One Headlight



No, not that song by Bob Dylan's kid.


I just wiki'd Jakob Dylan. He was born in 1969, in case you weren't feeling old today.


I'm talking about nipples.


My nipples have been behaving oddly for a while now.

I don't mean they've been distant or have been staying out at all hours.They haven’t been making strange demands or sulking. But they do wink.


I have winking nipples. Michelle and her fabulous winking nipples.

When I have my old lady punk band, it's going to be called Michelle and the Fabulous Winking Nipples. Anyone interested in being a nipple? I mean, if we ever gather in big groups again. Although, honestly, who am I kidding? Would Michelle and her Fabulous Winking Nipples really draw a big crowd? There is also the fact that I can’t sing at all. But I figure old lady punk doesn’t have to sound good, right?


How do my nipples wink?


Well, I have found that since menopause set in, my nipples feel that it must be below zero degrees farenheit 365 days a year. They're just so perky and ready for the day. All the fucking time. I had to buy bras with layers of padding just so I don't show my headlights on high beam.


Apparently, they've discovered my clever plan and have somehow managed to render my favorite black bra ineffective. Seriously, this bra has done a fine job keeping my nipples under wraps.


Until the week before I started working from home.


We share a common bathroom at my job. 19 people. One bathroom. Mostly, it's nice having the room to myself, but half the time, I can't get in. Plus, I am still getting used to sharing a bathroom with men. I do here at home, but they're my men, and that's different.


But I digress.


Anyway. There is a full length mirror in this bathroom. I walked in the other day and one nipple was standing at attention and trying to burrow through my favorite black bra. One nipple. Not both nipples. Just the left one.


Fucking really?


I went into the stall and retraced my steps in my head. Had I passed anyone in the hall? You know, with a big goofy fake grin on my face because I hate passing people in the hall and one nipple begging to be set free? I didn't think so.


I walked out of the stall and looked in the mirror. My left nipple had calmed the fuck down. The right one, however, decided to catch up to the left one.

In the time it took to pee, my left nipple deflated and my right one perked up. They were winking.


I can only think that they were taking their cue from Young Frankenstein. You know, where Marty Feldman's hump kept moving from side to side.

I actually pulled the front of my shirt out and said "Not cool, guys. Not cool at all."


Of course, they heard the word 'cool' and we all know what happened next. Yep, they both stood up and begged for attention. I stood there for a few minutes and tried to wait them out, but they were having none of it. Also, I have no idea when my nipples developed the ability to hear or think for themselves. I think they’re trying to take over.


So, I had to walk back to my desk with my arms crossed over my chest.

I guess one of the silver linings I am finding with my new “work from home” schedule, is my nipples are no longer bound by anything. They are free roaming nipples and they are super happy about it. I’m afraid to go anywhere in the car with the windows rolled down, I’m afraid they’d respond like a puppy and try to lean out the window for some fresh air.


Also, it’s not just my nipples acting up. My ovaries have decided they are also not getting enough attention. They don’t stick out or anything, which I am assuming is a good thing. But they do let me know they exist by barking at me at random times.


Not actual barking, that would be a huge cause for alarm. They just act up which in turn triggers the following thoughts:


Is that my appendix? Is it?


Which side is my appendix on? Or is it my kidneys? Or my liver? It could totally be my liver. You know, if you had paid more attention in school, you could have trained to be a doctor and then you’d know where your appendix is. Or if you had at least paid attention in biology.


Oh hell, it’s ovarian cancer, isn’t it?


Could y’all just settle down, please. It’s not like I am asking anything new of you. I don’t even care if you are out of eggs. Is that what is upsetting you? Just relax. You did your job. It’s time to take it easy.


Could you at least act up when I’m not paying attention? Must you do this right when I’m about to fall to sleep? Why are you so vindictive?


I don’t think they are listening, though. Apparently, they don’t have the hearing capabilities that my nipples have.


I had no idea the aging process would involve winking nipples. I suspected the ovaries would act up, you know how ovaries are. But my nipples? We’ve always gotten along famously. I mean, other than when I was breastfeeding, but that was a long time ago. Maybe they held a grudge and now they’re getting even with me. Perhaps they’ve just been biding their time.


Oh, hey! Remember when I was chafed and bleeding all the time and your little germy babies slobbered all over me? Well, guess what? I’m going to make it difficult for you to appear in public without wrapping me in bubble wrap. Also, we hate the black bra.


Or maybe I’ve just spent too much time self-isolating.


Getting old is not for wussies.




Michelle Poston Combs writes humorous and serious observations on life, menopause, anxiety, and marriage on her site, Rubber Shoes In Hell.


She lives in Ohio with her husband and youngest son. She stands at the precipice of empty nest syndrome which she finds both terrifying and exhilarating.


Michelle programs computers to pay the bills. She counters this soul sucking endeavor by contributing to Jen Mann’s anthology I Still Just Want To Pee Alone, Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, Better Homes and Garden, Grand, Vibrant Nation, Erma Bombeck's Writers Workshop, New Jersey Family Magazine, and Listen To Your Mother.


© 2020 by Perry