What Would Virginia Woolf Do?: And Other Questions I Ask Myself as I Attempt to Age Without Apology

What Would Virginia Woolf Do?: And Other Questions I Ask Myself as I Attempt to Age Without Apology

by Nina Lorez Collins


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When Nina Collins entered her forties she found herself awash in a sea of hormones. As symptoms of perimenopause set in, she began to fear losing her health, looks, sexuality, sense of humor-perhaps all at once. Craving a place to discuss her questions and concerns, and finding none, Nina started a Facebook group with the ironic name, "What Would Virginia Woolf Do?," which has grown exponentially into a place where women-most with strong opinions and fierce senses of humor—have surprisingly candid, lively, and intimate conversations.

Mid-life is a time when women want to think about purpose, about how to be their best selves, and how to love themselves as they enter the second half of life. They yearn to acknowledge the nostalgia and sadness that comes with aging, but also want to revel in their hard-earned wisdom.

Part memoir and part resource on everything from fashion and skincare to sex and surviving the empty nest, What Would Virginia Woolf Do? is a frank and intimate conversation mixed with anecdotes and honesty, wrapped up in a literary joke. It's also a destination, a place where readers can nestle in and see what happens when women feel comfortable enough to get real with each other: defy the shame that the culture often throws their way, find solace and laugh out loud, and revel in this new phase of life.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781538727959
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 04/10/2018
Pages: 384
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 8.10(h) x 1.40(d)

About the Author

Nina Lorez Collins was born in New York City in 1969 and attended Barnard College. She had a long career in book publishing, first as a scout and then as an agent. She completed a Masters in Narrative Medicine at Columbia University and become a certified Life Coach with IPEC. She has four children and lives in Brooklyn, where she is a trustee of The Brooklyn Public Library.

Table of Contents

A Note About the Title xiii

Introduction xv

Warning Labels xxi

Chapter 1 Fashion: Death by Eileen Fisher and Other Fashion Tragedies 1

The Tyranny of Heels-and Why I Love Them

Clogs: Giving Up or a Sexy Solution to Sore Feet?

Requiem for a Thong (Panties, Not Shoes!)

To Spanx or Not to Spanx

Summer's Here and the Water's Warm

Plan B

You Go, Girl, but Please Not in These

Ten Things I Hope to Never Wear

Ten Staples I Hope Will Take Me a Long Way

Chapter 2 Sex and Relationships: Date Night at the Orgy Dome 36

How to Get Your Juices Back

All Lubed Up and No Place to Go

Desperate Measures

In the Mood, but Now What?

Dangerous Exes and Taking Things into Your Own Hands

Anal, Anyone?

He's Just Not That into You

Playing for the Other Team?

Keeping Your Long-Term Relationship Hot (and Other Oxymorons)

Four Very Scientific Reasons to Have Sex

A Tale of Two Vaginas

Unfaithfully Yours

Opens Marriages

Wait, Which Way Do I Swipe?

Nina's Internet Dating Rules

Dim All the Lights: The Unfuckability Factor

Chapter 3 Bodies: Is Everything Sagging or Is It Just Me? 88

You Are What You Eat. Really

Booze: The Pros and Mostly Cons

Sugar Is the Enemy

Row, Row, Row, Your Belly Bloat

The Four Horsemen (Bat Wings, Back Fat, Muffin Top, Paunch)

Do Your Boobs Hangs Low? Changing Breast Size

Let's Get Physical: Exercise Matters

Ouch, My Knees! (Back, Shoulders, Elbows, Hips …)

My Body, Myself: Loving Yourself As You Are

Chapter 4 Parenting: A (Not Quite) Empty Nest 122

Has It Been Eighteen Years Already?

Big Kids, Big Problems

The Happiness Paradox

Coping with Aging While Bending Over to Pick up the Lego Bricks

Before I Forget . . . the Bright Side

It's Official: French Women Are Better at Everything

Grab Your Baggage, We're Going on a Guilt Trip

A Note on Our Own Miserable Childhood

Have You Seen My Boundaries?

Weaning Kids from the Financial Tit

First Departures

The Ten Best Things About the Empty Nest

The Ten Worst Things About the Empty Nest

They're Back . . .

Chapter 5 Beauty: Mirror, Mirror …? 156

Are My Botox Treatments Contributing to the "New Normal"?

Fraxel, Juvéderm, Peels . . . Pick Your Poison

The Deepest Cut: Plastic Surgery

Long in the Tooth

Crepey Neck Skin?

Not by the Hair on My Chinny Chin Chin

Beyond the Tweezer

Eyelash Extensions-Yes, Eyelash Extensions

Fifty Shades of Gray Hair

Hair Loss

Pubilc Knowledge: Waxing, Dying . . . Transplants?!

OPPP-Other People's Products and Philosophies

The High Cost of Beauty

I'm Okay, You're Okay: Acceptance and Solidarity

Chapter 6 Emotions: Anxiety and Depression and Stress, Oh My! 195

I Am Woman, Hear Me Whimper

Not Waving, or Drowning, or Even Sleeping

Why Are We So Depressed?

So What to Do About It? Prozac (and Xanax and Valium) Nation

How Bad Do I Have It?

Am I Really My Mother? And Other Questions to Ask Your Therapist

Stuck in the Middle of the Sandwich Generation Without Any Condiments

Divorce Envy

Death Happens: Our Parents, Our Partners, Our Friends, Our Own

How to Embrace Your Inner Bitch (and Not Wind Up Alone, Dead, and Half-Eaten By Cats)

Digging Your Way Out of the Dumps

Chapter 7 Health: Not What the Doctor Ordered 235

What's Up, Doc?

Can Anyone Please Explain HRT to Me?!

And What Are These Things Called Bioidentical Hormones?

Dear Lord, Please Don't Try to Sell Me Another Supplement

Leaky Lady Parts: Incontinence and Other Urinary Disasters

The Big Squeeze

Will I Ever Sleep Through the Night Again?

Melatonin, Valerian, and the Million Other Things People Tell You to Take

And Then There's Snoring

The Cruel Irony of the Three p.m. Slump

Weather Report Says Brain Fog

I Didn't See That One Comings: New Health Risks

The Big C

Health Screenings Cheat Sheet

Heart Disease

High Cholesterol

Condoms: Not Just for Teens

Rheumatoid Arthritis

Thyroid Problems

Bone Health

Gum Disease and Other Funky Mouth Problems

Chapter 8 Work and Money: But How Will I Pay for My Depends? 283

Knock, Knock. Can Somebody Please Let Me Back In?

Reset Button, Anyone?

Let's Get Real: The Nitty-Gritty of Financial Planning

Money Matters

It's Complicated: Divorce, Second Marriages, Stepkids, Prenups

Estate Planning, Long-Term Care, Life Insurance, and Wills

Regrets, I've Had a Few: Things We Would Tell Out Real or Imagined Children

Chapter 9 You're Gonna Make It After All 319

Acknowledgments 333

Notes and Resources 335

Index 347

About the Author 361

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