No, I am not quite there yet, but the dreaded 5-0 is creeping ever closer. Therefore it was not really a stretch to feel quite connected with Amanda Wilson, the heroine of Carol E. Wyer's "Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines." Amanda is about to turn fifty, her husband is treating her like she's invisible, things in her life are shifting rapidly (and mostly downwards), her moods are volatile at best and the world is not making very much sense. So what does a woman do at such a time? Well, if she's a modern one, she starts to write a blog and tells the world about everything that drives her crazy. Yes, the Internet is the cure-all nowadays, and very quickly Amanda will get some faithful followers for her blog, who will look forward to her adventures.
Buying a bunch of new cosmetics in attempt to revert the aging process? "Meeting" an old flame online and thinking about meeting him for a little reunion? Thinking you are an empty nester, just to have your son move back in? Dealing with your rather crazy old mother, who refuses to give in to old age? Fighting moles in the garden? Weekend survival courses for the spouse? There is a story in each of those events, and Amanda's faithful followers chime in with fantastic comments every time. Will the marriage survive?
I have greatly enjoyed "Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines." I found the author's writing style to be pleasantly chatty and very real, and the issues Amanda faced all too believable. The inclusion of the ever-present Internet activities made this story particularly relevant, and a good illustration of what we do or don't know about the people we might "meet" there. Some of the revelations towards the end of the book will probably surprise you a bit, and they should serve as a serious reminder that the cyber world is truly all-inclusive.
While I did not always like Amanda's character, she kept me amused throughout the book and I found her to be well drawn and believable. If I had my pick, I'd rather be like her amazingly quirky Mum, who was my absolute favorite throughout the book. Maybe I'll get as brave as she was one day, and I will treat myself to a sports car as well...
"Mini Skirts and Laughter Lines" was a feel-good book and one that I would highly recommend to any woman who is even remotely battling a mid-life crisis. If Amanda could do it, we all could!