PROLOGUE: The Hot Flash Row
Winter 2005 ~ I close my thriving birth center due to
lack of third party reimbursement and it damn near breaks my
heart. It is a beautiful facility that has a fabulous reputation
and I can’t make a go of it without insurance coverage. It
makes no sense for the insurance companies to refuse to
cover us…we save them a ton of money, but they refuse
anyway and drive us out of business.
I retire from catching babies and wander around
aimlessly. I have been a midwife for thirty years and I love my
profession more than life itself. I was the first midwife in New
Hampshire and have delivered a bazillion kids but I don’t
really have any other employable skills. I garden and take care
of our farm. I spend the day in my brown velour sweats and
crack my first beer of the day for lunch and email legislators
about shitty legislation to make myself feel productive.
I know my husband Tom is concerned about me, but
he never says much more than, “Honey, I’ve always loved you
in brown.” What a great guy. He’s a survivor. He knows how
to protect himself from great bodily harm.
I start to get worried about me too. The physical
hygiene has been definitely slipping. I garden all day, am
coated with dirt and sweat. I fall asleep for the night dirty
without bothering to shower. When I look in the mirror in the
morning, I see a wild postmenopausal woman with
edematous, fluid-filled sacs under her eyes looking back.
My scrotum eyes.
I have been able to get by for fifty-five years on a
great smile, good genes and a diet of nutritious food and lots
of wine…but now I am starting to seriously look like the
functional bag lady I really am; no question. This is bad,
something’s got to give, but I have no idea what.
Late Summer 2005 ~ I am sitting in my car on Main
Street, Concord, pissed that I have yet another parking ticket.
Soon I’m going to get the proverbial Boot. Concord has the
worst frustrating parking problem. I look up to see a marquee
ESTHETICS INSTITUTE FOR
ADVANCED SKIN CARE
~ Enroll now for Fall Classes starting in September ~
I sit there looking at the sign until I wonder if I’ve had
a stroke. Can’t move. Yeah, right. You’re contemplating going
to Beauty School. You are desperate, girl. Wicked desperate.
Yeah? Well, listen, Scrotum Eyes…how’s this sound?
The thing you loved the most about the Birth Center was the
“Spa” aspect…the sense of community, the sense of a
beautiful place where women could go for their health care
and feel included and be heard and respected…not a cold
medical/clinical environment to be dreaded but a delicious
place to be pampered and take care of one’s necessary Whole
Woman health regimen.
Epiphany 101 ~ I start to grin as the concept begins
to develop. Right! I could get licensed as an Esthetician and
open a Spa. Women can come in for their annual exams…and
have a yummy facial and get checked under the hood. They
can have breast exams, seaweed algae wraps, lash tinting,
blood work, Pap smears! Brazilians! The Works! After a
woman has her pelvic exam and her feet are in stirrups…she
can have a pedicure! I am on fire. I will name my Spa…
WRAPS & PAPS!
PROLOGUE: The Hot Flash Row