California Seething: We’ve Got Your (38yo Misanthrope) Right Here
The rantings of a non-driving theatre professional living in altogether the wrong city
As Eric Sims awoke on October 10 from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic insect. The bad news is that he also turned 38.
Actually, birthdays don’t really bother me. The nice thing about getting older when you’re already hopelessly out of shape is that there are far fewer major disappointments to confront. After all, it’s not like I’m going to be gnashing my teeth over the fact that I can’t do grab air like I used to on my snowboard or that I can’t keep up with the younger crab fishermen on the ship. No, my revelations are more mundane like “Hmm, I seem to have more hair on my ears than my forehead.” and “Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch makes me gassy after midnight. How about that?” Mildly disappointing – but I can always switch to Crunch Berries.
Still, it’s important to be vigilant against Creeping Birthday Melancholy Syndrome (especially during CBMS awareness month- Think Bleak!) so here are some gift suggestions to help bolster my morale– and one movie sure to torpedo it.
Nemesis- by Philip Roth
A lot of people my age (i.e Brett Favre, Barack Obama) think that hanging out with young people will make them seem young and cool. This is a fallacy. The trouble with hanging out with much younger people, aside from the fact that they suck, is that it makes you, by default, the creepy old guy. See, all the younger people you associate with still have hope that when they are as old as you, they will have moved on to bigger and better things (career, family, boat ownership). You, on the other hand, have to confront the ugly reality that, at your advanced age, you’ve got nothing better to do than hang out with them pretending like you like Lady Gaga, making hilarious Ren and Stimpy references that nobody gets, and throwing interceptions because you’re too lazy to go to training camp. Not cool.
Clearly, then, your best bet is to hang out with old people, but if you can’t take the smell, the next best thing is to spend some time reading the recent fiction of Philip Roth. In the 60’s Roth made a name for himself as a self-loathing Jew obsessed with his penis. As he matured, he authored a series of increasingly brilliant novels dissecting and dismantling the myths of the American dream. Now pushing 80- he stares death and regret in the face with the same defiant insight that once characterized his assaults on the middle-class petty morality of his Newark upbringing- all without ever losing sight of his primary obsession with his cock. Now that’s a man who can make me feel young! Hell, if he can stare at his shriveled, septuagenarian shmeckel and still imagine the possibilities, I can certainly keep it (morale) up, for a few more decades, at least.
Just like hanging out with old people makes me feel young- wearing bigger pants makes me feel thinner. Since I’ve been spending the past year actively putting the “middle” in “middle aged,” it’s crucial that I stay 2 sizes ahead of my appetites, This way, I ensure that I can continue to tighten that belt of self-delusion in the morning and still feel fabulous as I tuck into my chocolate covered bacon cake.
Lots of Facebook Birthday Wishes
What better way to satisfy my desperate and pathetic need for attention than the instant gratification provided by the appearance of dozens of “Happy Birthday!!!” greetings on my Wall? From the moment the clock strikes midnight on the East Coast, I begin staring at the screen, my sense of self worth climbing like the Mountain Climber on the Price is Right (Old guy reference alert) with every post. Nothing warms my heart like the knowledge that so many close friends, co-workers and random acquaintances took valuable seconds out of their day to click on a link and type two words and some exclamation points. I’m not being sarcastic here- I really do eat it up. So if you’re reading this and didn’t wish me a happy birthday, you’ll be glad to know it’s not too late! After all- the only thing better than a birthday greeting – is a birthday greeting AND an apology. That way I get to feel loved and morally superior at the same time. It’s a warm fuzzy.
Movie to Avoid
Yes, I am aware of the fact that The Social Network is getting phenomenal reviews, and that it is supposed to be a smart and insightful look at the complex human story behind one of the great technological success stories of contemporary times. Still, considering my greatest contribution to humanity as a college student was making a bong out of a coconut (and that I still haven’t topped it) the last thing I need to see is the story of a millennial, cyberpunk-ass bitch billionaire and his entitled little friends. Also, as I’ve already explained, I’m far too dependent on Facebook for validation to afford becoming disillusioned by it – I mean, all my MySpace friends are fake Slavic porn stars and I forgot my Friendster login years ago. What am I supposed to do- talk to people??? Fuck that.
The biggest problem with seeing The Social Network is that I would be compelled to be yet another lameass posting on Facebook about the irony of just having seen The Social Network and rushing to post on Facebook about it. And then, I would be forced to beat myself to death with the nearest blunt object. I think there’s a coconut bong around.
So there you have it. Happy fucking birthday to me. Another opportunity to celebrate the day I wish I was never born. I can, at least, take solace in the knowledge that I got more Facebook posts than John Lennon (and I’m not dead). But, just to be on the safe side, I’m planning a visit to my grandparents. Nothing like dinner at five to make me feel alive!
featured image credit: marc e marc