Don’t Let the Door Hit Your Ass on the Way Out, 2020
TLDR: I’m retiring this rarely updated site and have created a new Instagram account, @mature.themes instead. Everyone should follow me there!
Things have been pretty quiet around here–and everywhere–lately. 2020 a.k.a. The Year of the Rat was supposed to be my year, and with just two-and-a-half months left it looks like I’ll have to wait until 2032 for my next chance at attaining greatness. I’ll be 60-goddamn-years old!
So, I’ve been debating the merits of newsletters vs. websites/blogs vs. Instagram (TikTok is a step too far and I’m never going to produce a podcast) for putting my content i.e. thoughts into the world.
Based on nothing scientific at all, I’ve decided no one wants to read a blog anymore. It takes too much effort and as someone who once was in love with the medium, I rarely make the effort to check out sites on a daily–or even weekly–basis. And despite the hype, I consider newsletters to be little more than ephemeral blogs that land in one’s inbox. It’s a more passive form of consumption, so I get it. I’m going to start writing and sending my own on a more regular basis.
Blogs are comforting in their orderliness, nice discrete categories, and chronologic order, but I’ve decided to put the types of things I would normally sporadically post here on Instagram instead. It’s easier, more causal, and more social. For a good time, follow me at @mature.themes where currently just five other people have taken the leap!
Bye, boomer: the coming cull of workers over 50
I guess we should all brace for everyone 50+ to start being called boomers now that millennials are on the cusp of 40.
I’ve Been Waiting For This Moment For All of My Life
And yet, if now millennials are middle-aged, what does that mean for Gen X?
In a jauntily titled article, “My Retirement Plan Is You,” ostensibly about boomer parents moving in with millennial children, a 45-year-old child and 53-year old parent are both featured, and I can’t let this Gen X erasure stand.
I don’t usually make a point of reading of reading the Love section, but I had to click on one of the latest “mini-vows” when I saw the lead photo while scrolling through Twitter.
A young woman with gray streaks whose name I recognized from The Billfold? I was on board. And the love story was inoffensive–and maybe even a little charming–which is high praise for this section of the paper.
I imagine we’re going to see more and more gray brides as younger generations’ body positivity becomes more mainstream. In my experience, Gen Z are less traditional than millennials (who seem to get married relatively young) so maybe weddings as milestones will fall out of favor too.
Who: Rachel McPadden
Where you might know her from: She used to be a regular contributor to now-defunct xoJane.com, a site for women that used to get a lot of shit (even post-mortum).
Where I know her from: I can’t even say for sure, but I also wrote for xoJane and we have a lot of friends and acquaintances in common despite never having met in person.
Krista: I used to save this question for last because it kind of freaked me out. Do you consider yourself middle-aged? What is it about the phrase “middle-aged” that evokes such dread? Or maybe that’s just me?
To be single and without children after a certain age is to largely disappear off the cultural map…Glynnis MacNicol, “I Think We’re Alone Now. Welcome.”
This essay was not so much about becoming irrelevant–which speaks to me–but being understood. The thesis is in the rest of the quote “…and I’ve spent the last few years struggling with how best to approach one of the unexpected challenges of my life: the need to create a language around my experiences so that others can understand.”
Hot 2020 Trend: Going Gray
You heard it here first. Ever since everyone has been housebound, I’ve been bracing for the rash of going gray essays. (Don’t even get me started on bangs-phobia. Bangs are perfectly good–they’re not indicative of internal turmoil– and I won’t stand for any argument otherwise.)
Ok, one short essay, “Embrace the Grays,” doesn’t exactly count as a trend, but I’m afraid the floodgates are now open. I’ll bet a $1,200 stimulus check (that I won’t even be getting because I made too much money last year, thanks to a heavily taxed severance payment–never mind that I was let go from two jobs in 13 months and have been out of work for four months.) the Style section is already on the gray-haired beat.
This really should be my time to shine. I actually got bored and used semi-permanent dye to color my very silver hair some light brown plummy shade that I’m afraid looks bad ’90s like I’m out of touch with fashion. On the other hand, it could be read as good ’90s in that I’m a confident millennial reliving her teenage style. (Never mind that I was a grown-up in the ’90s.) I have yet to re-embrace babydoll dresses, chokers, or Docs, though. I know my limits.
Good Time is just a generic enough title to scroll past while looking for something to watch. Plus, a bleach-blonde Robert Pattinson thumbnail image doesn’t really help matters. (Though, to be fair, he has done interesting films lately, like the equally generic, falsely upbeat titled, High Life. I almost watched The Lighthouse last night, but didn’t want to pay $3.99. Instead, I paid $3.99 to watch The Guest–am I the only one who preferred Dan Stevens slightly more doughy?)
It’s not a bad movie, and I started liking it even more when I realized Jennifer Jason Leigh played his girlfriend. Since I was fairly young, and not a teen when Fast Times At Ridgemont High was popular, I assumed Jennifer Jason Leigh was older than me, but not significantly, like maybe early 50s now. It turns out she’s 58, which makes the casting of a 55-year-old love interest for a man in his early 30s even a little more radical.
No one is talking about Marriage Story anymore (thank god) but thinking about Jennifer Jason Leigh makes me dislike it all over again. Also, how is Noah Baumbach only 50?
Extra credit reading: “It’s a Good Time to Be Jennifer Jason Leigh.”