with Lynne and Leslie
Category Archives: mature bride

So this is Christmas: You are the gift that keeps on giving, and stuff

by SweetMidlife

 

 

What’s inside? You! I mean, not in a creepy “We trapped you in a box” way. It’s metaphors, y’all

Leslie here, although I have the rare pleasure of sitting next to Lynne as I write this for we are together as a family in Sweet Midlife Central, located either the Mid-Atlantic region, Narnia or what ever “Scandal” version of D.C. it is where political prisoners have instant access to Brazilian blowouts and thousand dollar coats. Because we want to live there.

The journey of this blog has been a twisty, awesome one – we started as a voice for women getting married in their later 30s and older, older than the traditional bride but still wanting to hear stories, know about products and see confirmation that she existed. The more life handed us after the “I do!” portion of the situation, we knew that we wanted to expand our focus on a full life lived after the marketing demos tell you you’re washed up, whether those gifts we were being handed were kids, men, new jobs, loss, unwanted poundage or even a cupcake when we didn’t expect one. (Unexpected cupcakes are the best because you can tell the calorie counter in your head that you can’t refuse a gift! What are we, Gremlins?)

Anyway, you, dear reader, whoever you are, are a giant wrapped bow of a thing, because it has been so great and validating to know that we weren’t the only old brides, older moms (in Lynne’s case), awkward nail polishers or observers of weird weirdness in the universe. You are our Blind Melon’esque Bee Girl Colony, whoever you are, and we are pleased to twirl in the meadow with you. It’s not that we don’t look ridiculous. It’s that we look ridiculous together.


Wedding week: Be a cheerful giver…and getter

by SweetMidlife
There is no ticket price on a wedding invitation. 

Leslie here!

I remember being blown away as a young adult when I found out how a bridal gift registry worked.

“So you’re saying that I go into a store, look up things I want, write them down and then people buy me what I asked for?”

“Yep.”

“What sweet madness is this?”

By the time I got to fill out my own gift registry, it was almost two decades later, and I’d been on the other side of that sweet madness many, many times. I thought that having experience buying gifts for people made me pretty judicious in what I asked from other people, as in: I felt that my job as a wedding guest was to buy you a gift, preferably one you had asked for, that did not make me look cheap without putting my rent in jeopardy. I learned, especially when I was younger, that you had to jump on the registry and buy the less-expensive nice gifts first or someone was going to beat you to it. And if a bride ONLY had high dollar items on the registry, I either bought a $50 gift certificate or went in with friends.

So as a bride, I was very careful to have a range of things I registered for, in price and in fanciness. I was almost 39 when I got married, so while I already had towels and plates, I registered for some that could establish us as a new household. However, I didn’t go crazy and say “Y’all better buy me $50 a piece towels,” because it is not anyone else’s responsibility to buy my fancy towels. Of course, the registry is just a suggestion, as far as I was concerned. While there were a couple of things we got where we were like “Uh, OK!” we accepted everything cheerfully and gratefully.

Because they were gifts.

And not legal obligations.

Or compensation or reimbursement for the money we spent on the wedding.

I’ve read some horror stories online on sites like HellsBells, where people submit hideous stories of bad wedding etiquette, about wedded ingrates who start email battles with guests whose gifts they consider unworthy of the money they spent on their meal, or of one idiot who tried to return a beautifully presented “wedding cake” made of the towels HE AND HIS FIANCEE HAD REGISTERED FOR to the co-worker who had painstakingly assembled it, because they didn’t want “artsy crafty” gifts.

And expected her to buy them something else.

What?

Nobody had to buy me crap. But they did. And when they did, we thanked them and moved on, particularly because we got enough cash to buy our own towels if we decided to. A wedding invitation should not have a dollar sign on it. All you need to do is RSVP in time to ensure that I don’t pay for your dinner if you’re not gonna show, and then just show up and not start a fist fight in the buffet line or cuss out my grandmother. That’s it. Gifts are usually expected, but if you don’t give me one, the wedding’s already been paid for so while it’s not the custom, it’s not like I need your check. And unless your gift is a rotting bag of oranges, illegal substances or something I gave you with the price tag scratched off, it’s cool.

Feeling this way does not make me perfect or a martyr. It just makes me a grown-up, I hope, because my wedding didn’t roll out the way I’d planned, requiring me to adjust my definition of gift. After my husband and I had paid the deposit on the hotel where we’d be married and started telling people the date, we found that he had a tumor in his ear for which his insurance would not cover the surgery to remove, as it was a pre-exisiting condition. After about a week of worry, we decided to get married in the same place we’d planned, with the dress I’d purchased and as many people as we could get from the original guest list…just several months earlier.

Immediately, we called our loved ones, most of whom lived several states and a couple of hundred dollars of plane tickets away, and said “We love you and want you here, but we understand that you now have four weeks rather than five months to buy plane tickets or bridesmaids dresses or gifts. You now have to decide what to do with your kids who were invited for what was supposed to be a summer wedding, when they were out of school, but who will now still be in school. You have to rearrange possible vacation days, or check your calendar. We know we are asking a lot of you, so understand that we mean it when we say…if you cannot make it we will never be mad about that. And if you come, particularly if it’s going to cost you more to come now than it would during the summer…consider that your gift.”

And we meant it. But you would not believe the gifts that we got – the gift of the friend who called Costco and personally ordered my flowers, and then yelled at them for a refund when they screwed it up. The gift of a song that a friend learned to play for our recessional. The gift of free photography from friends who usually charge thousands, or of wedding planning from a friend who had charged that much professionally to do the same. The gift of various wedding party members running out to buy last-minute candles, to pick up out of town guests I’d forgotten to update on changed plans. The gift of my grandma, who didn’t think she could travel after surgery but who, on a fixed income, got clearance and bought a last minute ticket anyway which wasn’t cheap, even at senior prices.

These are gifts that are given out of love, that cost money and time and effort and organization. They are not sold at Pottery Barn. There is no gift certificate for “fill out place cards the morning of the wedding at the bride gets stuffed into her dress.” That’s a gift, nonetheless.

And I wouldn’t exchange them. They are priceless.


Happy SITS Day at Sweet Midlife! Serving up twin realness since 1971!

by SweetMidlife

Nancy the comic strip and a gypsy in a Holly Hobby turtleneck walk into a room. There is much cuteness and nothing much gets accomplished.

OK, so technically we haven’t been blogging that long. There were no blogs in 1971, and there certainly weren’t computers when we met, in a nice warm womb in Baltimore. But blogs are really just communication, and we, Lynne and Leslie, the twins who write this blog, have certainly always done that. It was probably something like “You’re taking up too much room in here,” which isn’t all that eloquent or blog-worthy.

But it was a start.

So here we are, nearly 42 years later, both married but living in different states. One’s a mom. One’s not (yet). One’s a teaching artist, the other a newspaper reporter. Both got married in their 39th year, barely escaping the Spinster Buzzer (which sounds like the legs of a rocking chair going over the tails of many cats.) We’re both kinda goofy, but have a lot to say about relationships, friendships, dirty dishes, reality stars who won’t show up, death, life and cheese.

Interestingly, this used to be a blog about being older brides, and we still talk about the state of relationships that bear the benefit of having (alleged) wisdom under our belts. But weddings are just the candy-covered frosting of the rest of your life, and that’s where we like to be. The cake’s the good part.

So come on in and hang out. Tell us what you think. Give us some advice. Encourage Lynne to finish that framed calendar thing she’s been trying to craft. Make Leslie go to boot camp. Tell us where the good cheese is.

And thanks for coming!


Yes, I was an old bride! And thanks for the ice cream!

by SweetMidlife

Taken three years ago. And no, this is not from a Lifetime movie.

The hubby and I just got back from a quick but satisfying third anniversary getaway in Vero Beach, Florida, less than two hours away from home but a whole world removed from the “Lookit my money” feel of Palm Beach or the “Lookit my boobs” feel of Miami. The evening was notable in many ways, and not just how the very nice people at the resort, from the staff to the other guests, tried to not looked shocked when two middle-aged people explained they were celebrating their third, not 20th, anniversary. It was kinda sweet, but we get it. We’re old. We’re fine with it. Thanks for the complimentary anniversary spiked ice cream sandwich and cocktails anyway!

Honestly, everyone was incredibly sweet and seemed happy for us, even though they didn’t know us. The cool thing about where we are in society is that there is less of a stigma to being married later in life – especially first marriages – and you know both of the writers of this here blog wed at 38, nearly 39, for the first time. So it’s surprising to me when people are obviously shocked when they see us, quickly surmise the 4- in our ages, and then do the math in their heads when we reveal that we’re newlyweds.

“First wedding?” many people say, as if being second-timers has to explain it.

Umm, no. I was Spinsterella till I met this here bald man, who was also a bachelor before me. I didn’t just escape a convent, he hadn’t taken a vow of celibacy and neither of us were horribly damaged socially awkward misfits who’d never been kissed. It just hadn’t happened. And then it did. And we were happy. And although neither of us were as young, thin and fresh as we may have imagined being on our jaunt down the aisle, we wouldn’t have changed the way things turned out for anything in the world, except that meeting earlier would have given us more time together.

In short, we’re not young. But our love is. It’s a lumpy, bald love, but the kind that giggles easily, that doesn’t get freaked out when someone farts in bed, that shrugs off the small stuff and says “It took my whole life to find you. You’re never getting rid of me. Let me lick my finger to wipe that ketchup off your face and then let’s enjoy this free anniversary dessert. We’ve earned it.”


Old weird love: Celebrating the romance of aches and pains

by SweetMidlife

Grown and sexy. With Spanx!

Leslie here! One of my favorite things about “30 Rock” is Tina Fey’s ability to sneak a surprisingly poignant moment into the most goofily surreal scene. There’s an episode where nutty egomaniac TV star Tracy Jordan has supposedly taken off to Africa (we find out later he’s hiding out in New York), propelling his wife Angie to seize the spotlight with her wacko Bravo reality show “Queen of Jordan” (“HAAAM!)

Angie protests that Tracy’s absence is a good thing because it allows her to come out of his shadow. But in the middle of the wackiness, she admits something to de facto confidante/boss/bewildered observer Liz Lemon – the things about Tracy that drive her insane, like him showing up drunk at their wedding or basically being a crazy person are the same things that draws her to him.

“I miss my weird love,” she wails, and I remember clapping in recognition at that line, because I, too have a weird love. And an old love, relatively speaking – not older than me, because we’re both old. A love that I found at the relatively advanced age of 38, past the age where I was my youngest or cutest or skinniest, at the age where 10 p.m. is the time we’re coming home exhausted rather than headed out. Sometimes, he’ll lovingly point out when I have an old-lady whisker (Don’t worry, 20-somethings. It’s coming for you one day) and I’ll kiss him on his bald head.

And we wouldn’t have it any other way.

I have the luxury of knowing what my husband looked like at 15, when he was all dark hair and swagger and high school hallway card games in his Camaro. And he sure was cute. But he was just some guy in my class. He wasn’t mine. What he looked like from 23-37 I know from photos, and he was cute, but he wasn’t mine. The 41-year-old with the bald head who falls asleep early and is a proud baseball and wrestling uncle to his nephew, who’s as confident in the Spongebob aisle at Toys-R-Us as he is in a silk shirt at a casino? He’s mine. I would cut a skank over him. And I am madly, passionately, girlfriendly in love with him. I sometimes wish we’d gotten together sooner, but only because that would have given us even more time together.

The woman that he fell in love with was 20 pounds past her marathon weight, not as fly as she used to be and given to crankiness, as well as to karaoke binges, true crime shows and stuff about wedding dresses. And he fell in love with her anyway. I’ll look wistfully at my skinny photos and say “Don’t you wish you’d met her?” And he’ll look at me and say “Why? I love you!” And then Billy Joel comes into my head and we love each other just the way we are, crankiness and cellulite and baldness and weird whiskers. And then someone falls asleep on the couch.

I don’t love him in spite of that stuff, or vice versa. We fell in love with the old, weird versions of each other. And that makes me smile. And then wanna take a nap, because I’m old.


“Grey’s Anatomy,” cheating and who your person should be

by SweetMidlife

Leslie here. It’s been ages since Lynne watched “Grey’s Anatomy” regularly – the silliness of the romance-go-round, the increasingly dumb “ER”-esque all-hands-on-decks crisis plots (“Tonight: A UFO full of killer alien sharks lands on Seattle Grace!”) got on her nerves. But I couldn’t help but call her this morning to muse about last night’s episode, where our favorite doctors were preparing to take their medical board exams in the midst of personal emergencies, adorable babies with the stomach flu, cheating and the world’s fastest airplanes that can magically get a doctor back and forth between Seattle and San Francisco at will, in like 30 minutes.

The thing that struck me was the late-episode conversation between Meredith (Ellen Pompeo), trying not to puke her guts out from the stomach flu given to her by the aforementioned adorable baby, the blessed Zola, and prickly genius bestie Cristina (the brilliant Sandra Oh), through the closed door of Meredith’s hotel room so that Cristina wouldn’t catch any of her flu germs the night before the boards. The show has established that no matter what their romantic status – Meredith is currently happily married to Dr. Derek “McDreamy” Shepard (Patrick Dempsey), while Cristina is barely hanging on to civility with husband/professional brooder Dr. Owen Hunt (Kevin McKidd) – they are each other’s “person.” Sometimes this is good – I have a few incredibly close girlfriend soul mates who have been my brain and heart for ages, and who I go to in a different way than I go to my husband.

But…and I mean this…my husband is my ultimate person. This was not an easy transition – I got married at 38, almost 39, and my friends, many of whom I’ve literally known more than half my life – and it was an adjustment to rely on one person so much. But that’s the sweet, scary part about marriage and committed relationships – the awesome, crazy risks you take, and how vulnerable you are to the person you gave your heart to. Cristina and Meredith still have some issues with this – when Owen and Cristina were in counseling about their various issues, including the abortion she had that he was opposed to, he yelled “I should be your person!” (I think we can all agree that no matter what your feelings on abortion are, that they should be discussed before you, you know, get married. Ditto whether you want to have children. Right? Geez.)

Last night, as I said, the couple was as far away from each other emotionally as Pat Buchanan is from leading a pro-Obama rally. He admitted that he had cheated on her, partially because he was drunk and stupid, and partially because he was still devastated over the abortion and not being able to talk about it with her. And she pretty much checked out emotionally and hasn’t really dealt with him or consulted him about anything in her life, including where she’s going to move and go work after the boards.

Meredith found out accidentally about Owen’s cheating, because he assumed, her being his wife’s person and all, that she had told her. But she hadn’t, which, to me, pointed to the fact that Cristina was finally learning some boundaries, or priorities (or maybe she just completely didn’t want to deal with it.) And last night, even though Cristina went back and forth in the same conversation about whether she’d be leaving Owen and headed to Hopkins or some other far-off hospital, she said something else that showed that her reasoning, or maybe her personhood, had evolved.

Meredith, because she is used to always solving Cristina’s issues or at least at trying to, offered to let her move in with she and Derek, and was sort of stunned that Cristina hadn’t decided to be done with her marriage.

“He cheated,” she said – and let us remember that even though McDreamy didn’t tell her that he was estranged but still married to his cheating wife when they got together, there was some coupling going on even after that, and…hi…pot, kettle, blackness. But Cristina said something that was incredibly wise – not necessarily right, because right is defined by the couple, and their feelings and situations – but wise. She told Meredith that she realized that Owen, while wrong, had gotten drunk and had sex with someone once, and that she could even see herself doing that at some point, if pushed. And she wondered if that one mistake was worth her whole marriage.

That depth of analysis isn’t always a “Grey’s Anatomy” thing – for instance, they seem to have forgotten about Meredith and Derek’s origins – and it’s not always something you see on TV, where having the spouse of a more popular, established character cheat on them is a clear sound that the cheater’s getting written off. And Owen still might, because I can’t imagine where they’re gonna go with this – the doctors in that class are all applying to other hospitals and Cristina seems to want to go. Also, he’s way broody to an almost distracting extent, which is not fun to watch.

Their future aside, it’s interesting that the show is examining Cristina and Owen’s marriage in more than a surface way – they’ve provided more depth in the show’s friendships, which are more complex, than in the romantic relationships, which tend to be “You love me. You cheated. You lied. You bad. You die” or finite things like that. But here, Cristina is having to decide whether or not Owen’s one-time cheating is worth her whole marriage, which is something only she can decide. Meredith assumes that she’s leaving him, and doesn’t get why she wouldn’t.

And that’s because – and here is where the grown-up personhood comes in – she is no longer the most relevant Person in this scenario, as far as Cristina and her decisions go, because Meredith is not inside Cristina’s marriage. She is not seeing it the way Cristina is because she doesn’t have that vantage point from inside her head and her heart, weighing the hurts and the promise equally and making the decision. And Cristina doesn’t need her judgment. She needs her to chill and let Cristina handle it.

I have been on the outside of several relationships of people I have loved where there was cheating. Sometimes the relationships ended, and sometimes they didn’t. But I can tell you that in every single one of those relationships, the cheating was a symptom of some other issue, and it wasn’t the first sign of fissure. And the people inside of those unions had to decide – what is the more important thing here? Is there a pattern? Is this the final straw on the back of this particular camel? Or is this a one-time mistake that heralds a problem that through honesty and patience and some really hard work can be made right? Whatever decision those couples made was the one that was right for them, the one that was made from their unique vantage point, and nobody can really judge it but them because they aren’t them.

“Grey’s Anatomy” is not real life – the sheer number of craziness that happens at the hospital alone defies reality – but sometimes it does hit on some scenarios that echo it, like the fundamental damage bad parenting can do, or what it’s like to watch your friends have the marriages, kids or career you assumed would be yours, or just like hilarity that ensues when uber-driven Type A’s find they can’t control the universe. And even if Owen is eaten by an alien shark in the ER before any real, satisfying resolution is reached between he and
Cristina. I still enjoyed that one moment where Cristina said, out loud, that she was thinking outside of her own hurt and shock and ambitions, if even for 30 seconds, and wondering if her connection to Owen was more important and could be worked on. Cristina’s detachment is one of her trademarks, and even if she leaves him – she said in the conversation that she might anyway – it’s a decision that will come from consideration, and not just a knee-jerk reaction to what any Person besides she and her husband believe.


Happily Married? We Wanna Hear About It.

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here.

So yesterday I wrote about this special on ABC News’ “20/20” that featured celebrities who have had successful marriages.  We thought it was refreshing because most of the marriage stories you hear out of Hollywood are break-ups.  And it made me think that as lovely as it was to hear the stories of people in La-La Land, how even more wonderful it would be to hear YOUR stories.  So, in honor of Valentine’s Day, we wanna hear about your love stories. Been married 6 months? A year? 5? 20? 50? We would love to hear about you and your sweetie, and what makes you stick together.  And if you would let us, we would love to feature your story on our website! Here’s what you can do.  Write a comment here are on our Facebook page, or email us (and send pics!!) to bride35@gmail.com.   Okay? Your stories make people smile, and they give hope to EVERYBODY, single or married, because they give us a picture of what COULD be. And you wanna make people smile, right? Hee. Come on. Tell you story.


Today’s reason I’m glad I got married: Airport pickups!

by SweetMidlife

Don't need this no more!

Leslie here!

I didn’t drive till I was 22 – the kindness of strangers and the ease of public transport helped me survive- but in the nearly two decades since then, I have paid that karmic debt back by being the queen of the ride giving. Need a designated driver? I’m there. Need a lift home from a party? Leslie’s taxi at your service! I have particularly been pressed into service as an airport transporter, largely because I was part of a network of single women who didn’t have local family or a significant other to automatically assume the duty.

But after a while, in the sunrise/sunset thingamagic that is life, things change. A lot of my mutual airport hook-ups moved away, meaning that they were now going to airports, and I no longer had anyone to reciprocate when I needed a lift. That’s particularly problematic when I’m hitting a further-away airport – the local one is ten minutes from my office, so if need be I can park there and cab it. But I’m not paying for a cab for 45 minutes, and the rail service, while available, is sometimes not convienent (read: running when the heck I need it to).

So, in the spirit of the old beer commercials, I gotta give today’s Bride at 35 Nod of Excellence, which I made up several words ago, to Mr. Legally Contracted To Pick Me Up From The Airport, otherwise known as my husband. (I know that’s probably not in the law, but that was 100 percent in my wedding vows, up there with always taping our soap operas and never punking on him.)

“If I fly out of Fort Lauderdale instead of Palm Beach, will you take me to the airport and pick me up?” I asked Scott.

“I’m almost insulted,” he said. “Of course. We’re married. Are you kidding me?”

That’s what I like to hear. I asked because I never had anyone who thought it was their duty to take me anywhere, although my sister usually does the duty when I’m on her end. I actually had a guy break up with my via text message when I was out of town but still pick me up from the airport the next day because he’d promised, making him only half a douche. And when I visited Oil Rigging Guy, my least-favorite mistake, he picked me up, but couldn’t take me to the airport because he was working. Supposedly. That guy was such a liar I sometimes think he conjured his own existence up with false memories and crocodile tears.

But my husband is a stand-up guy, and a man. A real man. The kind of man who watches fashion shows on TV because I like them, who gets insulted at the mere implication that I’d have to ask him for rides when of course he’ll give them. He’s the best man in the world, and I waited all this time to have him. And get free rides to the airport.


A Year in the Life

by SweetMidlife

So, over the weekend, my husband and I celebrated our first wedding anniversary (this is Lynne, by the way).  When we got married, we honeymooned sort of local, at a bed and breakfast in St. Michaels, on the eastern shore of Maryland. We always said that we would celebrate our first anniversary in the Carribbean, on a big trip. Fast forward a year, to our anniversary trip to….. a bed and breakfast in Chestertown, on the eastern shore of Maryland. Actually, we went for one night, then came back and stopped at the Outlets (YAY, GAP!!), went to Italian place up the street, and got dessert from the Rite-Aid (Snickers are yummy, y’all).  Then the next morning we went to brunch, and I spent most of the rest of the day in bed watching DVR’d movies because what I ate at said brunch didn’t sit well with the cold I had.  And it was a wonderful weekend.   And for us, more rewarding than a trip to Jamaica. This is because I ate that Snickers and watched those movies at the house we moved into a week before.  

So, all that to say, over the past year, I have found joy in the unexpected, like watching WWE, or delight in the little things, like elegant meals of fish subs, french fries and canned soda, or contentment in the every day, like watching my husband breathing as he sleeps, or security in the routine, like hearing his keys in the door.  And blessings in things like new houses. Because all of these things, small or large, add up to roots, to togetherness. And that’s what this thing is all about.


Book review: “Love For Grown-Ups”

by SweetMidlife

Here at Bride at 35, we’re all about creating your own traditions, which is why we dig the idea of The Garter Brides, friends over 35 who passed on their wedding garters to each other, and then kept it going – my sister Lynne described it as the grow-up version of “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants.” Neither of us wore garters for our special days, but we like the idea.

And I liked their book, “Love For Grown-Ups: The Garter Brides’ Guide To Marrying For Life When You’ve Already Got A Life,” because it fits in so much with our own philosophy. We set out to talk about what brides over 35 go through, but have realized that our audience is more than women who’ve either gotten their rings or are dusting off their wedding photos. It’s those who haven’t found their soul mate yet but like the blog because it gives them hope. Love happens when it happens, and sometimes that’s later than you thought.

That’s the sweet, honest charm of “Love For Grown-Ups,” credited to the original Garter Brides Ann Blumenthal Jacobs, Patricia Ryan Lampl, and Trish Rabe. With advice ranging from dating to what to wear at the wedding, the writers reference not only their own experiences but those of other brides.

To me, the varied nature of that advice is what makes the book works, because it acknowledges that no two women are alike – that’s one of the major fails of some wedding industry advice, that assumes that everyone’s the same. The Brides talk about how sometimes, over 35, you’ll be with someone who has kids, or maybe you do. Maybe it’s your first wedding, or your third.

There’s a very detailed chapter called “Who Are All These People?” that talks about becoming a part of someone’s life when that life is full of friends, family, maybe kids. How do you deal with that? This is the chapter I think I’d have found the most valuable had I read it before I got married, because both my husband and I have, and have had full lives whose human parts didn’t always initially mesh smoothly – I’d been unmarried for 37 years when I started dating Scott, and it was an adjustment.

And that, again, is why I liked the book – You are not alone as a single 35-year-old, and you’ve got sisters all around the world who want to share their experiences with you. That means, of course, that not all of the experiences will relate to you. Of course, it’s interesting to read about stuff that happens to other people, but there were parts that seemed to assume that most of the women reading the book had already been married at least once, or that their spouse- t0-be had. Neither Lynne or I had, and neither of us had considered wearing a non-traditional wedding dress or forgoing bridesmaids or not doing anything we wanted just because of our age.

And to its credit, the book is most specific about something we’re adamant about – there is no one way to get married, or fall in love, or be a wife, or a mom, or a stepdaughter. It’s an easy read, which I devoured on a three-hour bus trip to New York last week. You’ll enjoy it. Again, depending on who you are, you might not not relate to every piece of advice. But that’s life. It’s breezy, fun and a worthwhile guide.


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