Book Club: I Feel Bad about My Neck, by Nora Ephron
“I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman” is a collection of essays about the experience of growing older by Nora Ephron. She is best known for her movie scripts for romantic comedies like “Sleepless in Seattle” and “When Harry Met Sally.”
As Ephron reflected on her aging body, she decided to use humor and lighthearted cynicism to reveal her observations. She applied her dry sense of humor to soften the edges of the emotional and physical aches and pains emerging as she got older. It is a light read about a serious topic and a welcome addition to Ephron’s collection of books in light of her death in 2012.
Ephron discusses menopause, empty nesting and what she calls “maintenance.” She includes essays on beauty and the obsession many older women have to maintain a youthful appearance. She jokes about hair dye, lotions and creams that help to stop the clock, but realizes she can’t do anything about her neck. It represents the inevitable and her neck becomes a symbol for the experience of physical aging. She also writes about the losses that start to happen in midlife and how to come to grips with the reality of life transitions. Ephron also bravely tells a lot of intimate and funny stories about her own forgetfulness, friends, and family.
I think this book is a perfect choice for women in the Sixty and Me community. They will recognize and nod in agreement at the observations Ephron makes about getting old. Things like not being able to read the pill bottle, or remember why they even have the bottle in their hands. They will relate to her frustration with everyday tasks and pressures.
Her search for acceptance in society as an older woman will resonate. In so many ways we are just like her. Ephron’s wisdom, advice and poignant funny moments inspires us to be strong. Her honesty gives a crystal clear perspective on the ups and downs of aging.
If you don’t already have a copy of “I Feel Bad About My Neck,” you can get it on Amazon or free with a free 30-day trial on Audible.
To kick things off, here are a few questions. Please add your thoughts in the comments:
What was the one observation Ephron wrote about that made you say, “Yes that’s me?”
Did Ephron capture your experience of being an older woman?
What was the one piece of advice you appreciated reading?
In the book Ephron talks about how books changed her life. Is there one book that changed yours?
What was the funniest line in the book for you?
I hope that you enjoy this book! Please share your thoughts below.