My parents look and act like people in their thirties. Considering I’m 27, they are not, in fact, in their thirties. Yet, they pull it off, and I hope to someday attain this mysterious Dobie fountain of youth status into my mid-life. So when I came upon the blog “How Not To Act Old,” I fell in love.In each entry, NY Times bestselling author Pamela Redmond Satran gives tips on HOW NOT TO ACT OLD. And dang it, Pamela is funny. I dare you to try to be sneaky and read her blog at work without busting out in chuckles at your desk.
So I had to interview her for my blog. Duh. Without further ado…
An H and Five Ws with the Queen of Not Being OLD, Pamela Redmond Satran
How did you become a “blogger”?
I first tried to sell the idea for How Not To Act Old as a magazine article, but nobody bit. So I thought I’d do it as a blog. I figured that if it worked, I’d amass enough material for a book proposal, and I also wanted to learn about blogging on wordpress since my baby-naming site, nameberry.com, was about to launch and I knew I’d have to start blogging for that.
Who is your favorite “old lady”?
Hmmmm, great question. A close friend of mine died late last year of pancreatic cancer, and his mother called me today – she’s close to 90 – and said she was really sorry, she’d been thinking about me and would love to get together, but she was just too busy. I admire that and aspire to it. So I might have said P.D. James or my mother-in-law, but today I’ll say my friend’s mom, Helen Pinsley.
What makes you laugh?
Really really really stupid movies! I just totally embarrassed myself on an airplane howling while watching “I Love You, Man.” My husband tried to pretend he didn’t know me.
Where do you get your ideas?
I honestly get a million ideas all the time, which I think is true of most working writers. You learn working at a magazine (I was an editor at Glamour) that ideas are a dime a dozen – it’s always what else, what else, what else, so you get tuned in to the inspiration that’s all around. I can sit down and purposefully think up ideas for anything, but much more fun are the ideas that just hit you out of nowhere. I get a couple of workable ideas every day and maybe one great one a week – I wish I had time to pursue every one!
When have you fallen victim to acting “OLD”?
Haha – sometimes I feel my body conspires against me, so even if I’m trying my best to act not old, my legs get stiff or I can only walk in really comfortable shoes or I can’t lift something heavy. I visited my daughter in Paris this week and I felt this hobbling off the plane in my rubber-soled sandals, getting winded as we rushed through the airport, having to lift my suitcase up and down stairs. At my daughter’s apartment she had a pile of these amazing shoes – I mean really amazing, with five inch heels and mirrors all over them and zippers, just crazy stuff – and I thought, okay, I don’t even think I could sit down in these shoes.
Why are you a writer?
I wanted to be a fashion designer but somebody told me I’d never meet any boys, and then I wanted to be an artist but my dad told me I was lousy at art, and so writer seemed like the only other appealing option. I wish sometimes that I had wanted to be a hedge fund manager, or a movie producer – something more high-powered and a lot better paying – but I was pretty naive. And now I think it’s great to have a career I control myself, that no one can take away from me, that I can do until I’M old.
ABOUT PAM: Pamela Redmond Satran is the author of five novels, including Younger and The Man I Should Have Married, and the coauthor of ten bestselling name books, including The Baby Name Bible and Cool Names for Babies. Her humor book, How Not To Act Old, a New York Times bestseller, is based on her blog http://hownottoactold.com, and she is also a developer of the baby-naming website nameberry (http://nameberry.com). A cowriter of The Glamour List column, she writes for The Daily Beast, The New York Times, and More, and is the founder of the 800-member Montclair Editors & Writers (MEWS) group. Satran lives in Montclair, NJ with her husband Richard Satran, an editor at Fidelity, and is the mother of three children.