From Chicken Soup for the Soul in Menopause

Menopause Revenge

The secret of a happy marriage remains a secret.

Henny Youngman

About five years ago, before we had a yard service, my husband, Bob, and I worked in the yard every weekend. One weekend we would mow, the next we would weed-eat the edges and clean the flower beds—you know the drill.

I love flowers and have huge trees with flower beds around most of the yard. Bob was on the riding lawnmower mowing the front lawn (we live in the country so we have about an acre to keep). Since he was working so hard, I decided to get him a huge glass of ice tea. As I was heading to the front of the yard from the back door, I rounded the corner of the house and instantly knew something was wrong. It took me a couple of menopausal seconds to realize what my darling husband had done. Where there used to be two feet of flowers around the biggest tree in our front yard, there was nothing but little green blades sticking up. I knew immediately it was because he didn’t want to get his rear end off the riding mower and use the push mower.

As I approached him, I could barely see because everything I saw was red. “What in the world did you do to my flower bed?” I asked him. His Aggie answer—are you ready for this—”I didn’t mean to.”

“Didn’t mean to” means you mow a few flowers down and go, “Uh-oh!” You don’t ride the mower around the whole darn tree until there are no more flowers. What a goober!

Needless to say, I didn’t give him the ice tea, but returned to the house in a steaming rage. I knew I had to do something to aggravate him, something that would make me feel good just enough not to commit murder. I could get a bat, I thought. No, he has to work. And if I cut up his easy chair, I’d just have to buy a new one, and people would find out just how crazy I really am.

Then it hit me. About two weeks ago, Bob had spent hours putting little tools, washers, and everything else men use to build things into a tool box. The thing had to weigh at least 100 pounds. Everything was in its place, and he was so proud that he could find all of them. REVENGE!

I went to the front window and looked out at least six times while I dragged his huge tool box to the backyard. He was still mowing and acting like he had done nothing wrong. After I managed to drag the toolbox to the back yard, I picked out pieces of little tools in handfuls and threw them into the yard, you know, so the mower would sling them even farther and maybe break that riding mower he was still riding. After I finished throwing everything from each of the compartments, I turned the rest of the tool box over.

Finally, I had peace! I didn’t have to commit any kind of murder or be committed. I felt so good that I went into the house and started dinner—smug comes to mind.

It was about thirty minutes later when this man, with a vein sticking out of the side of his neck, came into the house. I knew immediately this was not the time to say, “Na na na na boo boo.” In so many words (use your imagination), he asked why I had thrown his tools out into the yard.

I very calmly said, “I didn’t mean to.”

Bob turned around and walked out of the room as though he had developed some sort of affliction that would not allow his legs to move. I know he had murder on his mind, but he knew he couldn’t get away with it—I had already written a note, just in case.

To this day, not one of my flowers has been mowed down again. And it was a very long time before he would laugh about the episode. Every now and again, when I find a washer or a tool out in the yard, I’ll hold it up and say, “Hey, Bob, is this yours?”

I am definitely menopausal, plus I’m a Texan. Both of them together can be pretty dangerous.

Connie Parish

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