August 21, 2007

It's cool to be old

I recently read Nora Ephron's book, I Feel Bad About My Neck and Other Thoughts on Being a Woman, and kept thinking how cool she is.

The reader's knowledge of Ephron's age is built quietly. She seems to talk about her neck in the first story as if she is not one of the minions of old women that get turkey necks. She acts as if she's just writing about them, thus drawing in a younger crowd who doesn't want to hear the ramblings of an older woman. I am not one of those readers, by the way. In fact, when I did learn her age--from her first-hand accounts of years of hair removal--I began to admire her and even envy her years of experience she draws upon. Topics, from the shift in parenting techniques to purses and apartment ownership, take years to cultivate, and she recounts them with a confidence that only a woman with experience can muster.

Ephron says she's "sage and mellow," but I would definitely add "cool cat" to that mix. Her voice is developed and consistently rich. She's a great read. I wish I would have paced myself a little more, though. However, I've found that gorging on literary genius is the best of sins. But wishing you're old must be one of the worst. I wonder what Ephron would say.

Posted by Amanda Cochran at August 21, 2007 4:41 PM | TrackBack
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