Blaming Dad for Mom’s missing fans

It’s a typical hot, humid day here in Atlanta. As I was leaving the subway, I saw an attendant furiously trying to fan her face to cool herself down. This made me remember a cruel moment of my childhood, and one that karma will probably get me for in a few years.

People using hand fans annoy me. I can’t exactly describe why. I’m not sure if it’s the incessant rustling of paper that annoys me or the ineffective breeze that it generates. Luckily for me, there are a lot of battery-operated cooling devices now that have replaced those noisy paper contraptions.

But when I was a pre-teen, Mom was going through menopause. And she had really bad hot flashes. She would take anything, a catalog that came in the mail, one of my Dad’s Catholic magazines, anything, and fold it over and start fanning when the heat struck her. This was usually when we were sitting on the couch watching TV together. It drove me crazy!

So I took to hiding Mom’s fans. I know, I know. But it gets worse. Dad always had a couple of tomes sitting on the coffee table, some epic WWII history book that he was reading, and I would flatten out her fans and hide them in his books. So then Dad would get the blame when Mom was in desperate need of cooling off! Sorry Dad, for turning the fury of a menopausal woman in your direction.

Now I find myself just years away from menonpause myself. And when that first hot flash strikes, I’ll be thinking of Mom and Dad.

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