I am famous among my friends for not having binge-watched anything. When we finally got a Netflix-enabled tv in our bedroom, I started Orange is the New Black (and made it through two episodes).
Before my observations, here’s the trailer so you get a sense of who we are talking about:
What Is The Other F Word?
This is a series that extends beyond young people and caricatures to represent life for people whose age corresponds to “the other ‘F’ word” – forties, fifties, etc.
It’s a little hard to talk in detail about the six episodes without inadvertently giving away spoilers, so I decided to share ten aspects of the series that stood out to me. I hope they encourage you to watch too!
“Open your heart …. and let me start to be a part of your story.”
So many of us in mid-life are seeing our stories re-written, either by fate or by choice. This song spoke to that, in my perception.
Being the Mom Who Filled Out All the Forms
It’s not a spoiler to say that one character, Amy, finds herself at a loss after both children have moved out (oh, and her husband chose to manifest his mid-life crisis by spontaneously deciding to quit his job and go to humanitarian work overseas for a year.)
“I filled out so many forms,” she says.
Me too, sister, me too.What to do now that there are less forms to complete and there’s still more life to live?
Dealing With Elderly Parents
One character (Orly) is having to cope with her parent’s obvious decline (long distance). Yep, been there done that (the decline part, not so much the long distance part).
Big big big props to The Other F Word for including the dilemmas we face when our parents age.
*** AND (oh my gosh) …. Holly Cate, who plays Orly, was Janice on As the World Turns, which my mom (and then I) watched for decades. Thanks for mentioning that, IMDb! ***
Dealing with Kids’ Crises
College-age daughter with a crisis? Check! College-age daughter who is over said crisis by the next conversation (after hours of mom futilely texting to see if she’s okay)? Check. Check. Check.
Most parents who have ever raised a college-aged child can relate to the realistic scenarios depicted in this show.
I have never been to a “Passion Party” but this one looked fun!
This is such a micro thing but my goodness, Orly’s gynecologist has amazing delts!
(She also assumes Orly needs a perimenopause box …. you really need to watch all the episodes to see what the doctor can give her that will better suit her situation.)
These are character David’s way to characterize life milestones: “Before Children” and “After Divorce.”
Sounds typical for midlife.
About our intimacy choices:
You know, my life experience is pretty vanilla in some ways about the choices I have made. Still, I loved this line and understood (intellectually at least, LOL), the conundrum:
Since sex got easier, love got harder to find.
You know a show is a little edgy if you have to look at least one thing up in the Urban Dictionary!
Again, maybe this hearkens back to my vanilla life (but remember I had some pretty racy conversations as a counselor on the Florida AIDS Hotline back in the day).
There was one term in the six episodes I had to look up in the Urban Dictionary.
(Find out what term it was by clicking here. Did you already know what this meant? Be honest!).
When is it the wrong time to reinvent yourself?
One of the parents (at least) is a *bit* overbearing (think Tiger Mom). When her daughter starts to waver regarding her desire to keep doing crew (the activity that is ostensibly going to fund her college education), mom nearly goes off the deep end. What does she say?
“It’s way too late to reinvent yourself.”
The hilarity of saying this to a teenager is not lost on me. BUT, I spent my share of time being an overbearing gym mom with visions of college scholarships dancing in my head. I can see saying something so outlandish (or I could see pre-perspective crazed gym mom Paula saying it).
Those of us in our forties and fifties though? I vote for as much reinvention as we see fit!
Is there an “F” word for reinvention?
How about FUNDAMENTAL? Fundamental to this time in our lives, fundamental to our souls, and, occasionally, downright FUN!
Want to find out for yourself?
Click here to watch!!
Wife of one, Mom of two, Friend of many. My pronouns are she/her/hers.