Questions to get you started…

Here are a few questions you can ask the other members of your monthly gathering to see just which essays they pored over for advice, quickly skimmed, or skipped altogether.
(Hey, it’s a collection; you’re allowed.)

  1. Why did the cosmetician’s unfamiliarity with English pronouns doom her sale of anti-aging cream to Renate Mohr?
  2. Which sex siren was Elizabeth May compared to in her youth?
  3. How many of the lessons Susans Delacourt and Harada learned by going back to school involved alcohol?
  4. Which essay uses menopausal chickens as a narrative device?
  5. What stunt did Lillian Zimmerman’s friend try to jumpstart her sex life?
  6. Did it work?
  7. Why does Susan Mertens colour her hair, anyway?
  8. Which famous poets did Ann Cowan turn to for solace in her self-administered bibliotherapy?
  9. How many times does the word “wrinkles” appear in the book?
  10. How many references to “grey hair” are there?
  11. And “menopause”?
  12. Wait a second: wasn’t this supposed to be a book about the benefits of maturity?
  13. Which piece did you identify with the most?
  14. What does that say about you?
  15. Did any of the pieces make you:
    a. cringe with embarrassment
    b. squirm with discomfort
    c. laugh out loud
    d. weep
  16. If I had approached you to contribute to the book, would you have:
    a. laughed at my premise?
    b. expressed a desire to buy the book?
    c. started writing?
    d. all of the above?
  17. Can you guess the identity of the politician who penned the condescending email referred to in my introduction?

(For the record, the book contains 17 references to wrinkles, but most of those appear in two essays. Grey hair comes up 14 times and menopause is referred to directly only 8 times. Which is impressive, considering. Hands, on the other foot, are mentioned a whopping 52 times — and only half of those are in my essay.)

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