An H and Five Ws with the Queen of Not Being OLD

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.

The BOOK! How Not to Act Old by Pamela Redmond Satran!
The BOOK! How Not to Act Old by Pamela Redmond Satran!
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,, 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.

Pamela Redmond Satran
Pamela Redmond Satran

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, and she is also a developer of the baby-naming website nameberry (  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.

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