Wednesday, October 7, 2009
I feel bad about my neck
Okay, I actually don't feel too bad about my neck. Not yet, anyway. But after reading Nora Ephron's thoughtful (and funny!) collection of essays/opinions on getting older, I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts On Being a Woman, I suspect that soon enough, I'll be worrying about my own neck and likely other body parts as well. At least I'll be able to laugh about it all.
This favourite of mine was the first book I thought of when I realized that we were already up to the letter I in the A-Z Wednesday Challenge. It's a book packed with Ephron's witty outlook on life, on being a woman, particularly an older woman. With her dry humour at the ready, she touches on topics recognizable to many -- how she can't read the instructions on pill bottles, how much she appreciates hair dye. How she hates her purse. Some chapters have been previously published as magazine articles, so when reading the book, you might get a flush of recognition.
Her commentary throughout the book is a delight to read. For example, this little piece about lunching with friends. "Sometimes I go out to lunch with my girlfriends -- I got that far into the sentence and caught myself. I suppose I mean my women friends. We are no longer girls and have not been girls for forty years. Anyway, sometimes we go to lunch and I look around the table and realize we're all wearing turtleneck sweaters. Sometimes, instead, we're all wearing scarves, like Katharine Hepburn in On Golden Pond. Sometimes we're all wearing mandarin collars and look like a white ladies' version of the Joy Luck Club."
If you're over 40, you'll read this book and laugh a lot, and some topics will be familiar to you already. If you're over 50, the familiary factor will dramatically increase. And I suspect that if you're over 60 you're going to recognize Ephron as a true kindred spirit. This is a book you'll be tempted to give to all your girlfriends, er, women friends.