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Margaret Gets Her Menopause

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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26 Comments Post a comment
  1. I like it.

    Like

    August 9, 2013
  2. Ty #

    NO!! With a menopausal woman, I feel this would be too much of a violent novel and I don’t want to see Margaret in this state.

    Like

    August 9, 2013
  3. I would totally read Margaret Gets Her Menopause!

    I read Are You There God, It’s Me Margaret? back when I was in 5th or 6th grade and I honestly haven’t given it much thought since, but someone needs to write this (as a comedy) even if it’s not Judy Blume. It would be brilliant and hilarious (somewhat like Kitty in That 70’s Show). I can picture it!

    Like

    August 9, 2013
    • I think Mrs. Blume needs to know about this.

      Like

      August 9, 2013
  4. I love Judy Blume books. I think a sequel will be a hit.

    Like

    August 9, 2013
  5. ‘My most daunting experience 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?”
    “Sometimes it feels like it’s dripping…”‘

    Oh wow, still laughing at that particular juxtaposition.

    Like

    August 9, 2013
  6. I’m with Ty, though I love Judy Blume – I feel the violence of menopause would be too much for the reading world who enjoy or men who put up with her novels.

    Like

    August 9, 2013
    • Maybe Margaret goes on a violent rampage and hunts down Gretchen, who she still mad at for getting the first period.

      Like

      August 9, 2013
  7. I love the idea! And what good timing. A lot of her fans would be right at the menopausal age right now. I don’t know if I have come across a novel that deals with this issue?? It’s even more taboo than puberty.

    And for some reason I had this urge to say “I’m sorry” when you highlighted the scene that you did. I definitely find myself being TMI with my husband…I like seeing his reaction but at the same time I realize it’s cruel.

    Like

    August 9, 2013
  8. Maybe you should start a blog on male reactions to chick lit. Comedy gold.

    Like

    August 9, 2013
  9. This is perfect concept as I sit here rubbing progesterone cream on my wrist and waiting for my first hot flash of the day. Just a mere technicality–it’s not her “first” menopause, there’s only one. I hope.

    Like

    August 9, 2013
    • Haha. Just a mere technicality, indeed.

      Like

      August 12, 2013
  10. I think if you’re over the age of twelve and are grossed out by female bodily functions, you need to grow up. I know this was meant to be funny. Maybe I have PMS! (I don’t.) But I think you covered this territory in your original review. We get it, periods are yucky!

    Like

    August 9, 2013
    • Don’t be a stupidface Laura! Sorry, I guess I need to grow up. Understand that I’m not prejudice in my grossing out, though. I think all bodily functions are pretty gross, including (and especially) my own!

      Like

      August 9, 2013
  11. I think this is a fantastic idea. Somehow our bodies (male and female) and the natural cycles they go through are shamed and hidden (as a 24 year old female I have zero reason to be reading up on Menopause, but there is very little in pop-culture or literature that I can reach out to for reference). I have my 50-something mother as a living, breathing example – and that’s that.

    This needs to happen. I think writing in the form of a comedy & making light of this topic might serve to break some of the taboos associated with this entirely natural, entirely unavoidable stage for women. Please write it – just…please?

    -W

    Like

    August 9, 2013
  12. orionwriter #

    Definitely a winner for sure! Ha, ha. I love the Fudge series Judy Bloom did, they were really hilarious. This for me is like her book that taught kids about divorce. There’s just random scenes in there where you go “Whoa…this was uh…hard to get through.” Like when reading X-rated scenes of a book while sitting next to your parents in the living room and trying not to look disturbed or uncomfortable.

    Like

    August 9, 2013
  13. They Skype every Wednesday! ha ha ha I like this sequel! Already want to read more about it! ha ha ha

    Like

    August 9, 2013
  14. Sounds like a best-seller to me! I’d read it.

    Like

    August 10, 2013
  15. You got me – I somehow skipped over the “I have developed a way” line and I thought for a good minute or two this was really happening. I’d read it, for sure.
    Maybe this could be put in the hands of a really excellent fanfic writer. Like PD James’s “Death Comes to Pemberley” or all the Joan Aiken Austen sequels. Surely there’s a legit writer out there who loves Margaret and has ideas about where she is in life now. That is, if Ms. Blume flat out refuses to comply with our requests for more “we must we must.” (I have a bad feeling that will be a Kegel/ incontinence exercise in the sequel.)

    Like

    August 10, 2013
  16. This was an important book in my young life. I read it when I was 12 or 13. Kudos to you for reading it as a grown male!

    Like

    August 10, 2013
  17. This is a great idea! I hope Judy is listening!

    Like

    August 11, 2013
  18. I can already imagine that exciting scene where they swap info on herbal remedies while sipping a nice cup of camomile tea.

    Like

    August 12, 2013
  19. Huh, the book was a hit amongst my friends when I went to the 4th grade. When I think about it now, I’ve got a feeling that the author had a good idea of what makes a powerful happy ending. And not to forget the almighty “We must, we must, we must increase our bust.”
    Congrats on surviving reading this.
    PS: Your idea of sequel almost sounds great 😀

    Like

    August 13, 2013
  20. If you wrote this book…I would read it. Thank you for the great humour! I hated Margaret and never read another Judy Blume book ever. It was plain icky and boring. I can’t believe this book made it on The List. Congratulations for making it through the dreadful thing. Please do not suggest Judy Blume write this story it just would be so sad and icky. Wishing you better luck with your next book on the list.

    Like

    August 13, 2013

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