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Elliot Gets to the Heart of Middle Age

By Julie Failla Earhart

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned from my lesbian friends it’s that they aren’t that different from my straight friends. We all basically want the same things in life: to be loved, to love, to succeed, to be happy, etc. Therefore it doesn’t matter what sexual orientation you proclaim, you gotta read Aubrie Elliot’s Halfway There: My Lesbian Life at Middle Age.

The wonderful thing about this short memoir—it’s less than 100 pages—is that Elliot doesn’t try to answer any of the big, burning questions about life. Instead, she focuses on the day-to-day life that all of us must deal with.

Each chapter deals with some aspect of those things that we all want.  Take Chapter 1 “At the Bar on a Friday Night.”  We’ve all been there, partner/spouse out of town, bored, lonely, so we go to our favorite hangout spot. With nothing to distract us, we begin to look over the crowd and make comparisons. Do we ever live up to the image we want?  Probably not, but Elliot’s candid look at her life is sure to hit home with every “halfway there” woman. I saw myself doing the same thing not that many years ago.  By the chapter’s end, I was chuckling to myself.

Elliot’s writing is honest. Simple and honest. She says things all “halfway theres” think and feel. And if I want to be honest, her style is downright hilarious. Not that the situations are funny, it’s that the once you’ve been there, you’ll be shaking your head in sympathy.

One of my favorites is Chapter Three “Macbeth, Renee, and the In-laws.”  This episode about television crushes and the opportunity to meet them had me holding my sides I was laughing so hard.  This could be me if celebrities-who-will-remain-unnamed were substituted for Xena and Gabrielle.

My all-time favorite chapter is Chapter Seven, “A Little Snow Above and Below.”  I don’t need to tell what this is about, but trust me, if you’ve already had this happen to you, you’ll be rolling on the floor with tears streaming down your face by the time you finish.

Before I sign off, I want to list some of my favorite sentences. The entire book is filled with them:

“I tried not to think that the drooping daisy she gave me in a nearly empty bar reflected her impression of me.”

“One morning, as I was in the bathroom trying to hold that stupid little stick steady between my legs, Ellen knocked at the door.”

“It was obvious I needed a new group of friends.”

“I was never good at obeying the rules…”

Oh my God, my breasts are growing hair! When did that start happening?”

On that hysterical note, I wish you happy reading!

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