Available As Is by Debbie Weiss
At first glance, I didn’t think a memoir from a midlife widow would be for me. I’m neither in my midlife nor a widow, so I worried I would have nothing to gain from the author’s writing. It wasn’t until I discovered that Debbie Weiss was a Benicia local and heard some feedback from the people in our town who’ve read the book that I decided I would give it a go. And I’m delighted that I did.
Available As Is: A Midlife Widow’s Search For Love by Debbie Weiss is a memoir that takes us through Weiss’s experience with processing her grief, entering the dating pool in her fifties, and learning how to find fulfillment outside of a romantic relationship.
Weiss and George began their romance at her high school prom and quickly became each other’s one and only.
However, when George dies of cancer, Weiss is left picking up the pieces and beginning a new chapter of her life at 50.
Starting with endless Manhattans and TV show binges, Weiss grapples with finding a way to navigate being alone for the first time in her adult life. We see her join one dating site, attempting to find a quality connection. Then, when that fails, joining multiple sites and averaging two dates a day at her local coffee shop, hoping that quantity will be the solution.
Weiss tells these stories with humor and absolute candor, allowing us to feel like a fly on the wall of every restaurant, bar, and ranch we are brought to. Weiss discovers that dating in her fifties is a messy affair and does little to distract her or help her heal from the grief and guilt of George’s passing.
As Weiss struggles to hold on during this challenging transition, she finds kinship in her fellow yogis and writers.
A regular yoga class turns into a group of intimate friends supporting each other through their individual challenges. A writing group helps Weiss gain confidence in her art and progress in her writing career while giving her a space to speak honestly and openly with people who want to see her succeed.
What I assumed would be a guide on dating for women in their fifties is actually a memoir that teaches a lesson we all need to learn, regardless of age or relationship status. Investing in yourself as an individual is the best way to grow and build the life you deserve. True friendship and valuable relationships will follow.
In this way, Available As Is is a stunning memoir for widows, divorcees, married folk, young and old, and humans of all genders. So pick up a copy from Bookshop Benicia and keep an eye out for any future book signings or readings from our talented local author.