Menopause: How One Candy Bar Got it Right

The topic of the monster that is menopause has been beat to death with a big, hairy, flaming stick. It seems that when we're going through it, we're really going through it. There's so much conflict and chaos taking place inside our bodies that the left ovary doesn't know what the right ovary is doing. It's pure madness.

While hormone replacement therapy may work for some, I choose to combat the effects of this womanly rite of passage with style, dignity and grace by grinning and bearing it. Not.

Once our estrogen levels drop, we morph into a hot mess. Speaking of hot, yeah, we get those damn flashes in spades. Lucky is the woman who doesn't feel like she's about to spontaneously combust into a ball of flames at any given moment. Our vajayjays become as dry as the Chihuahuan Desert. The swinging pendulum that is our mood has us laughing one minute, crying the next and, in the end, we just want to sit in the corner with a huge bowl of chocolate fudge brownie ice cream topped with chocolate sprinkles, chocolate covered nuts, chocolate M&Ms and chocolate sauce. And let's just be real here: chocolate is good for you. [Okay, maybe not so much in copious quantities, but still...]

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And speaking of chocolate...

Let's be honest, ladies: menopause wreaks havoc on us. With that havoc comes disturbing behavioral shifts that we likely wouldn't entertain in our otherwise normal and happy lives. But here's the thing: we can't help it. It isn't long before our husbands, boyfriends, sons, nephews, male coworkers, etc. are finding what appear to be, on the surface, plausible excuses to do something other than exist within the midst of our wrath.

"Honey, I'm gonna go mow the lawn."

Makes sense ... until you remember you live on a houseboat.

"Be right back, babe. Just getting the mail."

Alrighty. Two hours later and still no mail or boyfriend. Does it really take that long to walk the 60 feet to the mailbox and back?

"Don't hold dinner for me tonight, dear. I have to work late."

He's retired.

"Hi Auntie Allyson. I'm sowwy I kan't pway outside with you but I have a wot of homework to do."

Homework. Really? He's four years old.

And so it goes.

But you know what? That's ok... it's all ok. While some may not comprehend the living hell in which we're deeply entrenched, there is at least one unlikely ally who may or may not realize that it is on the verge of emerging as nearly every menopausal women's saving grace: Snickers.

Let me backtrack.

The hubby and I were breezing through Wal-Mart one morning when a cardboard display caught his eye. The word "CHOCOLATE" was boldly emblazoned across the side of the cardboard box and I was momentarily forgotten as my chocoholic husband raced towards the display. A minute later he returned bearing offerings from the Chocolate gods. Snickers candy bars. He held three bars up to my face like Mufasa hoisting Simba into the air, à la Lion King.

My farsighted eyeballs only saw muddy brownness with blue accents. Wresting the bars from his clenched grasp, I read each label aloud, then I closed my eyes and smiled.

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Snickers... you get me. You really get me!

There I was, in the throes of yet another severe hot flash (the 12th for the day, and it was only 11:24 in the morning), and I held in my puffy, sweaty, tingling hands the temporary answer to my prayers.

Since 2010, the Snickers "You're Not You When You're Hungry" campaign has tickled me with their commercials featuring high profile stars in the role of the accursed hungry person. Then they take one bite of a Snickers and--voila!--they're transformed back to their happy old self again. And this campaign is global, people. Various commercials and various lines all lead to one thing: a candy bar.

"You get a little angry when you're hungry."
"You get a little bit whiny when you're hungry."
"You get a little bit crazy when you're hungry."
"You're kind of a buzz kill when you're hungry."
"You get a little loopy when you're hungry."
"You get a little hostile when you're hungry."

And my personal favorite,

"Every time you get hungry you turn into a diva." If Aretha Franklin can morph from a grouchy diva into "Jeff," I'm all for it.

I can relate. Except I don't have to be hungry to be any of these things. They're merely excuses to eat. I like that. Apparently being grumpy has its rewards. Which brings me back to Snickers and how the candy bar that satisfies should be the Menopause Mascot.

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It wouldn't be much of a stretch to alter the campaign. I can hear it now...

"You get a little angry when you're menopausal."
"You get a little bit whiny when you're menopausal."
"You get a little bit crazy when menopausal."
"You're kind of a buzz kill when you're menopausal."
"You get a little loopy when you're menopausal."
"You get a little hostile when you're menopausal."

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And, of course,

"Every time you're menopausal, you turn into a diva."

I am so on board with this. Snickers, are you listening?

Snickers, I love you. I know you didn't intentionally set out to champion the menopausal woman, but you nonetheless did. You, my friend, know where I'm coming from. When the fog of menopause leads to confusion, I shall eat you. When my normally agreeable and calm persona mutates into a whiny beyotch, I shall happily nibble on you. When the kid gloves slide off as if they've been greased with cooking oil and I slip into Drama Mama mode? Oh yeah, you know what's coming.

Eating a Snickers when you're hungry is fine. Eating a Snickers (or two ... or nine), along with a glass of wine when you're menopausal is deliriously satisfying.

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