Books Magazine

Margaret Gets Her Menopause

By Robert Bruce @robertbruce76

It’s been more than two years since I undertook the most daunting literary experience I’ve gone through on 101 Books.

Was it Infinite Jest? A daunting experience, indeed. Nope. Was it my year-long read of A Dance To The Music Of Time? That was also brutal. But, no, that’s not it either.

My most daunting experience since starting 101 Books has been reading Judy Blume’s Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. That book challenged this 37-year-old man in ways I never knew I could be challenged.

Let’s just briefly recap one of the critical passages from Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret:

“My mother showed me how to attach the pad to my underpants…”

“What’s it feel like?”

“Mostly I don’t feel anything. Sometimes it feels like it’s dripping. It doesn’t hurt coming out–but I had some cramps last night.”

“Bad ones?” Janie asked.

“Not bad. Just different.” Gretchen said. “Lower down and across my back.”

“Does it make you feel older?”

“Naturally,” Gretchen answered.

Think about that. I’m a dude. I like football, beer, and Pearl Jam.

I have one son with another on the way. I don’t know much of anything about the unspeakable things that the female gender must naturally endure.

Certainly, Judy Blume taught me a lot in that novel. And while I’ve chosen never to subject my eyeballs to the text of that novel again, I do believe I have developed a way for Judy Blume to bring Margaret back.

It’s a sequel, a surefire best-seller.

It’s Margaret, 30 years later.

And this time, Margaret obviously isn’t concerned about getting her first period. Instead, she’s approaching the other side of the menstruation spectrum.

Margaret’s waiting for her first menopause.

And, this time, she’s determined to win.

Margaret’s a school teacher now. Her friend, Gretchen—you know, the girl who had the first period—is a yoga instructor in Malibu. Since getting her period first, Gretchen’s life has skyrocketed. She’s the graduated from Stanford and is now the most popular yoga instructor in southern California. Her husband, Dirk, is a famous film producer.

Margaret and Gretchen still keep in touch. They Skype every Wednesday. And with their child-bearing years behind them, they now face the inevitable: MENOPAUSE.

But who will succumb first? Margaret has dealt with a bout of hot flashes recently, and she thinks she might win round two against Gretchen.

But will she?

Naturally, we all want to know what Margaret is up to these days. But, also, Judy Blume could use this novel as a way to teach us all about menopause. What is the best way for Dirk to support the menopausal love of his life?

Women need to know what to expect. Men need to know how to cope.

What do you say, Judy Blume? Is Margaret Gets Her Menopause a winner?

What do you guys think?

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