I just turned thirty-five over the weekend, and aside from noting that I can quote a stop-motion animated Ralph Macchio from the old Lipton Brisk Iced Tea commercials for the next year to the point of annoying people, there really isn’t anything about being thirty-five that feels any different from being thirty-four. That is, until my wife pointed out to me that I am officially no longer part of the 18 – 34 year old demographic.
That’s right – the age range targeted by most of pop culture no longer applies to me.
Thoughts began to swim in my head after being made aware of this fact. Does this mean I am no longer a valid member of television-viewing, movie watching, music listening, or petting zoo attendance? Will my club card get taken away? Did I waste the years I went from being an impetuous, but legal, teenager to becoming a married man with a mortgage, failing to contribute anything useful to the zeitgeist of the last three decades? Will E.T. ever see his friend Elliot again?
I suddenly found myself feeling very different, even from the previous day when I was living up my last hours of being only thirty-four. No longer would my input factor into whether or not the shows I like stay on the air. No longer would big name directors looking to capitalize on the summer blockbuster pander to my thoughts and feelings in order to separate me from my ten bucks. No longer would musicians aim to pump me up with their infectious melodies.
No… I was now relegated to watching reruns of “Matlock” and “Golden Girls”. It was either the matinee or nothing for me now when I went to the theater, as anything later was way past my bedtime. I could now start complaining about how all the music the youngsters listen to nowadays is just too loud and nothing but noise. My contributions to our cultural society were now over. Put me on an ice floe and send me out to sea.
But then it occurred to me – nothing I ever said or did when I still was part of the Demographic Magicale seemed to make a damn bit of difference. Shows that I enjoyed still got cancelled. Movies I loved still pulled in a mediocre box office. And the music I listened to was still useless pop.
So, I guess that brings me back to what I realized from the beginning – aside from noting that I can quote a stop-motion animated Ralph Macchio from the old Lipton Brisk Iced Tea commercials for the next year to the point of annoying people, there really isn’t anything about being thirty-five that feels any different from being thirty-four. What a gyp.
At least I got the bell-curve for surviving “Last Day” completely beat.