Confessions of a Fiftysomething

NEW YORK (RUSHPRNEWS) 06/17/2008 -The hilarious comedian Rita Rudner turns her unique gaze on women and aging in her new book, I Still Have It… I Just Can't Remember Where I Put It. In this excerpt, she confesses to catalogue addiction. There is something so traumatic about a woman turning fifty that for a while I was unable to form the actual word. It was more comfortable getting a laugh and telling people I was filthy than having to say the word fffiffffty. In fact, I still stutter a bit, even in print.

Half a century is a long time to be on the planet, and though I'm grateful to be not only alive but healthy, being healthy gives you the freedom to obsess over the things that don't really matter, like wrinkles, veins, and how tricky it is these days just to be able to turn on–excuse me, I mean power up–a television.

I feel that life is broken down into these stages: you're born and you don't know how anything works; gradually you find out how everything works; technology evolves and slowly there are a few things you can't work; at the end, you don't know how anything works.

With the passing of every decade, our mortality becomes a little clearer and our eyesight a little fuzzier. One day the writing on the menu becomes so blurry you just can't bluff anymore. Now, I have to mention that in this optical respect, I'm lucky. I can see close up and my husband can see far away, so we're covered. He tells me who's in the movie and I tell him what's in his sandwich. Together we're human bifocals.

The comforting factor about age is that nobody is immune. The blond-haired bombshells of today are the blue-haired ladies of tomorrow. When I turned fifty, it also gave me cause to reflect on all the things that have gone right in my life. Marrying the right man, choosing the right career, and making sure my closet had lots of hanging space were all good decisions.

Fifty also caused me to reflect on friends who have left me too early due to genetics, disease, or simply being in the wrong place at the wrong time. I hope I'm lucky enough to live until I'm totally incontinent–I mean incompetent. In the meantime, I'm determined to enjoy and celebrate everything about being in my filthies.

Catalogue Addiction

While I do occasionally order items on the Internet, it's hard to teach an old shopper new tricks. I'm convinced that the catalogue will eventually disappear, but not until the last baby boomers have kicked off their smelly Nikes and been buried in mulch.

There is currently no treatment center in Malibu for catalogue addiction, so I was forced to assemble a group of women with similar problems to meet in my living room. They all had room to sit once I moved some catalogues.

I blame Victoria's Secret. My friend ordered a blouse for me as a birthday present, and the company's first final clearance catalogue made its way into my clutches three houses ago. It doesn't matter how often I move; the catalogue knows where I'm living. If I'm ever kidnapped, I'm certain it would find me before the police.

Find out more about I Still Have It . . . I Just Can't Remember Where I Put It by Rita Rudner.

Choose an online bookseller and buy the book.

Excerpted from I Still Have It . . . I Just Can't Remember Where I Put It by Rita Rudner Copyright (c) 2008 by Rita Rudner. Excerpted by permission of Harmony, a division of Random House of Canada Limited. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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