Dear Gail: It’s Always Something

Comedian Gail Forrest explains how to complain with friends and handle the pressure to be a foodie

It’s Always Something

Dear Gail,
Here’s something that’s been troubling me; maybe you can help. 

When I was a child, I spent a lot of time at my grandparents’ house where my grandfather would have his friends over and do nothing but talk about their ailments, aches, pains, and endless doctor appointments. Occasionally one of them would hoist his shirt up to reveal some hideous incision, which filled me with horror and revulsion. 

I’m a grandfather now, and find I’m doing the same thing with my friends.

Do women do this too?


Dear Benn:
What a coincidence! I was just on the phone coughing nonstop and complaining to my friend Carol about it. She chimed in with how the same hacking cough plagued her for weeks. I think this is the new bonding.

Ironically however, we complain less about ailments, aches, pains and doctor’s appointments and more about sagging necks, drooping eye lids, nasolabial folds, receding jaw lines and sun damage. My friend Liz sent me a picture of her face after a new kind of laser treatment and it was pretty gruesome — Bride of Frankenstein gruesome. Update, now she looks five years younger. Laser me in on this.

Face and neck lifts are never off topic. I would consider both but once you lift there’s no turning back. The outcome is forever and could be disastrous so I would definitely need the name of Lesley Stahl’s or Jane Fonda’s surgeons.

Benn, I suggest for a change of subject matter you and your buddies take a good, hard, honest look in the mirror like women do and I think you’ll have plenty of new topics about which to complain.

Foodie Schmoodie

Dear Gail,
I’m a 55-year-old suburbanite and most of my friends are “foodies,” or so they tell me. I’m not entirely sure what the term “foodie” means. I’ve been eating food all my life, so I would think that qualifies me as a full-fledged foodie, but apparently not. 

How does one become a foodie? Should I become one? I should tell you I have no cooking skills whatsoever.


Dear Harry:
It is so funny you asked me this question because I am absolutely 100% NOT a foodie. I couldn’t care less about the newest food trends or most foods for that matter. Cottage cheese and scrambled eggs are as exotic as I eat. I do, however, like a nice blue cheese stuffed olive in my Martini.

Friends hate going out to dinner with me because I’m a food buzz kill. When they want to split some appetizers I refuse if they’re spicy or have legs. I also ixnay Mexican and Indian restaurants. I eat home a lot.

Don’t feel pressured to strive for foodie status. Becoming one involves going to the newest trendy restaurant, valet parking, and defibrillator paddles after you look at the check. Find friends who appreciate the simpler foods like mashed potatoes, tomato soup, and meatloaf.

However, there is good news! If you ate Spam as a kid it’s now trending on TikTok and in some finer restaurants. So, Harry, proudly call yourself a foodie.

Bon Appetit!

Need advice? Gail wants to hear from you. Send your letters, questions, and quandaries to: newsletter@weareageist.com

See medical disclaimer below. ↓


  1. Great stuff and excellent advice as usual.

    Re foodies – not long ago I was with a gathering of foodie friends at a restaurant, and we all ordered the same soup as an appetizer. After we took a first sip of the soup, everyone but me started commenting in rapturous tones about what the soup’s ingredients were: “Ooh, a hint of ginger”, “I detect a dash of turmeric”, “Just a shade of quinoa with lemongrass”, etc. etc. I had nothing to say. To me, it was just very good chicken soup.

    I felt crestfallen at the time, but your response to Harry has heartened me.

    Comfort Food Forever!

  2. Want to become, frail, weak and helpless? Keep talking about your aches and pains. Truly, no one except you cares to hear this. Stop yourself when you’re doing this and move on to a more positive subject, like the last book you read.

    • I agree, although it’s funny the older you get the more the conversation turns to the latest doc appointment or a sore knee etc. I have stopped conversations in their tracks and said we should change the subject. We all get a laugh out of finding ourselves complaining about ailments. Yes, stay active, move move move! It’s the healthist alternative.


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The ideas expressed here are solely the opinions of the author and are not researched or verified by AGEIST LLC, or anyone associated with AGEIST LLC. This material should not be construed as medical advice or recommendation, it is for informational use only. We encourage all readers to discuss with your qualified practitioners the relevance of the application of any of these ideas to your life. The recommendations contained herein are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. You should always consult your physician or other qualified health provider before starting any new treatment or stopping any treatment that has been prescribed for you by your physician or other qualified health provider. Please call your doctor or 911 immediately if you think you may have a medical or psychiatric emergency.

Gail Forresthttp://www.gailforrest.com
Gail Forrest is a comedy writer and stand up comic. She studied at Second City in Chicago and has performed at Pretty Funny Women and Flappers in LA, as well as Second City to name a few. She has a published book Gonepausal on Amazon about women in midlife and is working on a new book which includes men and promises to be just as funny with even more insights on aging.


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