June 1938 welcomed the birth of Superman, and kicked off a global obsession with a race of ‘humanoids’ who start out being regular guys (and gals) just like us, until they’re zapped
with some amazing superpower that makes them
bigger/faster/cleverer/meaner/stronger/greener than us mere mortals! Now, kids everywhere imagine who they would
become, should they accidentally fall into a kryptonite puddle, pick up a
mutant bug on an intergalactic vacation or become exposed to extreme gamma
radiation while hanging at the mall.
Then you become a
grown-up, with all the requisite responsibilities and realities, and there’s no time for superhero fantasies. However, when we women hit our mid-40s, something truly astonishing happens: we actually start to transmogrify into some really strange creatures, just by aging!!!
The first one appears
quite gradually (nothing macho like the Hulk, bursting out of Dr Bruce Banner’s smartly tailored shirts) and nobody really notices the arrival of the
Invisible Woman. She’s the one whose plate the waiter clears last, usually after she’s had to ask; the one whose tentative hand is never seen when the boss asks for suggestions. Shop assistants walk past her to help the younger woman, no-one stands for her in the subway (yet) and construction workers no longer whistle when she passes ( ironically, we should actually be happy about that last one, but we’re really not).
She has no obvious superpower, but the CIA should consider using her for espionage, as enemies won’t notice her rifling through their secret agent folders and spying and saving the day!
The Invisible Woman’s sidekick is Elastica, who appears when we need to read menus or the shopping list, help with homework, write checks, or check small print: then, Elastica’s arms (and neck) magically str-e-e-e-tch and contort quite unnaturally, to create the optimum distance and angle for reading while pretending to be too young for bi-focals. Give up on that one ladies: you can crick your neck quite painfully (experience) – and actually, you can get really beautiful ,stylish glasses, more like fashion accessories than old dears’ reading aids (again, experience). Of course, these two menopausal superheroines pale (literally) into insignificance when the Hot Flash explodes – and here’s how she works her magic…
One minute you’re sitting there, quietly minding your own business. Next second, with no warning, she erupts from you as a molten, sodden mass; her carefully coiffed hair drops limply round her sweaty cheeks, and wet red blotches festoon her face, neck and chest; her heart races, her blood rushes, she feels trembly, dizzy, sometimes even nauseous and headachy.
She inhabits your boiling body for anything from 30 seconds to 10 minutes, then disappears as suddenly as she arrives…
Of course, now you have to try and rescue the situation by fluffing up your damp hair and pretending nothing happened. At this point, the Hot Flash’s superpower becomes evident, because every man who bore witness to this phenomenon is going to do whatever you ask him, to avoid it happening again. Seriously, they get really scared. Hee hee.
We don’t know when the Hot Flash is going to erupt or how long she’s going to stick around, but let’s use her to our advantage while we still can, because one day she’ll be overthrown by the Silver Surfer’s much older sister, the Silver Walking Frame…
So ladies, let’s put our favorite red lacy underwear over our mom jeans, and go embarrass men into doing our will!!!