Between A Rock And A Hot Place: Why Fifty Is The New Fifty- Tracey Jackson
As she approached her fiftieth birthday, Tracey Jackson found herself bombarded by a catchphrase on everyone’s lips: “Fifty is the new thirty.” With a comedy writer’s training and a screenwriter’s eye for detail, Jackson skewers that particular myth with a hilarious, bare-knuckled, and ultimately practical appraisal of what middle age really means today. Jackson not only faces the elephant in the room, she puts it under a (very large) microscope, confronting the truth about death, work, and sex in what the French call the “third age.”
God damn I have never laughed so hard while being in absolute fear of what was to come. Normally people don't laugh when you read about how your body will turn into a horrible, angsty place but you absolutely will in this book.
I remember being a teenager and my mom would wonder when she would go through menopause- all of her friends were doing it, her mom was dead so she had no idea when she did it or what it was like, and no doctor can really tell you. And I remember the exact day when my mom was telling me about hot flashes and I thought, "yeah, OK- turn on a fan." And then I remember the day where I was shopping with my mom in a freezing store and looking at her going through a hot flash thinking that she was going to internally combust because she looked like at any moment, things would align just right and she'd explode right in front of me.
And I was horrified.
Since then, I'm scared out of my pants to go through menopause. Then I read this book and everything I've heard from my own mom and witnessed in women around me is confirmed to all be true and I'm just as scared now. But at least I don't feel like the only one that will have to suffer as those who've paved the way did. I loved the chapter about kids growing up and moving away being the biggest pink slip of all, which I guess I never thought of it that way but it's true. When your kids grow up and just suddenly leave, you are essentially fired with no severance package, aren't you?
The entire book talks about different phases of womanhood between menopause, sex with your spouse, your career, motherhood, etc in such a frank and funny way that you can't help but speed through it. This book shall become me go-to reference manual for all things related to my vagina and birthday. I cannot recommend this book highly enough- it's the funniest take on aging that I have ever read.
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