“What on earth inspired you to write a dark comedy about a woman going on a killing spree because of hormones?”
I’m glad you asked! But, honestly—do you really have to ask? If you’re not going through menopause or you haven’t been around anyone who has (is that even possible, with more than 50 million women, in the US alone, in the throes of menopause), go find such a woman and ask her.
Take a sneak peek at our heroine Debbi Dickerson:
Debbi jumped up from the couch and ran over to the thermostat on the wall. “For crying out loud, I wish he wouldn’t keep turning up the heater!”
She stripped off her shirt and waved a hand in front of her hot face, as if that would do any good. Heat waves rolled off her skin, and sweat dripped down her neck. She wiped the moisture off with her shirt as she plunked down on the couch, wearing her cami and thin silk pajama bottoms. When the cuckoo clock chirped two times, she hurled a couch pillow into the kitchen, nowhere near the clock, and returned to her sulking.
“That’s it! I’m getting those drugs. I can’t go on like this. I don’t care if I die of cancer. At least until I do, I’ll feel halfway normal!” How had Becky gone on all these years without relief? How did any woman? And the real question of the hour: Why didn’t more women kill more men while in the throes of menopause? She wanted to strangle Jerry right now. Stick a knife in his heart. Smother him with a pillow over his face, while sitting on his big flabby chest, laughing while he squirmed and flailed.
These macabre thoughts railed at her mind. Debbi was no longer stunned by the rage. It was getting to be the new normal. Every day, any little thing just set her off. Brad leaving his shoes in the living room. Chelsea spending too much time in the bathroom before bed.
And Jerry constantly complaining about how cold the house was and turning up the thermostat, when he knew full well Debbi was suffering under a Saharan sun.
“Just put on a damn sweater!” she’d told him tonight. But he’d thrown her a look that expressed utter exasperation. Like it was her fault she had hormones.
Like it’s your fault you have hormones . . .
She’d read online that an estimated fifty million women worldwide were presently in the throes of menopause or were “recovering” from it. That many women equaled the population of a dozen small countries. And just how did one recover? Debbi wondered. When your life was in shambles, your husband left you for a younger non-hormonal woman, and you had to quit your job because you couldn’t concentrate, what options were left? How did women pick up the pieces of their broken lives after four, ten, even—God forbid—thirty years of debilitating symptoms from a condition no one talked about and men refused to acknowledge?
Women suffering from this hormonal assault were victims, not perpetrators. But it did no good to adopt the victim mentality, for there would be no mercy, no compassion forthcoming for such posturing.
She was sick and tired. And bored. This wasn’t the life she’d hoped for, way back in college when she got her art degree and then married Jerry. What she really needed was a do-over. A fresh start. But how? She was stuck in this boring marriage, her kids didn’t need her anymore, and she lacked purpose in her life. Even pigs have a purpose, she thought, remembering Babe and how he thrilled at the prospect of learning to herd sheep like a sheepdog. Fine for a pig, but what’s a hormonal woman to do?