“What to Expect When You’re Expecting Nothing At All,” by Christa Laib

Nov 29th, 2023 | By | Category: Fake Nonfiction, Prose

From the team that brought you What to Expect When You’re Expecting comes a new, comprehensive guide for women at that magical mid-life stage: What to Expect When You’re Expecting Nothing At All.

This latest in the What To Expect series demystifies the process of decline by breaking it down into three easily understood stages. The first, Irritations, outlines all the physical, emotional, and sexual symptoms of mid-life that the medical profession isn’t interested in fixing for women, even though it’s pretty clear by now they’ve got erectile dysfunction well in hand (as it were) and should have the bandwidth for it. The second stage, Irrelevance, celebrates women’s release from the bondage of cultural connection and workplace significance. Think of all the free time! And the final stage, Invisibility, explores that liminal phase toward the end of a woman’s useful life where she can speak freely without risk of being heard, and which can start as early as age 12.

Each section is loaded with impactful detail and actionable information, covering important topics like:

Your Changing Body

Just because you’re no longer able to bear children doesn’t mean your midsection isn’t bulging. Blame lowered levels of estrogen for those increasingly lovable love handles, diminished collagen production for your recent proliferation of chins, and years of Iyengar yoga for your long, flexible breasts. They say your ears and nose keep growing until you die. We’ve got tricks for “delongating” your lobes and a full, zip-code-by-zip-code guide to rhinoplasty experts in your area. And we’ll introduce you to the latest fitness craze: HIIT. They call it High Intensity Interval Training. We call it a heart-pounding excuse for a donut.

Your Emotional Health 

The moodiness of menopause can make PMS look like child’s play (which, come to think of it, it kinda is, ha ha). Meditation can help, but so can medication, preferably the kind that makes you feel mellow and unburdened and which can be legally purchased in several states now without a prescription. Your perception of self can also shift during this time. Some studies suggest that women with greater self-awareness experience their hot flashes as more severe than those with less self-awareness. This may make you feel like you were duped into believing that the key to good health was to “stay in touch with your feelings.” Or it might make you feel angry that your feeling-ness is being called out at all. Doctors! We just can’t win with these people. And finally if the words period and full stop make you feel triggered, join our grassroots movement to change said punctuation mark to “small dot.”

Your Child Now  

Sweet, single-celled organism one day, full-grown shade-thrower the next. Behavioral charts describing your child’s erratic attitudes and activities will help you figure out which drugs they’re taking and whether they’re right for you. Boomerang kids are a real problem, so we’ll discuss strategies for getting those slackers off your sofa and on to someone else’s. And an extensive section aimed at the coastal states will cover the unique perils of mothering preschool-aged kids while menopausal.

Your Career Evolution

Looking to pivot your career path or re-enter the workforce? We’ll show you how to spin your stint as a stay-at-home mom into a Manager of Special Projects. Or if settling sibling disputes is more your forte, try recasting that as Mediation Specialist. Or maybe just retire, because WTF, you’re old. Or at least that’s how the average 28-year-old hiring manager will see you.

Technology, Media & You 

Facebook is so last year. Find the latest ways to pretend to be someone you’re not with our interactive guide to apps. Also included is a thoroughly researched section on the ethical issues of tracking your kids’ location and social media use, including step-by-step guidelines on how and when to do it, what red flags to look for, and which wines pair best with the moral bankruptcy such tasks entail. And finally, you’ll find a special insiders guide to YA literature, aimed at all the ladies in the house who spend middle age reminiscing about coming of age. After all, they don’t call them “the Twilight years” for nothing.

So pick up a copy of What to Expect When You’re Expecting Nothing At All at your local bookseller today. That’s right—the hard copy, damn it. Reading glasses sold separately.


Christa Laib is a recovering copywriter and recently anointed Master of Fine Arts in creative writing from St. Mary’s College of California. She lives in Berkeley, California, with her husband, daughter, and cat.

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