Don't Count the Candles -- Just Keep the Fire Lit: Staying Young at Any Age

Overview

I've had my face revised from time to time. In fact, Darwin would be happy to know that my face is in a constant state of evolution.

Leave it to the inimitable Joan Rivers to tell the whole truth about how women feel when it comes to getting older. But while you can't stop time, you don't have to speed it up or let it determine the way you look and feel. Now, in this funny, charming, and practical new book, she shows every woman how to be the ...

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Overview

I've had my face revised from time to time. In fact, Darwin would be happy to know that my face is in a constant state of evolution.

Leave it to the inimitable Joan Rivers to tell the whole truth about how women feel when it comes to getting older. But while you can't stop time, you don't have to speed it up or let it determine the way you look and feel. Now, in this funny, charming, and practical new book, she shows every woman how to be the best she can be and stay youthful, healthy, and mellow at any—and every—age.

Filled with the latest information on anti-aging breakthroughs as well as entertaining personal anecdotes and stories told with Joan Rivers's incomparable verve and wit, Don't Count the Candles...offers down-to-earth, sensible advice on wardrobe, makeup, fitness, diet, surgery, sex (well, did you think she wouldn't? Grow up!), lifestyle, relationships, and everything in between that every woman old enough to remember the Beatles needs. In her own personable style, Joan Rivers offers a unique, enlightening, and ultimately uplifting take on every aspect of staying young:

IQ does not decrease with age. If you were a moron at twenty, you will be a moron at seventy-five.

They say that when you get older, your sex life diminishes. That would mean I'd owe.

At fifty, confine your piercing to sardine cans and keep your hair short.

Eat all you want, just don't swallow it.

A roll in the hay keeps the doctor away—unless he happens to be in the hay with you.

Getting older doesn't have to mean the end; these days there's no such thing as over the hill, because the hill has beenmoved—whether you're hitting your forties, or well into your fifties, or sixty and beyond. "The stock of where you are chronologically, to realize all the baggage that comes with aging—and then not to accept it. Yes, refuse to pay the COD. I believe infighting aging all the way, but fighting it constructively and with intelligence. Doing what we can do to look the best that we can look. Being the best we can possibly be."

As she so vividly emphasizes, it's all about attitude. Life is a gift, and what's the alternative? Take it from Joan Rivers—the fight against time has only just begun. You've got a lot of living left to do!

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Her advice: stay young or die trying.
Kirkus Reviews
No go-with-the-flow aging for Joan Rivers. Fight it every way you can, she exhorts: diet, exercise, makeup, clothes, plastic surgery, sex with younger men.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060183837
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 3/28/1999
  • Pages: 194
  • Product dimensions: 5.81 (w) x 8.65 (h) x 0.83 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Fine If You're Wine

Let me say straight off: Aging sucks. Put more elegantly, it's lousy. Nobody wants to get older. Nobody wants to lift her arm and see crepe paper, but there it is. I don't care how young you are: You can't say it doesn't hurt when you get into a bathing suit and don't look as good as you did ten years ago, or even five.

People who tell you that age is wonderful are lying. We've all heard this whopper: "You're not getting older, you're getting better."

Really? Is that a medical diagnosis? Then you had better get a second opinion because I can't find my glasses to read how good I've become.

In the middle of the nineteenth century, when liposuction was still a dream and Esoterica was a young lady's name and almost no one went to Fort Lauderdale, an Englishman named Robert Browning wrote:

Grow old along with me.
The best is yet to be.

Clearly, this man was a minor poet. Or else, when he wrote those lines, he was twelve.

Getting older happens to be a particularly foolish direction to go in America, where almost everyone is obsessed with age, where numbers are always and pointlessly attached to every name that's published in a newspaper or magazine:

Joe Creamer, 43, and his daughter Tiffany-Ann, 9, were merrily chasing a bunny, 2, when TIffany-Ann tripped on the root of atree, 106.

James Thurber, the great humorist, had the right idea when he said, "The trouble with us is that we number everything. I think we deserve to have more than fourteen years between the ages of twenty-six and forty."

Any woman who says "I'm happy to be 106" is also notembracing the truth. She wishes to hell she were still forty-one. Old age is not the golden one. You're not automatically wiser. You're not automatically smarter. All you are is automatically less of a sex symbol. You might even be one of those gray people to whom nobody gravitates or talks at a party. It's awful to walk into a crowded room and be the oldest person there. You find that people are looking right through you. You've become invisible.

As British writer Anthony Powell said, "Growing old is like being increasingly penalized for a crime you haven't committed."

However, as fervently as we wish that time didn't fly but just sat in the terminal, everyone does keep getting older. Even the baby boomers. No, especially the baby boomers. I am always amused when a newspaper or magazine refers to an older man or woman as "an aging tax evader" or "an aging sadomasochist." Is there anyone postpartum who could be described as younging?

We are so idiotically hung up on age that Isabella Rossellini, one of the most ethereally beautiful women in our solar system, was fired as the face that promoted a major cosmetics company by some mentally challenged executives who felt that she had been too long out of the womb. She was forty-two years old.

"You represent the reality of beauty," they said to Isabella, "and we're selling the fantasy of it. And the fantasy is young."

One of these days, Estée Lauder may run an ad showing the shade that looks best with diapers-and I don't mean Depends.

Television's Joan Lunden, no Wicked Witch of the West, was dumped by Good Morning America two years ago because she was a gorgeous woman of forty instead of someone in a training bra. That's right: dumped by Good morning America, the place where people are supposed to wake up and smell the coffee, where at least one producer should have been aware of the great truth that fifty is now what thirty-five used to be.

However, even though people are now living longer than ever, even though the average American life span is now seventy-six, even though 33 million people in this country are now over sixty-five, America still seems to feel that kids " R " us. The startling truth is that, by the year 2000, more than 75 million Americans will be over fifty. Every ten seconds in America, someone turns fifty, and too many of these people think it is time to call Dr. Kevorkian (the only doctor who still makes house calls).

Okay, so despite the demographics, aging stinks. But the only way to avoid it is for your life to end now, which is an even less appealing option. Maurice Chevalier may or may not have been the first to say, "Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative."

Better, I say, to take stock of where you are chronologically, to realize all the baggage that comes with aging, and then not to accept it. Yes, refuse to pay the COD. I believe in fighting aging all the way, but fighting it constructively and intelligently.Doing what we can do to look and feel the best that we can possibly be.

Yes, in spite of the inevitability of aging, you can remake yourself and recharge your life by working on your diet, your wardrobe, your makeup, your home, your career, your volunteering, your sex (which shouldn't feel like volunteering), and, most important, your attitude:your constant desire to stay mentally and physically active in the mainstream of life.If you are thinking of moving to Florida to just sit in the sun while comparing bond prices, bypass stories, and beautiful grandchildren, this book is not for you.It is for people who think that the only point in living is staying alive in what Teddy Roosevelt called "the arena."

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