Help! I'm Over the Hill: And Other Lessons Garnered while Cooking Beef Stew

I’m feeling old today. And I know why.

It all began when my husband and I watched a movie we rented over the weekend entitled, In Search of a Midnight Kiss. Let’s start with the premise of said film, which is basically a boy meets girl kinda thing with two sad, lonely protagonists desperate not to spend New Year’s Eve alone, who meet through an ad in Craigs List and spend the afternoon and evening together. That’s pretty much it. But it’s been so long that I spent New Year’s Eve alone – or worried about kissing someone other than my spouse (and I don’t really worry about that too much) – that it was like taking a trip back in time even to get myself a place where I could remotely identify with the protagonists.

Or maybe I could have, if the protagonists had been cynical middle-aged divorces, recently separated and gamely looking for a night out on the town (there was one character like this in the film – in a scene that lasted maybe 15 seconds – but he was really there as fodder for our laughter and derision, and other than him, there was no one over thirty in the movie except the main character’s mother, herself getting a boob job to feel younger).

I have no problem with any of this. The movie was made by someone who’s probably barely 30 himself and I’m sure the whole thing resonates with his target audience. In fact, I actually liked the film (I’m a sucker for sad endings…or at least wistful ones). But with its indiscriminate drug and alcohol use, random hook ups and fleeting moments of intimacy, it did make me feel, well…old. Anthony Lane, in an improbably long review of this film for The New Yorker, argues that the movie is a poster child for the “Indie” romance wherein “all the inhabitants of the indie universe…are like children, playing at adult life.”

Amen, brother.

It’s kind of like how I feel when I read the “Gen Y” portions of Penelope Trunk’s insightful and entertaining blog, Brazen Careerist. I’m sure these posts connect with their intended readership, but I’m so firmly ensconced in Gen X that I no longer even bother skimming them.

Which brings us to the end of the weekend, when one of my husband’s new colleagues and his fiance stopped by our house to say hi with three friends in tow. It was around 6 p.m. on a Sunday night and they’d all just come from Paris where they’d spent the weekend – en masse – and were about to go out and “catch some dinner” before heading back to their collective crash pad. As it happened, I was making beef stew when they showed up. I was also in my pajamas since I’d taken a late afternoon run and couldn’t be bothered to get dressed for the evening: picture a sort of Target-esque red and black tartan pajama bottom with…it must be said..a black dog on the pajama top. Now to be fair, I’m not normally a beef stew/doggie pajama kinda gal. But that’s exactly what I looked like when they showed up with tales of the Rodin Museum and strolling through the Left Bank.

And, as I was saying, I just felt really old.

So tonight I’m thinking of rassling up some fajitas and buying some tequila and maybe I’ll even wear that new teal camisole I bought…What’s that you say? Oh, right. It’s book club. With my forty something friends. To talk about Amos Oz’ memoir. Guess not…

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