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It is 7.15am on Tuesday morning – handbag – check; mobile phone – check; flask with tea – check; bottle with water – check; car keys – check, everything is laid out neatly on the counter ready for me to pick them up and dash off to the station. I bend to do up my shoe laces and suddenly remember the car-park. Thankfully one of the joys of modern technology means that I can purchase a ticket via the mobile phone app so laces done up, I grab my stuff and go.

At the station I purchase a train ticket, pick up a copy of the Metro head up the stairs and over the bridge to get to platform 2. On the train I spend the time in reading, doing the crossword and sudoku.

At work I peruse my things to do list only to realise that it’s the deadline for submission of the funding application I had been procrastinating over last week. So, with calculator in hand I continue the work on the budget swearing under my breath because I find working those detailed budgets that funders ask for to be such a tedious exercise.

My thought processes get interrupted by a colleague who is in such severe pain that I stop what I am doing and offer to drive them to the nearest hospital. We get there, and after many many hours they are discharged and dosed up with powerful pain relief. That wonderful invention called google maps means that I confidently offer to take them home.

We are inching along in slow moving rush hour traffic and an urge to wee takes over. I turn up the volume on the radio and hum hoping that the distraction will quell the urgency of my bladder. The nearer GPS says we are to our destination the louder the wee in my bladder takes on the persona of Queen and sings “I WANT TO BREAK FREE”.

We are now on the right road and the singing in the bladder is at a deafening level, so I hum even louder (which sounded more like groaning) waking my colleague from their drug induced stupor. I explain my toilet urgency, and they give me their house keys telling me that the toilet is at the top of the stairs.

The wee in the bladder is now channeling Diana Ross and bellows “THE TIME HAS COME FOR ME TO BREAK OUT OF THIS SHELL, I HAVE TO SHOUT THAT I’M COMING OUT, I’M COMING OUT, I WANT THE WORLD TO KNOW, I WILL LET IT SHOW”. I plea with it to hold on for a couple more seconds and pull onto the roadside parking space dashing into the house, up the stairs, and on the toilet, making a mental note to invest in a Shewee and Tena Lady (other brands are available).

I say my good byes and make the journey homeward, but as I approach my car in the station carpark I see the dreaded yellow sticker envelope, and my heart sinks. I had completely forgot to pay for the parking and ended up with a £50.00 fine.

The next day I phone my colleague to check up on their health only to be told that when they looked out of their window that morning they found one of those hateful yellow sticker envelopes on their car. Turns out that in my haste to get to the toilet I had parked the car with one of the wheels resting 2inches on the grass verge. That’s another £50.00 fine.

Fast forward to Friday, and I leave work on a high because it’s the weekend. The train is trudging along and I am flicking through the Evening Standard when it suddenly it dawns on me that I have once again forgot to purchase a parking ticket. The rest of the journey sees me fluctuating between anxiety, annoyance and frustration, and I argue with myself for being so forgetful. By the time the train comes into the platform I am close to tears and I quickly scan the windscreen for the yellow sticker envelope but there is none. I breathe a sigh of relief, and thank my luck stars that I got away with it because paying £100.00 in fines in four days is more than enough – menopause is costly.

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Brian Quavar
Brian Quavar
Mar 29, 2021

More men should read these accounts to see how women struggle in their everyday life. If we as men were more aware I'm sure there would be well places empathy.😥

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