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8 Funny (And True!) Midlife Tips From The Author of 'I’m Wearing Tunics Now'

These are hilarious.

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Portrait of author Wendi Aarons wearing a pink tunic
Courtesy Wendi Aarons (Photography by Elizabeth McGuire)
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"I had a midlife crisis in a Dillard's. I would have preferred my breakdown to have taken place somewhere a little more upscale, like a Nordstrom or maybe even a Neiman Marcus, but a mid-priced Texan department store with bad lighting and a teenage shoplifting problem was probably more fitting."

In her hilarious memoir, I’m Wearing Tunics Now: On Growing Older, Better, and a Hell of a Lot Louder, Wendi Aarons, 55, takes us on her journey through midlife, where she discovers herself, her voice and her new appreciation for sales at Eileen Fisher. With her signature wit, Wendi shares her take on midlife with The Girlfriend.

Do you still listen to the critic in your head?

I haven’t completely stopped listening to the critic in my head, but at 55, that critic is a lot gentler and more compassionate. That’s part of getting older and gaining more wisdom and experience, but it’s also the maturity that comes with being more comfortable in your skin. I wish I knew exactly how and why this happens so I could hire a team of evil scientists to bottle it and make me rich, but I have no idea. All I know is that it’s nice to look in the mirror and no longer hear the “Oh my God, you should work out more, you slob” voice.

Is midlife more fun?

I don’t know if I’d say “fun,” but there’s a lot more freedom that comes when you’re an empty nester and/or more settled in your career and life. It’s almost like you’re in your 20s again, except for the skin tags and GERD. In midlife, you hopefully have more time to pursue your interests now that you don’t have to find a sitter, drive kids to practice or run away from PTO moms in the grocery store.

How have you made reconnecting with your spouse a priority as empty nesters?

Chris and I have been married for 30 years, and we were happy to discover that we still like each other once our kids moved out. But to make sure it stays that way, we’ve made it a priority to do things together, like going to museums on the weekend and taking road trips where we don’t have to suffer at waterparks. We’re also in the process of turning our upstairs into a theater room so we can work our way through the AFI’s list of top 100 films and then argue about them.

What is the importance of having a passion or creative outlet?

My books I’m Wearing Tunics Now and Ginger Mancino, Kid Comedian both came out in 2023, which was also the year I became an empty nester. I can’t state enough how nice it was to have the distraction of trying to sell books. But more than that, the books helped me connect with old friends and new readers, and that’s the best part of a creative outlet like writing, in my opinion. I encourage everyone to find something that is just for them, whether it's taking a class they’ve never tried before, painting, or picking up ballet where they left off at age 13. Why not? Start doing those pliés, ladies.

What is the one thing you thought was important that isn’t anymore?

Abs.

You said you didn’t realize everything would hurt so much. How do you make peace with that?

It’s humbling to hurt your back because you stood in line for ice cream too long. But you still got ice cream!

Often with age comes confidence. What do you do now that you wouldn’t have had the courage to do as a younger woman?

I speak up and out a lot more now than I ever did before. I was always worried about what others thought of me and my political opinions, but now the stakes are too high to keep quiet when it feels like civilization’s wheels have come off. At this age, we know what’s right, what’s wrong, and how we want the world to be for the next generation. My book Tunics starts where I won’t even speak up at Bunco night and ends with me making a speech on the steps of the Texas State Capitol.

You joke in your book about how your midlife body has changed. Have you made peace with it?

I’m wearing tunics now. That’s a metaphor for feeling comfortable in my skin, but it’s also true. Hit me up for a partnership, Johnny Was!

What have you learned as you've grown older? Share a bit of wisdom with us in the comments below.

Follow Article Topics: Lifestyle