There Are No Grown-Ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story (Unabridged) – Pamela Druckerman

Pamela Druckerman - There Are No Grown-Ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story (Unabridged)  artwork

There Are No Grown-Ups: A Midlife Coming-of-Age Story (Unabridged)

Pamela Druckerman

Genre: Comedy

Price: $ 20.95

Publish Date: May 29, 2018

© ℗ © 2018 Penguin Audio

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4 Fun (And Semi-Depressing) Facts About Midlife

When I was 20, I didn’t spend much time thinking about what it would be like to be…well…old. My forties and fifties seemed like they were a helluva long way off…mostly because they were. If I’d have stopped to think about what midlife would look like, I’d probably imagine myself wearing polyester stretch pants, pantyhose with reinforced toes and that thing you wear around your neck where you push a button that alerts 911 if you “fall and can’t get up.” And sensible shoes. Lots of sensible shoes.

I’m happy to report most of my trousers still zip (they have zippers, anyway). I haven’t needed the emergency buzzer, the clapper or the grabber, although I do appreciate the value of a good pair of support hose. Even though my actual midlife experience isn’t what twenty year old me might have envisioned, I still have some fun, semi-depressing facts about midlife I’d like to share with young women everywhere.

Pay attention, bitches…I’m trying to scare the snot out of you. Why? Do I really need a reason, beyond that it’s fun?

Comfort: your underwear’s most important feature.

I’m not saying there’s no place in your life and lingerie drawer for sassy, sexy bloomers but comfort is the front runner. Support is a close second. I might still let my freak flag fly on occasion but I’m past the point where I’ll worry if hubs sees me in sensible undies. It is what it is. Thong on for now, but your time is coming. Trust me.

Dark hair sprouts randomly on your face and body.

I don’t care if your God-given hair color is platinum blonde. Stray hairs are black and crinkly (kind of like pubes.) Always. It’s a rule or something. Most often sighted on chins, these little suckers can sneak up in other regions.

I have one that appears out of freaking nowhere on my neck. One day it’s not there, the next it’s gently blowing in the breeze. A male coworker once mistook it for string. Joke was on him, it was attached. And yes, he was a hottie because the laws of the universe say that if a male must point out something unflattering, embarrassing or gross about your appearance, he must be attractive so that you can be as mortified as humanly possible.

PSA: rearview mirrors in natural light are optimum for spotting rogue hairs, so tuck a pair of tweezers in your glove box. Obviously, hair reconnaissance missions should happen when the car is not moving. Safety first, ladies. And, plucking while stopped at a light is trashy. Just don’t.

And…I could continue with a detailed description of boob hair, but I’ll just leave it there and smile, imagining the panic that little teaser may cause.

Ever-present fear of sneeze-pee fusion.

If you’ve given birth, you might remember this one fondly. If you’ve never experienced pregnancy, you’re in for a treat, my sisters. Allow me to spell it out: a sneeze, cough or even a good laugh will make you pee your pants. You never know when your bladder will fail you. You’ll remember all the times you snickered at old ladies trying to discreetly toss Poise pads in their shopping cart. You’ll wonder if the sneeze-pee fusion is karmic ass-biting payback. The answer is yes.

Your high school anthem is a classic.

There is something depressing about hearing the tunes you took your bra off to in the backseat is now considered classic rock. I’m bracing myself for the day some punk-ass fourteen year old deejay refers to anything sung by Pat Benatar as an oldie. It’ll happen. And, part of me will die a little bit.

While I might need comfier underwear and more alone time with my tweezers, life at midlife is no pity party. I (usually) have enough energy to run after my kids, run a 5K and on a good day, run circles around my younger friends. Sometimes guys still check me out. They might be trying to decide if I need help crossing the street, but hey, let me have my fantasies, m’kay?

Most of my girlfriends in their forties and fifties list sexier sex and more wisdom as perks of being this age. I think it’s down to more confidence and just no longer giving a crap what other people think.

It will happen to you, too. Katy Perry or maybe even Justin Beiber will be on the classic rock station. You will pick up that multi-pack of cotton undies and say “hmmm, these look nice and comfy.” Wait and see. For now, better stock up on those Poise pads…and be careful when you sneeze. You just never know…

This post originally appeared on Ripped Jeans and Bifocals. You can follow Jill on Facebook and Twitter.

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Midlife Crisis, Marriage Crisis Or Both?

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What do you do when someone you thought you knew like the back of your hand mutates into someone you don’t recognize?

The midlife crisis. Or that’s what we tend to call it.

She says maybe she never really loved you. She wants to be independent. She hangs out a lot more with her divorced girlfriends. Suddenly, you go from being the man she wanted to grow old with to the guy she wouldn’t be caught dead with.

He starts working out. Guards his cell phone. Buys new, smarter-looking clothes. It’s classic but you don’t want to see it. Then he lets you know there’s “someone else”. He met her on Facebook. And he wants a divorce.

You’ve been married 32 years.

It’s a crisis all right. A midlife crisis maybe. A definite marriage crisis.

CBS did a report in 2011 on the current research on midlife. It stated that the huge majority of folks take midlife in stride. Psychological theories add that when you have led a life where you have been able to follow some passion or interest, whether it’s your job, your family, an activity or talent, that you will be fulfilled. In midlife, you become someone who wants to give back. To your community. Your culture. Your family. Your relationships.

Erikson, who developed a theory of the stages of human development, defined the issue in midlife as the decision between “generativity” and “stagnation”. You are going to blossom or wilt. If happy, you know what you stand for.

Most midlifers fare pretty well.

Yet those that are not content get a lot of attention. Because they can cause a lot of hurt.

The two things — a marriage crisis and a midlife crisis — can obviously be intertwined. One of the partners in the relationship becomes unsure of themselves. Of their choices. Of what their life means. What have they missed? How much time is there left to enjoy? To learn? To experience? That frantic self-doubt and fear can lead to leaving a partner, who seems to symbolize only what was. Not what could be.

Cathy Meyer, the divorce support expert for About.com, stated that men have midlife crises out of fear. Fear of death. Fear of aging. Fear of losing power. Women? Out of an awareness of opportunity. Ms. Meyer’s observation is that women’s focus has been more about getting children grown, security established. After that is done, her own life opens in an exciting, even seductive way. She further reports that if someone has not been attentive to their own needs — has made their whole life about others — making a living or raising children — no matter their gender, they are more likely to be drawn toward drastic change in midlife.

Esther Perel, a highly sought after speaker on the subject, believes that infidelity can emerge from happy marriages as well as unhappy ones. That they are more about reconnecting with parts of the self that are being rediscovered or perhaps discovered for the first time.

If you believe yourself to be in a midlife crisis:

A midlife crisis can be distinct from a marriage crisis
.

Maybe your partnership is in trouble. Maybe you have fallen into a rut. Have stopped expressing gratitude. Maybe there are some dynamics or issues that have always been disappointing that you are tired of. That if you talked about, might be changed.

If that’s the case, you can confront those things. Try to do something about them. If your partner is willing. Often, if they hear you are considering ending your commitment, their desire to listen and change will increase.

Perhaps you are in a midlife crisis. All by yourself.

A question I ask:

“What makes you think you have to leave your partner to find the fulfillment you desire?”

You need to figure out what your life is missing. Something you have been afraid to try. Or too busy to develop in yourself. As Ms. Perel would say, discovering yourself.

It may mean really changing things. Asking your partner to hang in there with you and adapt. Maybe you decide that the high-powered corporate world is no longer for you and you want to retrain as a massage therapist. Maybe you want to train for a marathon. Go to college for the first time.

Try to discover that first. See what happens in the relationship if you get more excited about your own life.

If your partner is in a midlife crisis:

What if you are on the receiving end? If you get told that your partner is unsure of his or her commitment to you? Maybe they have even involved someone else?

Much of the response to this question lies in the context. The situation. There is one thing I have learned.

Know if you are considering divorce, that it will always be only yours. Not your mother’s. Not your best friend’s. Not your therapist’s or your lawyer’s. Yours. You will be living whatever benefits come from it, and what painful consequences might be. Wait until you feel ready to make that decision.

If you are getting feedback that you are being terribly self-destructive, then you should probably take that into account.

But it’s still your choice.

You can find more of Dr. Margaret on her website, DrMargaretRutherford.com! SUBSCRIBE and receive a free copy of her eBook, “Seven Commandments of Good Therapy”, a basic guide on how to evaluate a potential therapist or your current therapist.

Originally published by Midlife Boulevard.

Photo: Unsplash.com

Earlier on Huff/Post50:

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