One of my dear friends and New Zealand’s greatest literary treasure, PJKM, has a special birthday today. I wanted to send her a very special birthday wish (a Gary Larson-esque inside joke).
I also wanted to remind her that many others believe that life begins at her age. Even better, some others believe that life begins at this age, which means both that PJKM hasn’t even really been born yet nor has she reached her prime writing age.
However, when many people reach PJKM’s age, they have what’s known as a mid-life crisis. Penis-enabled members of humanity are especially susceptible to this disease. Symptoms can include sports car purchases, the appearance of a trophy-wife-shaped tumor, hair dye, and the resumption of the fetal position and/or bedwetting.
But when considering age milestones, I follow the only complete, absolute truth in our society: marketing demographics. The good news is that PJKM's mid-demographic crisis is so five-years ago. The bad news is that mine begins in two weeks. Here’s how life truly breaks down, marketing-style.
Conception: The Old Navy Years (0-15)
I really like Shrek cereal, it tastes like Shrek! But Mom, all the other kids wear Nikes! They’re going to make fun of me. I don’t want juice, I want Capri Sun. It is not the same. We went to see Finding Nemo four times, then I got the DVD for my birthday.
Birth: The Abercrombie Years (16-24)
Omigod, you guys, Duece Bigalow 2 is even better than the original. Hey, did you hear the new 50 Cent? I just downloaded it off i-Tunes. I know, who buys CDs anymore? Dude, look at you, you gotta pull those pants down. Swing by early, we’re going to play some PlayStation hit that kegger—they’re getting Coors Light. Hah, hah, “...and twins”—yo, I love that commercial.
Prime: The Banana Republic Years (25-34)
Check out this new Kenneth Cole shirt. It goes great with these flared black pants. Just gotta throw a little pomade in my hair and I’m good to go. I’m going to pick up my date and see Wedding Crashers, then grab some Smirnoff Ice and hit that condo party. 401k? Relax, I’ve got plenty of time to save. Hey, there’s a sale at the Virgin Megastore, you should get the new 50 Cent. It’s kickin’. Seriously, I just bought the CD, I’ve got it in the Acura.
Change: The Dockers Years (35-44)
Yeah, that’s a really, really nice shirt, but you know, with the mortgage and all, I shouldn’t. I have my 401k maxed out, I really should have started saving as soon as I got a job. I did hear about that movie, the one with Vince Vaughn. But I’ll probably just rent the DVD. Besides, I’d rather stay home with a glass of chardonnay and watch Survivor. Yeah, that was rap coming out of the minivan, my stupid kid brother left his 50 Cent CD in there. Now the new U2, that’s a great disc.
Slide: The Haggar Years (44-64)
My kids bought me one of these MP3 players. I can fit all my Crosby, Stills, and Nash albums on there, and still have room for something kind of heavy like Springsteen when I’m fast walking. Unbelievable, I still remember how cool it was to have a Walkman. Of course, I can’t hook the damn thing up to the computer without the kids’ help. I wish they knew as much about pulling up their pants as they do about these gadgets. Speaking of, I’ve got to get to Sears to get some new slacks. Can you believe how much it costs to fill up an SUV these days?
End: The elastic waistband years (65+)
See these pants? Buy 2, get 1 free. They only had two colors, but you can never have too many navy pants. Music? It’s all terrible, these guys just talking and swearing. Give me a little Tony Bennett any day of the week. I like to sing along in the Lincoln. The movies are crap, too. My kids bought me a DVD player, but it’s too much work. I have to change the TV to some setting, and I can’t remember if the DVD label goes down or up, and then when I do get it to work, it’s just two hours of profanity and sex. So I usually just fall asleep watching CBS. Or I just watch whatever the grandkids watch when they come over. They like this cartoon about a fish....