Is male menopause a thing?

I had one of those mornings earlier this week where any sane person would look at me and say, “You best be havin’ a hot flash ‘cause child, you’ve lost yo’ mind!” (Apparently, all the sane people around me are Southern black maids from 1964.) I was cranky, spiteful and snippy.

Mind you, this unpleasantness was all happening in my car on the way to work, and I was alone and my windows were rolled up, so no one was the wiser unless they could lip read at 40 miles an hour.

But still. I was in a foul mood, and I not generally one to be grouchy.

You see, I’ve always been in the “You get more flies with honey” camp, although I would personally prefer a Shell No-Pest Strip with a bunch of dead flies stuck to it. My motto has always been ““Smile, and the world smiles with you”, even if I have encountered a few people who, while you’re busy smiling, try to wedge a turd into your mouth. 

So when I’m around other people, I always try to put on a happy face. But sometimes, when I’m alone, I just find myself in a really lousy mood.  Maybe I’m actually a horrible person, and this is some sort of chemical reaction to spending my public life trying to be nice all the time. Or maybe I just have stresses, like everybody else – a lawsuit that has dragged on for three years, an ailing mother, the feeling that an alternate me is living a much more glamorous life on another plane of existence – you know, the usual stuff.

But whatever the case, I gotta drag myself out of this sporadic morning morass.

Yoko Ono was on the radio the other day. She wasn’t singing – to the delight and gratitude of Americans everywhere  – but rather, talking about how she pulled herself out of her desperate sadness after John Lennon was killed.

My first thought was that she drove out of DespairLand the way most people do – via fistfuls of colorful anti-depressants. But they weren’t really a “thing” in 1980. No, the way that this BeatleBuster managed to climb out of the dumpster of depression was – I’m not kidding – by smiling.

Every day, she’d drag her ass out of bed and stand in front of the mirror…and smile. At first, she said, it felt super phony (of course, when you look at yourself in the mirror after age 40, what smile isn’t fake?). But as time went on, grinning into the mirror helped to genuinely lighten her mood. And she began to discover the enormous power of a smile.

Maybe I should try this in my car. Maybe, if I can smile for everyone else, I can smile for myself. Maybe, just showing a few molars in the mirror could lighten my heart and remind me how fortunate I am and how trivial my problems are in the grand scheme of things.

And most importantly, maybe then I wouldn’t have to worry that I’m undergoing male menopause. Because I’m way too young and moist for that.

Shut up.