Book Review: Love for Grown-ups: The Garter Brides’ Guide to Marrying for Life When You’ve Already Got a Life by Ann Blumenthal Jacobs, Patricia Ryan Lampl, and Trish Rabe
A big recommendation goes out to women and men to read Love for Grown-ups. This book is about how we, the “over the hill” folks, are not so over the hill, or once we’ve all made it over the hill there’s a sensitivity and kindness that weren’t there on the other side—or at least there’s the acknowledgement that that’s what it’s all about: being loving, finding love, continuing to be loving, and finally being maturely loved (as in loved and respected for all one’s qualities—and personality quirks). What’s so wonderful about this time of life, as the Garter Brides describe in their book, is that both women and men have decided that kindness, consideration, and good sex are all things to want, to search for—to deserve and to expect. No longer are we to believe those adages about women over 40 and their chances of marrying being akin to winning a Vogue make-over. No, we are to listen and heed all the happily-ever-after stories of the many midlife women they have compiled in this book, including the three authors’ lovely stories, to make us know that we are the winning ticket!
This book is listed as being a Self Help book, but as a non self-help book fan, I can say that this is not a simplistic do this and this will happen type of book. It’s more that Blumenthal Jacobs, Lampl, and Rabe laid out their stories and invited the reader into the lives of so many other women so that the reader can think that “you know, maybe it could happen to me too, maybe I can still be happy in a relationship.” And that, truly, is more honest help than I got from friends who just tried to pick up my spirits saying that I deserve happiness (which is true for all of us). But that’s not the same as showing how it has happened and how it could happen to me.
And now that I am in a relationship, although I don’t know if it’s going to last more than another month, there is a security that I feel because of this book, and it’s not necessarily that I will marry again, which is not my goal. No, the security is in the fact that Love for Grown-ups puts all those horror stories that I lived through via on-line dating into context—that there is a reason to believe that it could happened to me too.
While up-beat on the whole, the book tries to be realistic, but since the writers’ stories are so positive-in-the-end, “look we got married!”—it’s up to the reader to add her dose of doubt. The section on blending kids and families was, for me, not as true to my reality, but who’s to say my tough teen is not the exception? I did appreciate, though, that they did lay out the problems that arise and how they and other couples handled them. That, surely, was insightful.
So if you need to read some real life 40+ love stories, this is the place to go.