucky, many of us are not that lucky and choose to laugh it off rather that mourn our youth and beauty.

    Anyway, I am sorry to lose you as a reader, but that is your choice and your perception of my efforts, so I can't convince you of something you don't see. I really hope you find happiness and good health (mental and physical) every day for the rest of your life.

  8. Anonymous12:57 PM

    Dear All

    There's a difference between laughing AT and laughing WITH. Dee and the wonderul Minniepauz site have helped a myriad of women (and men too!) deal with what is part of LIFE!!There are those of us that might tend to wallow except for the commraderie, knowledge and love of this group of people. If you read further you'll notice that it's not just humor but support thru some of the hardest times of our lives, NOT just meno. We as a team have pulled and been pulled from the wallowing. Personally (my experience and opinion) is that I'm tired of the victims. Yes, bad things happen AND they SUCK!! But it is a choice to stay stuck. We were flooded out in TN, ok sucked, but it was our sense of humor and self respect (and help from people that recognized that)that helped us recover. I've seen St. Thomas after a hurricane totaled that island, they did what they do EVERYTIME,rebuild and get on with it. Same in Homestead FL following Andrew. What about the people following the tsunami? Things happen that we can't do anything about at the time BUT (and coming from a survivor background, sexual abuse, family rage etc.) I KNOW that yes, all these things have happened BUT what I do from now on and how I react to it is MY responsibility. Don't blame or hold responsible anyone else for your feelings or actions. I do wish you luck and hope things look up.

  9. I don't post often on the forum but I am a regular visitor.

    This forum has been a life saver for me. It's made me laugh when I felt like crying. It's quieted my fears that I was dying of some dread disease. It's made me realize that it's not an easy transition for some of us but that we are not alone or crazy.

    I don't know what I'd do without this forum on some days. It just gets my feet back on the ground and I breathe a huge sigh of relief.

    I don't know a lot of women my age with whom I can share my concerns so this is the place where I find warmth caring and a good laugh.

    God bless this forum.


  10. I think we all make choices in life....despite our circumstances we all amke the choice whether to be bitter or better. (The old,"what doesn't kill you makes you stronger".) I also have some OCD and depression and anxiety. Have not been a natural disaster, (and my heart goes out to all of you is incomprehensible). I lost my husband, of 25 years, very suddenly one night almost 2 years ago. I miss him terribly and all the other things you can imagine, but i find the 'Minipauz' sight hepls me find a sliver lining in the sometimes dark cloud of life. I try to look at things positively, but i have a long way to go. Connie, do you think you could give it one more try when you are in a better mindset ? I remember a good friend giving me a baby book about sleepless nights and all kinds of things that were NOT funny at the time and I cried about it figuring it was forever and would NEVER be funny. Sure enough, about a year later, I was able to laugh. Maybe you need some time and perspective. The other issues you also deal with are extremely difficult, but you do need support from somone. We really are a bunch of great ladies...we just try to lighten the mood so we can get through our tough times....together. Compassionately yours, Cin-d-rella.

  11. Mental illness is not an easy thing to deal with. My mother is bi-polar and it is sometimes hard for me to remember that she is ill and cannot always control her behavior. I just recently discovered that she is cutting herself when the depression overcomes her. There is nothing funny about mental illness.

    Menopause, on the other hand, is a phase of life. Very similiar to adolescence, sadly enough, with all the hormonal changes. You can choose to face this time of life with laughter or tears, and I for one, choose laughter. I am a 37 year old woman who's hormonal system is wacked with a 15 year old very hormonal daughter and a bi-polar mother who's medication isn't working anymore. If I don't inject some light-heartedness into the situation, it could become very dark, indeed.

    The minnie pauz forum and website have been a blessing to my family and to me. They are helping us to face these challenges in life with humor and letting us know that we are not alone.

  12. Thanks for such an insightful post, Laura and I do hope your Mother will have some relief from her condition as I'm quite sure the added pressure and worry is not helpful or easy for you during your time of transition. Jeez, I can't even imagine having to deal with all that at your young age (Mom AND Daughter!) You'll be in my prayers and thanks again for your support!