Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Book Review: Today I Am A Ma'am by Valerie Harper

 "I can still remember a time when one's value was defined by experience and ability." (Valerie Harper)
On the way to the beach Sunday, I stopped at Hanapepe Library to see what books were left on the free outdoor shelf. Waiting for a home was an ex-library copy of Today I Am A Ma'am by actress Valerie Harper (who channeled "Rhoda" for nine years).

Even though it's written for older women, I decided to take a look (as an older man) to see if I might learn something. I did. The trick to aging is deciding if you want to get old or older. There's a difference.

If you're tired of youth obsession and want a quick fix, Today I Am A Ma'am: And Other Musings on Life, Beauty, and Growing Older offers the remedy. There are laughs along the way (but watch those facial lines).

Valerie Harper wrote this book when she was turning sixty. She's now seventy and was just nominated for a Tony Award this week. At the end of the book Ms. Harper discusses her golden rules which include, "overdo it." I think she sets a fine example of just that.

With good humor Ms. Harper talks about women's fashion, diets, hot wax treatments and more. She asks questions along the way like the following:
"Why is a woman's important transition called MEN-opause? Are we pausing from men?"
In the end it's finding peace and acceptance with self. Each stage in life has something to offer. What's your philosophy on getting older?

Rob's Rating: 3/5 "Good" 

Today I Am A Ma'am by Valerie Harper. Harper Collins. 2001. 155 pages. ISBN: 0060199296


  1. I remember the first time someone called me ma'am...I looked around to see who he was talking to!

  2. A man offered me his place in line at the grocery store by calling me ma'am. When I turned around it was someone I went to high school with...and he is a year older than me! Thank goodness he was embarrassed when he saw it was me :-)

    I am now having Rhoda flashbacks...

  3. 'Overdo it'. That holds a certain amount of merit, specially when it in volves laughter. I enjoyed this review. Prior to reading what you have written, I would not have picked up the book if it had fallen in my lap, but now I would take it home and enjoy.


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Said of those who are at peace with the world, undisturbed and contented.