Wendi Aarons is a renowned writer and humorist known for her exceptional wit and creativity. With a career spanning several decades, she has continued to captivate audiences through her writing and speeches. She gained recognition for her sharp and hilarious observations on everyday life, tackling topics ranging from parenting, relationships to middle age. Her writings have been featured in The New York Times, McSweeney's, and The Huffington Post, showcasing her ability to bring laughter and thought-provoking insights to readers around the world. Beyond her written works, her humor pieces have also been performed by award-winning actresses including Uzo Aduba, Sharon Horgan, and Alison Brie of "Glow.” Wendi has shared previously that her funny satirical voice did not gain much support while growing up. But she gained widespread recognition when she wrote an open letter to the brand manager of P&G on Happy Period which went viral.
Wendi Aarons has included the full open letter in her latest book "I am wearing tunics now"
"......Have you ever had a menstrual period, Mr. Thatcher? Ever suffered from “the curse”? I’m guessing you haven’t. Well, my “time of the month” is starting right now. As I type, I can already feel hormonal forces violently surging through my body. Just a few minutes from now, my body will adjust and I’ll be transformed into what my husband likes to call “an inbred hillbilly with knife skills.” ......Last month, while in the throes of cramping so painful I wanted to reach inside my body and yank out my uterus, I opened an Always maxi pad, and there, printed on the adhesive backing, were these words: “Have a Happy Period.”Are you fucking kidding me?....."
Her audience loves her candid repertoire on parenting and middle age perspectives combined with commonplace observations. Her first book "Ginger Mancino" has been extremely popular among kids and parents. In fact, her eponymous blog has been regarded as one of the funniest "Parenting Blogs". Now Wendi has come with her new publishing albeit for a completely new audience - Middle Aged Women.
There was just not much out there, humour wise on getting older, so I started writing my own short pieces
Wendi explains that she turned back to humor writing in her forties as a way to make sense of the world and cope with the emotional and physical changes of midlife. Feeling a lack of relatable humor on the topic, she began writing her own short pieces and eventually, there was a demand to turn them into a longer book.
Video Chapters from the Conversation(Click)
- Wendi Aarons : The Humorist
- Depicting Midlife and Tunics
- Fear of Aging
- Menopause "The Change"
- Memory Loss
- Making Friends as We Age
- Humour as a Purpose
- Finding Joy and Spreading Love
Wendi's latest book is a hilarious, candid, and inspiring memoir. In the book, Wendi has divided her own life journey as women's dress styles, highlighting the journey of self-discovery, psychological evolution, and confidence rigmarole.
Tunics is just a metaphor for - I am wearing whatever I want to wear and whatever that makes me comfortable
When you are never too old and never too young
Wendi has comically covered the life stages of a woman with what they wear. Her memoir starts when she was an anxious 30 year old with too much emphasis on perfection. She then covers her different life stages via heels, maternity pants, twinsets, and designer bags. There is continued confusion about what segment you are placed in! Are you young, old, midlifer, midlife enough or senior? These are questions that grapple almost everyone as we age. The book's title is meant to be funny and symbolic signifying that she has now, in her 50s, embraced comfort disregarding societal expectations.
Discussing the fear of aging, Wendi acknowledges that there is often more apprehension when we are younger. The realization that life is finite and seeing the numbers increase can be jarring. Wendi also shares her struggles with wrinkles and perfect self-image. Initially, she was attracted to high-priced products, even opting for Botox. However, she soon started to question the necessity of these efforts. While she still grapples with the desire to look good, she questions the cost and welcomes the changing priorities as one gets older.
Excerpt from the book (Chapter - Slippery Slope)
"...... The Botox smoothed away the credit card slot between your eyes, but we should do something about your eyelids now. The eyes are the window to the soul and yours look like they are covered in discount curtains from Home Goods. Read this pamphlet on blepharoplasty, then call my assistant, Jules, with questions. Jules is your age, but refuses to look it..... "
Wendi observes a range of perspectives among her female friends. Some friends opt for regular anti-aging procedures like Botox and fillers, while others reject them. The current trend is also not at all compassionate to growing older. There are simply too many pictures being taken at all instant and when mixed with digital filters, there is an unprecedented pressure to look perfect. Wendi finds herself somewhere in the middle, understanding the pressure to conform to beauty standards but also valuing self-acceptance.
I still grapple with wanting to do all of that! So do I try look like other woman who seem perfect? and then the other part of me is like why do I care?
The book also touches on the topic of menopause. Wendi highlights how menopause used to be a much private and less acknowledged topic even though around 50% of the population will at one point struggle with it. But now it has become much more mainstream shedding light on its significance. She hopes more women will find support and medical interventions that can improve their quality of life. As one ages, there are issues with memory as well. Wendi humorously shares her experiences when she was not able to remember her SSN digits on a call even though she had done it thousands of times before as well. While it can be frustrating, she believes that humor helps in accepting and adapting to the changes that come with age.
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Making New Friends as You Age
Another interesting aspect discussed in the book is the common notion that it becomes difficult to make friends as we age. Wendi discovered that this was not the case for her though. Through her writing, she was able to connect with like-minded individuals who appreciated her humor. These connections led to friendships and in-person meetings with Wendi introducing several people to each other. Soon, Wendi realized that she is in fact a super-connector! She encourages putting oneself out there and not limiting friendships to immediate surroundings, as friends can be found anywhere.
By midlife, you know who you are and you know what a friendship means, both good and bad. You know that life is hard. That's why we all need connection and community and love and support!
Loving the World and Finding Joy
Wendi discusses how she has found humor to be a great tool for both interacting with other people and as a tool for coping and finding joy even in the face of adversity. By sharing her own humorous anecdotes and perspectives, she hopes to inspire others in finding resilience. Wendi believes, as we grow older, it helps to realize our passion and focus on them. In return we can even mentor the new generation on that leaving the world a slightly better place than one finds it.
It doesn't have to be a huge thing, it can even be volunteering at an animal shelter or a simple check in on an older neighbor
Wendi encourages other to try out things that you may have always wanted to do as she says that once you start hitting midlife, there is not much time to waste around. Many articles lately talk about finding joy even when it means going to a joyful movie in a week or spending time with your friends!
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