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Thursday, December 30, 2010

my formerly hot life - a book review

i had this book wishlisted on amazon and bless my SIL, i got it for xmas.  it has been a great holiday read, light and funny, just the escape i needed from the flu, poop and puke ridden week i've been having.

as a woman from the forgotten generation stuck between the boomers and the millennials generation X, i am feeling my age more each day.  every day a grey hair pops up; i see a new wrinkle in the ever deepening crease between my eyes, and gravity is not my friend anymore (not that it ever was).  my knees ache when i play with the kiddos on the floor, and my hips have become musical in a not so musical sort of way.  at first i felt bad that i am easing into middle age, that i am no longer the girl who got carded at 30 (and 32).  every woman's magazine, pushing either botox or fillers, or offering clothing that i wouldn't be caught dead in even if i weighed 99 pounds soaking wet, don't help either.

i remember reading a review for My Formerly Hot Life and thinking "my bob, someone else gets it.  i'm not crazy!"  written by stephanie dolgoff, author of the blog, this book about that awkward age a woman reaches when she's not young but not old either.  ms. dolgoff describes a "formerly's" life as the time period between the "fun 20s" (remember that time? - staying up late with little repercussion the next day, eating/drinking with no regard of gaining weight) and (the dreaded, looming) menopause.

i howled at the "unpopular culture" chapter - where ms. dolgoff mused on songs of our childhood being turned into songs on the muzak, madison avenue targeting our generation with said songs, and the 70s - the decade when many of us grew up - is now "history" for our own children.  i also "amen'd" her chapter on dressing (old concert t's = cool good, new concert t's = poser lame) and dressing my age and for comfort (i'm so glad there are other women out there who aren't living in 5 inch heels and not wearing skinny jeans too!)

a chapter that resinated with me was "the big metabolic fuck you".  (actually, i think my metabolism has been giving me the proverbial finger since i was 22.  but that's just me).  the summary of this chapter - what worked for us in our 20s (and even 30s) isn't cutting it for our current "formerly" self.  as i recall my RE telling me - "at my age - 34 at the time - i had to work twice as hard to lose weight/get healthy".  i, too, prayed that my stealth weight gain (and at the time, infertility) was due to a shoddy thyroid gland (no such luck - tested normal every damn time).  and that it's normal to feel achy after playing with the kids (and if i'm lucky, i'll catch their snotty cold too).

another favorite chapter was "RIP the imposter", where ms. dolgoff ponders the question many working moms ask themselves - "can i have it all?"  the author, who spent years in the magazine industry, scaled back to part time work so she could spend time with her twin daughters, her husband, and her sanity.  i was happy to read another woman's account to scale back and put family first, since it seems that the media would prefer we do the opposite.

my formerly hot self is a quick read, a fun read, and if you're like me, a read that you will definitely relate with.  this book made me feel better about growing old gracefully, that it's okay to wear spanx to hold in my elephant of a belly jiggly belly, that not everyone is wearing high heels, and that it's okay to choose life/family over career.

out of *****, i give it ***** and then some.  my highest approval yet!

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a must-read for me. I'm feeling a bit depressed, and I'm even looking at 3 days off work....what's up with that?
    Maybe I need a knitting night! When are you free?


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