Tag Archives: age

Looking Back, Looking Forward

Today in lowbrow gym reading, I perused myself some Glamour. (I claim, by the way, to read the New Yorker at the gym. Once in a while I do. But let’s be real: when there’s a lighter option available, I am not above taking it).

This issue featured Katie Couric conducting a serious interview with Whoopi Goldberg. Okay fine it was really, really unserious. Among her puffy questions was one about what she knows now that she wished she had known in her twenties.

Being Whoopi and being awesome, she replied that she wished she knew that being twenty-something is not, in fact, all that different than being fifty-something.

Which, if you’re not Whoopi, may be more or less true. But regardless it reminded me of a conversation I had last night with one of my best friends, R.

R is starting law school in the fall, which means she’s moving back to New York. She is currently contemplating a decision: whether to go back to her bright-but-expensive-and-ideally-located Brooklyn apartment, or move in, for a few months at least, to her parents bright-but-free-and-ideally-located Brooklyn house.

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Relationships, Careers, Priorities and Abstractions

When I was deciding where to go to graduate school, about a year ago, I had lunch with a family friend who is in her 70s, exceptionally accomplished, and whose opinions I take as seriously as anyone’s.

At the time I was choosing between New Mexico and North Carolina, having begun to tell people that I’d ruled out Columbia “unless I tripped on a trust fund.” I didn’t.

I was also, at the time, dating my Missed Connection: the guy I met through Craiglist after a subway sighting, who is a labor lawyer and performed his younger sisters’ weddings, and who frequently gets mistaken for John Krasinski, the guy from The Office.

In other words, the one who–on paper–seemed like an absolutely ideal husband. And who, accordingly, I had concluded should probably be my ideal husband.

As I weighed my options, he was also weighing his–having been offered a job in Washington DC. A place, it was not lost on either of us, within reasonable driving distance from the school I was considering in North Carolina.

I should add that, despite my delusions about marriage, I actually managed to keep things rather casual between us. Or rather, allowed him to: we only saw one another a couple of times a week. We were both clearly smitten, but despite occasional teasings about who was going to leave whom, we refrained from indulging–to each other at least–in fantasies of our shared future.

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On Ever Feeling Our Age

When I was little, I took comfort in the thought that even child stars were older than me. People like Michelle Kwan and Macauley Culkin.

As though, given a couple more years, I too could become an Olympic champion or become male, blond and dysfunctional after starring in a blockbuster Hollywood movie.

When I started high school, the reigning national Spelling Bee champion was in my class. I rationalized the fact that such people were now my peers with the bizarre way that she compulsively tapped her feet and thrust up her arms during freshman English class.

I thought that I’d still managed to hang on, to some extent, to this method of self-justification.

But today, reading a profile of Greta Gerwig–the female lead in Greenberg, who I fell for in the movie Nights and Weekends–and seeing that she, like me, is twenty-six–I hardly flinched. Which made me wonder: when did I surpass the age when it was surprising for me to be older than a critical mass of really successful people? Really successful people who aren’t even considered young to be successful?

In other words: when did I get to be older than I feel?

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