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Edith Bunker, Midlife & Menopause

I loved her! Fought with her (in my head) and for her! Laughed when she stood up to Archie! Recognized that she had way more power than even she knew. I cried with Archie when she died as it didn’t seem possible to go on with the show without her and in fact, it wasn’t.

If I’m correct in the mid-1970s, Edith Bunker became the first woman to go through menopause on prime television — The episode “Edith’s Problem” had some of the best lines of the show particularly this one from Archie as he tries to navigate Edith’s midlife transition—“Now if you’re gonna have a change of life, you gotta do it right now. I’m gonna give you 30 seconds!” In another episode, Edith, in a conversation with Gloria, wondered whether men go through “women-o-pause.”

I can still picture Edith standing over Archie with a pot in her hand screaming “Don’t you say one more word!” Have you had one of those moments? (Please share with me in the comments area. I would love to do a post on just those moments). I spiralled into Menopause when I had my ovaries removed and soon thereafter I found myself on the kitchen floor crying because the dog was refusing to eat the food I had gone out specially to buy him. My husband nearly had an Archie moment. He had that look on his face that I translated as “Who is this woman and will someone please return my real wife”. In the same week, I cried because my Starbuck’s Grande Latte tasted funny. Yes, I can smile about “those” moments now but at the time I barely recognized myself. It seemed like a free-fall from “normal” to crazy. Although I was quite young when Edith’s “problem” was aired.  I remembered Edith when my moment came and I was grateful for her season of the “changes”—it made me feel a little less crazy.

I truly think it’s cool that Edith is listed in Wikipedia with a full page bio — I suggest you take a walk down memory lane and check it out.

 

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