You get hot flashes. You have to start having your cholesterol level checked at yearly intervals. You have to have the boobs squished in the Boob-Squish-O-Matic.
The hair in your armpits, which flourished wildly from puberty onwards, suddenly stalls in its growth. This is nice, but changes your routine--no longer do you do a once-a-day, or even once-a-week whisk with the disposa-razor while in the shower. Now you check on Saturdays, shrug, and wait until next Saturday, because there's nothing there to worry about.
On the other hand...
You start discovering hair in the wrong places.
I've had one hair on my left arm that grows to about 2-3 inches, then falls (or gets yanked) out. This has been a long-time companion, no biggie; it is located right smack in the middle of a knot in my arm that comes from my childhood adventures. (Oh, was that me in the girls' locker room with the other girls, pushing over banks of lockers? And then getting caught between the falling locker and the wall? And being discovered by purple haired Mrs. Levinson, the elderly French teacher we were driving insane, who scolded me mightily all the way down the stairs to the principal's office? And then sat in the ER for many hours with my dad, waiting to be seen for a possibly broken arm? No. Not me...That was someone else.)
That hair never bothered me.
The one that is smack dab in the middle of my right cheek, that started growing about four years ago--that one bothers me.
The one on the right-hand side of my chin, that started growing about four years ago--that one bothers me.
They don't get yankable until they're at least an inch long.
So while I'm waiting for them to do their thang, so I can do my thang, I feel like there's a great big flashing neon sign hovering around my head, pointing at them.
"Hee! Hee! Lookit here! Lookit these hairs! She's got hairs growing on her face--just like an old lady! Har!"
It's the perimenopausal equivalent of the big fat zit on the end of your nose.
In reality, they don't show. Honest! It's a lot better than those big ol' oozing zits! But, oh, man...they loom large on the interior mental landscape. It's a lot worse than the grey streak in my hair. After all, there are plenty of women with sleek, elegant, beautiful grey hair. Besides, grey hair stays in its proper place--on the head.
There's never a cartoon pic of a woman with sleek, elegant, beautiful hair sort of sporadically erupting at random spots around her cheeks and chin. No...it's always a witch type caricature.