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Turning Into an Ogre at Sunset, and Other Things No One Told Me About Menopause

I almost detonated my husband!

Photo by Hush Naidoo on Unsplash

By the time I was 52, I had experienced many of the common symptoms of menopause: dry skin, decreased libido, and the inability to locate the “leave” button on Zoom. Then one evening, my husband Bob and I were enjoying cocktails on our back deck. Just as the sun set, my skin turned green, my ears popped out of my head, and I had a sudden craving for beetles. I had turned into an ogre!

This was a menopause symptom my mother never mentioned!

Curious about other potentially shape-shifting symptoms, I spoke to a specialist and member of the Northern Hemisphere Menopause Association, Dr. Diane Utero, MD, who listed several symptoms, including Ogremorphism, that aren’t commonly discussed.


I’m not alone! Dr. Utero advises that 3 in 3000 women turn into ogres during menopause. “We believe that in some women, the decrease in estrogen causes an increase in chlorophyll turning the skin green. These women also experience anger issues and weight gain brought on by the ingestion of slugs.”

Luckily, my body reverts back to its original state every morning. Except for the anger. The anger remains.

Serpens Hirsutism (or Snake Hair)

Most women experience thinning hair during menopause but according to Dr. Utero, .02 percent of women’s hair turns into snakes. She explains, “Snake hair is an extremely rare side effect of the reduction of progesterone in the body. In these cases, actual snakes to slither into the hair follicles making hair uncontrollable.”

Stylists recommend a conditioner to combat scaliness and playing the pan flute for manageability.

Laser Ocularity

Last year, I was on my way to the Publix, because Bob wanted burgers for dinner, when a millennial took my parking spot! I guess it made me mad because suddenly, beams came out of my eyes and her Honda Civic exploded!

Dr. Utero told me that a tiny percentage of menopausal women obtain the ability to detonate cars and small buildings with lasers emanating from their eyes. “We believe the combination of menopausal pique and waning hormones creates an ire-induced optical amplification of electromagnetic radiation. The big mystery is how the electromagnetism enters the body. Perhaps it’s the decrease in hormones or perhaps it’s caused by an electromagnetic spider bite. We just don’t know.”

Thankfully, it can be controlled with Kate Spade sunglasses. But, experts warn, in order to completely block the laser rays, the sunglasses must be purchased from the clearance rack at TJ Maxx.

The Hansel and Gretel Effect

During menopause, many women notice an impulse to become more introverted. This was true for Nancy LaGreca, 49, of Schenectady, NY. “I didn’t want to see anyone anymore. All I wanted to do was build a cabin made of candy, attract children to it, and eat them.”

“This is natural,” explains Dr. Utero. “After years of putting their children, partners, and jobs first, women desire a little ‘me’ time. Unfortunately, .008 percent of menopausal women get a hankering for the taste of oven-roasted children. It’s similar to cravings pregnant women experience. However, the Hansel and Gretel Effect,” Dr. Utero chuckled, “is much more likely to end in a prison sentence.”

You May Not Experience Any of These Symptoms

A third of all women might have severe menopausal symptoms that greatly impact their daily lives. A third only experience normal side effects of menopause. And a third of women may have no symptoms at all. Those women are assholes and deserve to be laser beamed.

As for me, it took some time to get used to my Ogremorphism and Laser Ocularity. But I’ve managed to find a silver lining. Bob kindly built me a swamp, so I’m sleeping better. And I’ve learned to control the lasers. Now when I get miffed at Bob while making his stupid burgers, instead of detonating him, I light the grill!

There’s Good News

The good news is many of these symptoms disappear after menopause ends.

Except for the rage. The rage remains.

Published in Greener Pastures Magazine on May 28, 2021

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