Books: Waynesville author uses humor to bridge gender gap

"What Waits Ahead is Way Better and Way Worse Than You Imagined" by Rebecca Rine (Rebecca Rine, 230 pages, $20)

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"What Waits Ahead is Way Better and Way Worse Than You Imagined" by Rebecca Rine (Rebecca Rine, 230 pages, $20)

The last couple of years have been difficult for many of us. With the arrival of springtime perhaps we were hoping things might be getting easier? The pandemic appears to be finally easing while prices are rising sharply. Then there’s this terrible war which is rather upsetting and concerning.

Are you in the market for an enthusiasm booster? Something to help you feel a bit better about life in general, your relationships, and the prospect of growing old gracefully? Perhaps you would settle for a few good clean laughs? I have just the thing.

“What Waits Ahead is Way Better and Way Worse Than You Imagined” by Rebecca Rine is a collection of essays on topics that will resonate with many readers. The author lives in the Waynesville area. She has been blogging for a while so she decided to put together a book that features some of the inspirational and often humorous wisdom that she imparts online.

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Rine covers topics like marriage, parenting, aging, coping with stress, and living in the moment. Her advice is generously seasoned with wit and her vivacious sense of fun. She describes how she has had to deal with health issues from an early age and how that experience deepened her sense of what truly matters.

The essay titles provide indications of what is in store; light hearted takes on serious subjects. Here’s an example: “good news: marriage is easy when we’re not idiots; bad news: we’re all idiots.” Here’s another: “being naked in public brought me closer to God.”

Her ruminations on aging are right on target. She looks at how our society puts so much pressure on women and their appearances. Lots of men sail through life without such concerns while women spend billions on products whose “advertisements are laden with women who have angelic expressions and billowing hair looking off into the distance as they gingerly put a fingertip to their face and pucker their lips, implying the cream is exempting them from the natural aging process.”

She shares this discovery; that women themselves are creating a lot of the pressures about aging and the way they look, that most men are not focused on that at all: “in reality most men I’ve asked want very little; for us to be happy and confident with ourselves, so we all can have a good time.”

The book is directed toward female readers but there’s a lot of valuable material here for men as well. If we men seek to better understand what women are concerned about, how they think, and what makes them happy then there is a storehouse of those sorts of insights within these pages.

Rine’s humor is the saving grace that makes this book special. She describes sobbing over a TV show while her husband sits next to her, impassive, munching on popcorn. She turns to him: “don’t you feel anything ever?” Husband keeps munching away. “Did you even hear me?” He finally responds: “what?” Truly priceless.

Vick Mickunas of Yellow Springs interviews authors every Saturday at 7 a.m. and on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. on WYSO-FM (91.3). For more information, visit www.wyso.org/programs/book-nook. Contact him at vick@vickmickunas.com.