Saturday, March 19, 2011

Aging and Acceptance

Recently my friend Amy was listening to NPR and called to tell me she had heard some author who writes books (yes, this is something Amy would say) talking about how 50 is NOT the new 30 it is only 50 and looking down the road to death. Her point, apparently, was that as women we shouldn’t try and be younger or lie to ourselves that our best years are behind us but should instead accept our age and focus on how to prepare for the twilight years. Basically, how to ensure that you don’t up in a state funded facility because your husband will go before you either deliberately (after sucking every last dime out of your retirement accounts for his top notch medical care which includes young Swedish nurses) or accidentally (about which I know nothing).

Amy found the entire concept novel as preparing for the future has never been her strong suit (unless you count her sending in an application to Hoarders to be on the show 10 yeas from now). For me, planning (and internally freaking out about the future) is second nature so I was more interested in the accepting part. This is another concept I don’t get unless it’s cash or jewelry. I’m much more of a fighter, which is not always the healthiest place to be. I am convinced that, environmental and genetic factors aside, my overly dramatic youth did not do much to protect me from multiple sclerosis. In fact, I'm willing to bet that walking home from a bar in Buffalo in January while it's snowing in nothing but your bra and jeans because your boyfriend grabbed you after you stormed out so you pulled off both winter coat and sweater and left him standing there stupefied (ha!) is not a healthful choice in many ways. At the time it made sense to me. Go figure.

Having said that, that ship has sailed so I don’t think I’ll approach life (unemployment, aging) with acceptance. In fact, shortly after talking with Amy and pondering all this I came across this book in the library Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomanical, Self-Centered Smartass, Or, Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office.

A little more searching unearthed these other books she’s written:

  1. Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly, Ex-Sorority Girl's Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who are These Idiots and Why Do They All Live Next Door to Me?
  2. Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist's Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big, or Why Pie Is Not the Answer
  3. My Fair Lazy: One Reality Television Addict's Attempt to Discover If Not Being A Dumb Ass Is the New Black, or, a Culture-Up Manifesto
  4. Pretty in Plaid: A Life, A Witch, and a Wardrobe, or, the Wonder Years Before the Condescending, Egomaniacal, Self-Centered Smart-Ass Phase

NOW that is an attitude that resonates with me. What's not to love? She's the Erma Bombeck of our generation! Her name is Jen Lancaster and I’m pretty sure we are meant to be best friends. Just like me and Maria Bamford.

If you, like me, want to see more based on these titles then get your ass to the library and check them out or if you need gratification RIGHT NOW check out her blog which is damn funny and which makes me look nice, kind, and not as funny.

Acceptance my ass.

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