Although I do not think I am suffering from a midlife crisis yet, I have a little confession of my own. I love finding publishers that go where other publishers won’t and Seal Press is one of them. Seal Press publishes books written by women for women. This book is definitely for women. Unless any of you men out there want to read about menopause, mother-daughter relationship stuff, what we fantasize about at 2am, etc, etc. On second thought- you might want to know that! Yeah, maybe not.
Marrying George Clooney: Confessions from a Midlife Crisis by Amy Ferris (a name that sounds young to me, but she’s not that young, she’s going through menopause after all) is a collection of essays. Basically, it’s what she thought about at 2am when she was lying awake suffering through hot flashes and insomnia. She had a lot on her plate at the time, her mother was falling deeper into the depths of dementia, her brother and her were not on speaking terms, friends were coming and going as she became more honest. I can relate to some of it. Not all of it. . . yet. I’m sure that day is right around the corner for many of us though. Reading this book sort of helped me to prepare for it.
When I am reading essays, I look for wit and this book has a lot of it. If you can handle the excessively used f-word you will have no problem with this book. If not, pass on it. I guess I was a little shocked with the language. Not because I’m that prude (although I can be when it comes to books) but I just wasn’t expecting it. The title threw me off for one. Marrying George Clooney. Really? Isn’t that who good girls fantasize about? The way Ferris writes, a title like Marrying Glenn Danzig or Hunter S. Thompson seems more appropriate. I suppose neither of them is really all that attractive (and Thompson is dead so that wouldn’t make sense). Okay then, at least maybe Brad Pitt. The other thing that threw me off about the language is her age. I don’t know many people over 50 that cuss like a sailor. I know plenty over 50 that frown on it though. I suppose living in the Midwest makes a difference.
The age and the language and the attitude make for good reading though. I couldn’t stop laughing earlier in the book when she talks about her and her husband’s arthritis flaring up after having flipped each other off too many times. Likewise when she writes that an addicted menopausal woman looks like “Rosemary’s baby from inside the womb” at 3am. I like a nice visual like that when I am reading. Good stuff.
I can relate when she talks about the danger of a quick tongue. She writes, “Please raise your hand if any of you have turned into a devil doll on a dime. You know what I’m talking about- that moment when your husband (or wife or partner) says or does something trivial, innocuous, a casual throwaway, and without a moment’s hesitation you respond by burning a whole in their heart with your tongue.” Yeah. I have to raise my hand on that one. And now that I have a phrase for it, burn a hole in your heart with my tongue, I will be more aware of that. Tread a little lighter. This is good stuff for self-awareness.
Ferris says what a lot of women don’t have the guts to say and I really appreciate that. I almost said “YES!” out loud when she called out Oprah’s O Magazine for always putting Oprah on the damn cover. Yes, that is annoying as all get out and I have always wondered why they do that. It seems so . . . narcissistic! You are supposed to be about helping the rest of the world, Oprah!
Now, a little on the physical book itself. The picture on the cover is great. Again, I judge books by their cover and I am not afraid to admit it. I chose to read further about this book because of that picture in fact. The title didn’t appeal to me but the photo made up for it. Domini Dragoone is credited with doing the cover art but I didn’t find a website for her. Only a Facebook page (need a website?). The book is 289 pages long but I think if they wouldn’t have used so much italicized text, bold text, large text, exaggerated spacing, etc. It would have been more like 200 pages. It’s annoying to me because it reminds me of the papers my students hand in that are supposed to be 3 pages long but are only that because they used 18 point type. Annoying. . . So it’s a short collection of essays, okay. Don’t try to stretch it out by getting all crazy with the type.
It’s a good book. If you like humor and are okay with a little rebel yell give it a shot (if you like a quick read). If you are not fond of the quick read, essay-style MY LIFE book then look a little deeper, especially if language bothers you. I do urge all women to check out Seal Press for other titles even if this one doesn’t appeal to you. They have something for everybody and especially for progressives.