The Madwoman in the Volvo: My Year of Raging Hormones
Sandra Tsing Loh
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From an “imaginatively twisted and fearless” writer (Los Angeles Times), a hilarious memoir of middle age.
In a voice that is wry, disarming, and totally candid, Sandra Tsing Loh tells the moving and laugh-out-loud tale of her roller coaster through "the change." This is not your grandmother's menopause story. Loh chronicles utterly relatable, everyday perils: raising preteen daughters, weathering hormonal changes, and the ups and downs of a career and a relationship. She writes also about an affair and the explosion of her marriage, while managing the legal and marital hijinks of her eighty-nine-year-old dad. The upbeat conclusion: it does get better.
Wellington, think through for a moment how you’d actually have to prepare it first, which I think involves something en croute in a madeira sauce, not to mention the usual trip with high heels and full makeup to the butcher. How much more satisfying it would have been to hurl through plate glass the meat-and-potatoes-on-platter-style dinners of yore—your whole turkey, your whole spiral-cut ham, your brisket. Who throws a Lean Cuisine? Where is the grandness? I can’t throw Make Your Own Pizza at
persistently (because that is also Brian Hong’s passive-aggressive way) haunt me. Or is Brian Hong a head person on one of my father’s ghost checking accounts, an account I inadvertently share with him and then other dead Chinese relatives? And instead of coming after my father, who has cannily—as usual—left no trace or marker, is the ghost of Brian Hong coming from the far ends of the earth . . . for me? AFTER TWO nights in a hotel, I know I should go home, but I just can’t. I have told Mr. Y
I get to be the whiny one. “But you know what, Mouseling,” she says turning to me and calling me by my childhood name. “You talk a lot about being lonely when Mr. Y is gone. Lonely. This is even though you guys generally spend more time together than humanly possible—you used to go together to the gym, for crying out loud! And you were never ‘lonely’ with Mr. X. Aside from that one time early on with Mr. X, when he was in Spain for two weeks and you couldn’t take it and were crying on the phone
pulled across Target parking lots and peeing on car seats and hurling Skee-balls at Chuck E. Cheeses. It is from a time when, while single-parenting, I let my daughters watch as much television as hospital patients in full-body casts. “This really is a very bad show,” I agree. “It’s like dirty sock puppets.” We also eat and make buckets of popcorn—butter, salt, no apologies. It’s amazing how deeply relaxing bad habits can be. “If my mom had only had a television in her bedroom!” I half joke. IN
egg safe. Keep it safe. Dinner at Home I HAVE TO SWING BY Judith’s in the afternoon to pick up a duffel bag of clothes I mistakenly (or perhaps not so mistakenly) left behind. My children are back at their dad’s. It is with a heavy heart that I turn home, just before dusk. I have not bought any groceries for dinner. The night looms ahead. But when I pull back into the crunchy gravel of the driveway, the doors are open, lights are on, jazz is playing, and I can smell something wonderfully