There Are No Grown-ups

There Are No Grown-ups

A Midlife Coming-of-age Story

Large Print - 2018
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When Pamela Druckerman turns 40, waiters start calling her "Madame," and she detects a disturbing new message in mens' gazes: I would sleep with her, but only if doing so requiredno effort whatsoever. Yet forty isn't even technically middle-aged anymore. And after a lifetime of being clueless, Druckerman can finally grasp the subtext of conversations, maintain (somewhat) healthy relationships and spot narcissists before they ruin her life. What are the modern forties, and what do we know once we reach them? What makes someone a "grown-up" anyway? And why didn't anyone warn us that we'd get cellulite on our arms? Part frank memoir, part hilarious investigation of daily life, There Are No Grown-Ups diagnoses the in-between decade.
Publisher: New York :, Random House Large Print,, [2018]
Edition: Large print edition
Copyright Date: ©2018
ISBN: 9780525589389
Branch Call Number: LP 305.2442 DRU
Characteristics: 380 pages (large print) ; 23 cm
large print.,rda


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Jul 08, 2019

This isn't the book you think it is, so don't judge by the cover or the American-in-Paris or the midlife crisis subject matter. It is a book about getting older, sure, it is a book about living as a foreigner and raising kids in Paris, of course, but it is also a well-written guidebook to how to live. Like Montaigne only less male and privileged and old. There are hard lessons that you could either learn from this book or learn the hard way, through failure. And that sounds incredible. It is. She's done the hard work, thinking and failing and walking through mistakes with a close eye and clear voice, and all you have to do is slog through the icky parts and get to the brilliance.

Okay, icky parts. Yes there are a few. But you can skip those chapters (no I don't want to read about ANYBODY'S threesome) and still close the book at the end and have somehow become a better, more empathetic, more interesting, more wise person.

There are hard lessons, there are lists, there are epiphanies and there are lots of thoughts. Of aging and of life and how to live it without being an asshole. When you drop yourself into another culture, you can't help but switch it up and think about all the things you do and think. You assess your habits and assumptions. How much of this is me being a jerk and how much of this is me being an American?

Americans are a certain way when it comes to reading a room and social cues, and you probably didn't think you had anything to learn about this but you do. Americans don't leave anything out of the conversation. We TMI everything. A French person hates asking an American a question because, she writes, they know in return they will get a lecture. Before you say, "not me!" you might want to just read this and see if she has a point. Other cultures are not all wrong and we are not all right.

More than this, though, is such a delightful meandering through staying alive when you're no longer the young thing you think you will always be. When age hits, there are ways to feel blessed and this is the guidebook for the best of it.

Except for the threesome parts. Ew.

Sep 13, 2018

Enjoyable read. As I’m in my late 30s I found it inspiring. Love this author, very honest but also well written.

MrsIredale Jul 04, 2018

This was an enjoyable, funny and real book about getting older.

Jun 04, 2018

For those of us in our 40s, or otherwise worried about aging, it's a refreshing book which reminds us to take a step back and accept ourselves, warts and all, and that we are not alone in winging it when we "ought to be adults". We may no longer be in our 20s, and lines have crept up (I've been blaming my preschooler for both lines and greys), but we're not dead or useless, and certainly do have self-worth.

In Bringing Up Bebe, we were reminded that it's entirely possible that the child-centric approach by the English-speaking world is not necessarily healthy, for the children or the parents. I will fully admit that my family is my priority, but if I don't take care of myself, I certainly can not take care of my family. If I hate myself, my appearance, or my intellect, what type of model am I demonstrating to my children, particularly my daughter? If I don't work on maintaining a fun life with my spouse, what are we teaching our children about healthy relationships? We also learned that children can eat anything, sleep alone, and don't need to have extracurricular activities and tutors every waking moment of the day (though it's extremely difficult with Mompetition). Unfortunately, our kids are not growing up in a vacuum, and without the support of other parents also teaching their children things such as basic table manners and picking up after themselves, it's still an uphill battle, but that's ok--I'd rather have the kids develop better habits now, than try to have them unlearn terrible behaviour after they've hit puberty.

There Are No Grown-Ups, similarly, is full of the normal self-doubt we are each experiencing (Why don't I know this "adulting thing" by now? Does anyone else know? What do they know that I don't? Are they simply faking it better than me? Yes. To all of it), as well as an exuberant desire to understand and experiment, accept, alter one's perspective, move on.

It's hard, as an American, to age--we invented teenagers after WWII and a similarly youth-obsessed culture. This obsession has gone too far--teens are getting botox and implants (back in the 80s, it was nosejobs). We are told and believe that women can't get pregnant past 30 because they're too old (not true), that women past a certain age don't want to have sex (not true), that men only want women half their age (not true), that women and men aren't valuable in the workplace because they have aged-out of relevant experience (also not true).

My take-away from her books is that we are each valuable and worthwhile, even if we don't want to admit that we are old and clueless in certain ways, surprisingly comfortable and non-plussed in others. The grass isn't always greener and no point to not accepting yourself as you are, be comfortable in your own skin and the person you've become.

Pamela Druckerman: There are No Grown-ups


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Oct 05, 2018

I’m not thrilled about looking older. But I realize what unsettles me most about becoming “madame” is the implication that I’m now a grown-up myself. I feel like I’ve been promoted beyond my competence.

What is a grown-up anyway? Do they really exist? If so, what exactly do they know? And how can I make the leap to become one of them? Will my mind ever catch up with my face?

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