When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? Review

When Did Everybody Else Get So Old?

I read When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? (thanks, Handlebar, for a review copy), thinking it would be a humorous look at aging. We’re all aging, and if you can’t look at it in a lighthearted way, it can get a little heavy.

Author Jennifer Grant has written a series of essays here. Not all are about aging, but most are. There are several about the sentimentality of kids growing up (I love a quote she included by another author: “the very best thing about your life is a short stage in someone else’s story” … sigh). There are other essays about couples who appeared perfect but — no surprise here — ended up divorced. Essays about friends and family who died too soon. Witty phrases: “It takes a lifetime of struggle to get used to who you are.” On-point observations: she recounts what a bummer it was when grocery store baggers switched over from calling her “miss” to “ma’am.”

There were a few times when an editor was called for — “pour” over old photographs (yikes, imagine the damage!), “can also can fool us.”

Episcopalian

Grant has several scriptural references, notably from Ecclesiastes, and I enjoyed those comments on aging and on life in general. She mentions that she is Episcopalian, and I was really surprised as she went through several of her beliefs. She references “marriage equality,” “institutional racism,” “police officers … (who) shot and killed African American men, again and again,” “Father God or Mother God.” She also mentions that while in prayer she once “confessed being American … I didn’t ask to be born here” and also goes on about her belief that “all humankind” will end up reconciled to God and in heaven. She speaks of neighbors who were turned off to Christianity by their “very religious Christian neighbors” who didn’t recycle. Oh my. It’s just interesting to note how widely divergent views are out there among those who claim the title Christian.

So, overall, I wouldn’t pick this book up if you’re looking for something humorous. But if you’d like to read a series of essays on the passage of time, and you don’t mind a left-leaning slant, you may enjoy “When Did Everybody Else Get So Old?”

4 thoughts on “When Did Everybody Else Get So Old? Review

  1. Well, this is one I won’t be reading. I don’t care to read things written from a left-leaning slant. I hear enough of that on TV, or the few news stories I read. Not only is it left leaning, but it’s not theologically correct. One cannot dispute the fact that God is not our mother.

  2. The title caught my eye because I’ve had similar thoughts – when reconnecting on Facebook with someone I knew in high school or college, often my first thought is, “Wow, they got old.” They probably think they same thing looking at my pictures, though I don’t “feel” old – I am sure they don’t, either.

    But it doesn’t sound like much of her subject matter had to do with midlife. “Confessing” to being an American – as if that is a sin! It seems as though someone professing to believe in God would acknowledge His control over where she was born and trust that He had a reason for it.

    If you do find a humorous book on aging, let me know!

  3. Thank you for your interesting review. We may as well laugh about aging. It beats death by a country mile. I have a friend ten years older than myself. She lived with her mother all her life. Her mother is now deceased but earlier, she and her mother would plan trips when their birthdays were coming up. She said as they got a year older, trips took away some of the angst about their ages.

  4. Your review is great, as always. Aging has been very hard for me so anytime I can read something to make me feel better about it, I do. This book, however, would not do it for me. Like Elaine, I get way too much left-leaning news. I try to minimize it because it’s just not right. Thanks for telling us about the book.

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